While every marketer strives to increase visitors and audience, many fail to understand that they need to simultaneously increase engagement too. And a great way to engage with your audience is through social media platforms. So, social media engagement is an important metric to consider if you are trying to grow your business or brand.
When you engage with your followers on any social platform, you have the opportunity to turn them into customers. Communication is a two-way street now and customers hold the ability to engage with any brand. And this is why you must devote time and resources to focus on building relationships through engagement.
Over 90% of brands use social media in their marketing. But nearly half of those brands are unable to show results. Is this because they’re just focused on establishing a social presence instead of improving engagement?
Social media engagement is an important metric to consider for the following reasons,
- In recent times, organic reach has dropped. But brands with a powerful social presence and continuous engagement have rarely been affected.
- Customers expect you not only to engage but respond quickly, and when this is unfulfilled, this may cause them to leave a bad review.
- Engagement builds relationships. These can help you as you learn as a community.
Ways to Improve Your Social Engagement:
1. Start Engaging with Your Customers
Give direct replies to your customers on social media. Use social listening tools to find important and interesting conversations about your brand. When you respond to customers, remember it makes them feel personally connected. This is key in ensuring brand loyalty.
Here’s an example of a famous brand keeping in touch with their customers.
Things to keep in mind when you’re engaging with customers:
- Always be polite.
- Remember that you are humanizing the brand by talking to your customers.
- Encourage them to share their experiences and opinions. Respond to all kinds of conversations. Not just the positive ones.
2. Share Visual Content
Research suggests that when people listen to any kind of information, they only retain 10%, But when a relevant image or an infographic is paired with the information, people retain 65% of what was said.
Studies also show that the brain processes visual information more quickly than other kinds of information.
Visual content like images and videos gets higher engagement on all social media platforms. Your audience will choose a video over a blog that has something like 1000 words.
That’s why it’s so important to create professional videos for various social media networks. Quality is crucial here, and you need your videos to have the right animations, transitions, audio, and various interesting effects.
You might even want to add subtitles for added engagement as well. The good thing is that you don’t need to pay for a professional video editing suite. You can use one of the free video editing software with tons of features to create truly immersive videos and optimize them for every social platform.
What makes images and infographics so powerful is the fact that, if they display relevant content, they make it easier for you to get the information.
Did you know that 63% of social media is comprised of images and this number is expected to go up in the future?
The other more obvious benefit is that visual content is easier to create than traditional blog content which requires loads of research.
Importance of visual content:
- Visual content gets more engagement.
- Images and videos have a good recall rate.
- Visual content also increases the willingness to engage with not just that piece of content but with the brand itself.
3. Create Posts that Prompt a Response: Surveys, Polls
Surveys and polls are some of the easiest ways to engage with customers. These posts automatically get top engagement and shares that put your brand on the top of everyone’s social feed.
It is also a great way to get plan points for your strategy. Here’s an example: Eventbrite, a company that helps you create, host, find, and attend events asked this question.
Why are polls and surveys so successful though?
Millions of people vote for their favorite idols on reality shows, most of us have taken at least one quiz to find our Hogwarts house and we take part in meaningless BuzzFeed quizzes just because they’re entertaining.
Polls and microsurveys are fascinating and they allow the audience to be a part of the conversation and express their opinions.
This can be explained with an iconic example:
M&M’s poll for the next flavor garnered attention from all over the world. Fans will know that the brands truly value their input when they get involved in the decision-making process.
4. Post During Optimal Times
Frequent posts throughout the day aren’t going to drive engagement.
Pay attention to when your audience comes online. Create posts that resonate with the audience on particular days. Social media gets content dumped by millions of brands at any given second. Your post will be lost if you do not follow a definite time strategy that focuses on when your audience is available online.
There are loads of cheat sheets offering you “the best time of the day to post” but sometimes you’ll have to rely on research to get the job done.
Remember, each brand is different and you’ll need to find your own mantra.
- Start by monitoring competitor posts. When are they getting the most engagement?
- Do a test run. Share posts throughout the day for a week and see when your audience engages the most with you.
- Respond to every comment. This will prompt other customers to comment too.
But if you want things to be easier, here’s a cheat sheet to help you.
5. Organize Giveaways and Contests
Being a marketer, you always strive to capture your audience’s attention. What better way to do that than organizing a contest or a giveaway?
Benefits of running contests or giveaways:
- Grow your following.
- Get an immediate boost in engagement.
- Create brand awareness.
- Increase your email list and subscribers list.
But what is crucial here is the prize. The prize should be good enough to sway your audience and make them want to try your contest.
Most brands give their own product away to instill brand loyalty in customers, while others go for coupons or vouchers that might interest the audience.
Here are a few things you need to remember before you create a contest or a giveaway:
- Set a goal.
- Determine the type of contest.
- Plan your budget and prizes.
- Know your audience.
- Test different social media platforms.
- Set down rules for the contest.
- And, don’t forget to measure your results after running your contest.
There are so many kinds of contests and giveaways that can boost your social engagement.
Here’s some that you can try:
- Ask your audience to leave a comment and a random comment could be picked to win a prize.
- Ask your followers to share your page and tag a few friends to like the page.
- That’ll get you more followers and good engagement.
- Ask your audience to post creative pictures with your products, one of which could be selected for a prize.
- Other ideas include Trivia contests, Video contests.
Mistakes to avoid when you are planning a contest or a giveaway:
- Poor targeting: When you promote your content, make sure it reaches the right circle of audience.
- Difficult registration or entry: Don’t make it unnecessarily difficult to register.
- Irrelevant prizes: Pick prizes that appeal to your audience.
- Bad prize to effort ratio: Your customers would not be willing to put in a lot of effort for a meager prize.
6. Share Relevant Content
One way to always get noticed is to be on the lookout for trends. Then participate/share content that is related to your audience.
When your social presence is on point, customers will naturally tend to notice you.
One way to always stay relevant is to share content that is making waves at that time. This is a powerful and surefire way to get people to notice you and this now even has a name: Trendjacking. (Brands jumping on what’s trending)
Before you jump on the wagon, ask yourself:
- Is that trend right and relevant to you?
- Did you understand the trend fully?
- Can you give it your original touch to make people talk?
Here’s an example of trend jacking done right.
Who can forget the storming Area 51 incident? Well here’s Bud Light’s fun take. They even made fun mock-up cans to commemorate that event featuring an alien.
These cans never went into production. But that didn’t stop millions of people from responding or engaging with their posts on social.
To increase your social media engagement, you need to know where you stand. You should also constantly monitor all your efforts to see what’s working and what could be changed.
Use social listening tools or analytics tools to see how your engagement strategy pans out. What steps have you taken to increase management?
Sowndarya Kishore is a Content Marketer at Social Animal. A marketer by day and a reader by night, she loves to discuss herself in the third person. Get in touch with her at email@example.com.