Social media is an integral part of digital media marketing. Most companies and influencers use social media platforms to do the majority of their advertising because it’s where they can best reach and grow their following. Despite this, many people are not familiar with how social media engagement works and how it can impact their business.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
If you are considering becoming an influencer or have spent time on almost any social media platform, you have likely heard the term “social media engagement”. Social media engagement is the measurement of comments, likes, and shares with social media posts. It can also be understood as the amount of interaction your post receives.
While social media engagement is measured by the number of comments, likes and shares a post receives, it also focuses on statistics. This means that rather than just counting interactions with a post, they are used to gauge its performance compared to other posts. This not only helps us understand the number of comments, likes and shares that social media posts receive but whether an audience is more engaged with one post than another.
Why You Should Care About Engagement
When a brand has high social media engagement, it can see its impact across its entire business.
Increased engagement will improve the visibility of a brand’s digital marketing efforts. This will likely drive more customers to its website and increase the number of people buying its products or services.
Social media engagement can even improve the relationship between a company and its clients. Frequent and meaningful engagement can reaffirm past clients’ loyalty to a brand and attract new ones altogether.
You Need A Strategy
Each person wanting to increase their social media engagement will need an effective strategy to do so. Social media engagement is determined by both the algorithm of the social media being used and the target audience.
The algorithm can make or break posts by determining what posts get shared to the top of users’ timelines or feeds. If you don’t consider the algorithm, your post will likely not be visible to who you want to see it, causing your social media engagement to plummet. In contrast, if you manage to master the algorithm but have not shared content that your audience finds engaging, your post will not appeal to your target audience.
The best way to get great social media engagement is to make sure that content appeals to target users and works with the algorithm. This means that companies and influencers need to know both social media tools and their fans to create engaging posts and get engagement.
Know The Algorithm
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is being familiar with the algorithm. Every social media platform has its own unique algorithm, but most use engagement and relevancy as a determinant in what shows up at the top of peoples’ timelines.
For example, Twitter has started showing users Top Tweets at the top of their feed. These tweets are considered most relevant to the user. In reality, the algorithm uses both a user’s personal advertising data, recency and levels of engagement to determine what Top Tweets to show.
Knowing how social media algorithms work can be extremely helpful in boosting your engagement. If you are familiar with an algorithm, your knowledge can be used alongside tools like Hootsuite’s post scheduler to place your post at the top of social media feeds.
Know Your Audience
Every company and influencer has their own niche that attracts a specific following of people. This niche or brand is integral to a business’s marketing, just as it should be for its social media. Social media content should be created with both a brand and target audience in mind. By keeping these influences in mind, companies and influencers can create content that can both reach and appeal to their following.
For example, an influencer who is travelling around the world in their converted campervan has a travelling or van life niche. This brand is very attractive to people who are young, unattached, want to travel or are dissatisfied with 9 to 5 jobs. By creating content that stays true to their niche and appeals to their audience, they can increase social media engagement.
A target audience can even influence the tools and platforms one uses to create content. For instance, Facebook and Instagram are very similar platforms but are used by different demographics. Those who use Facebook are more likely to stop scrolling and read content because it is more text-heavy. In comparison, Instagram users’ attention spans are much shorter. People who use Instagram gauge whether they want to visit someone’s profile, read a photo caption, or explore someone’s website based on the photo of the post. It takes much less time to view photos, causing Instagram users to scroll through content much faster than those using Facebook.
By understanding your target audience and what platforms they are using, you can easily reach them and increase social media engagement.
10 Ways To Increase Social Media Engagement
1. Create engaging content
A brand or social media influencer should ensure the content they share is relevant and relatable to attract followers and increase their engagement. This could either mean that you’re sharing a lifestyle that they want, tools that they need, or important information that they should know. Whatever you are posting, your content should entice people and encourage them to relate to your brand.
2. Encourage your followers to keep engaging with your content
One trick that is certain to boost your engagement is to include a call to action in your social media post. A call to action is when you ask or urge someone to do something. For example, most YouTubers typically sign off their videos with statements like “Like, comment and subscribe” to encourage their followers to engage with their content or to get new followers.
While an outright call to action can help, customers often react more positively to implicit encouragements to engage with content. For example, a brand could ask its audience a question about what is their favourite product that they sell. This could spur many people to respond in the comments, thus increasing engagement. Posting a poll is another great option to make engaging with your brand fast and easy.
3. Pick quality over quantity
On a recent episode of the Merged Marketing podcast, content curator, social media strategist and Travel Agent Collective planner Nikita Brown shared her secrets to increasing social media engagement. In her many years of experience leading companies and professionals’ social media presences, she has found that the quality of posts is much more important than quantity.
“Really take the time to think about what you’re posting, how it’s communicated to your audience, how it makes you sound and, ultimately, at the end of the day, whether you’re addressing their pain points,” says Nikita. Pain points are the specific problems that your customers are experiencing. It is important to address these points and attempt to solve them because “everybody always thinks about what’s in it for them and how you can serve them” according to Nikita.
By addressing your audience’s wants and needs in well-thought-out posts, they are more likely to interact with your posts and increase your engagement. They are also more likely to choose to buy your products or services.
4. Engage with your followers and other users
Customers want to feel like they are valued and appreciated by the business they give their money to. This can be done through customer service, but a customer typically only seeks this out when they need help. Rather than waiting to speak to customers when an issue arises, start engaging with them on social media.
People love it when brands and influencers engage with their comments and posts. It makes the customer feel as if they are seen. An easy way to do this is to like and respond to comments on Facebook or Twitter posts. Not only does this increase customer satisfaction, but it can also help make a good impression on potential customers.
If a customer posts a picture of themselves wearing your brand’s apparel or using their products, retweet it or share it to your stories on Instagram. This is a great way to create a relationship with the customers and get some free marketing out of it too.
5. Have consistent branding
Consistent social media branding across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and your website is important to improving engagement.
Social media profiles and posts provide users with an idea of your personal brand and niche. It may even intrigue them enough and spur them to click on your website. If your website is generic and doesn’t match the experience that you were sharing on social media, users will likely immediately leave your website and be noted as a “bounce” by the algorithm.
The more users enter your website and immediately leave will cause your bounce rate to increase. The social networks sending the users there will note that user experience is low (as noted by the number of people immediately leaving), then reduce the visibility of your posts or drive up the prices of your paid advertisements. This could seriously hinder your engagement.
One of the best things you can do is to make sure your branding and customer experience is the same across all platforms – even your website. This will keep users intrigued the entire time they are navigating your content and website and boost your engagement.
6. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are a useful tool to ensure that your posts are shared widely across social media platforms. When you share content using hashtags, the post will reach a larger audience. The one thing to remember is that you need to pick the best ones for your post.
Doing a survey of your competitor’s social media posts will help determine what hashtags they use on their posts. This will allow you to gauge if a hashtag is relevant to your audience and whether you need to include it in your posts.
Another good strategy is to use a branded hashtag. This is a unique hashtag, preferably never used before, that your audience knows relates to your brand. People can then use this hashtag to share posts about your business, resulting in free marketing.
7. Use high-quality images or graphics in every post
Many social media platforms have placed images and graphics as the focal point of their content. This is because the majority of people are visual learners, meaning that they are attracted by images and understand new information easier. As a result, images are the first thing a user sees and the most important determinant in whether they will engage with content.
Images and graphics should be an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy. Brands need to create high-quality photographs or graphics to accompany their social media content even when they’re posting on text-heavy platforms like Twitter.
8. Take advantage of affiliate marketing
A foolproof way to increase social media engagement is to create connections through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when brands ask influencers or celebrities to speak about or mention their product on their personal platform. When they do so, their fans’ curiosity peaks and they click through to see the company’s profile or website. This can help get the word out about a business’s products/services and gain new customers. This can also help boost engagement.
9. Be human
It is human nature to want to interact with other people and form a connection with them. So why are we hiding our employees or selves behind brands? People like to interact with brands when they know that there are real people running them.
Social media influencers should try to include pictures of themselves in every single post. Another way to emphasize humanity is to speak in the first person in captions and speak about something personal, but relatable. Followers will like being able to feel as if they can relate to you personally.
A great way for a business or brand to emphasize its humanity is by highlighting its employees. This could be done by featuring one or two people in a post or posting a team picture. Not only is this a great way for customers to connect with your business, but it is a great opportunity to show some appreciation for the people you work with! It is a win-win.
10. Save your followers’ time or money
Nowadays, people are so busy working, taking care of any errands or chores, spending time with their family and friends, and finding time for themselves that they often don’t have much time or energy left at the end of the day. Offering a simple, affordable solution to save people time and money is a great engagement strategy.
For example, sharing financial planning apps, a blog post on meal prep guides, and other similar easy, affordable ventures can increase engagement and gain more loyal followers. It can also help you establish your brand as someone who shares useful content.
See An Increase In Social Media Engagement
Much like other aspects of digital marketing, it takes strategy to increase social media engagement. Social media posts need to be thoughtfully designed and planned to attract and create an experience for followers. A community also needs to be fostered between a company/influencer and their following through interaction. By thoughtfully strategizing, planning, and designing your social media according to these tips, you can increase your social media engagement and get the results you want.