Guest post by Elmira Assiyeva.
Social media has transformed the way people interact with each other and how businesses market their offerings. But sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating to craft perfect social media posts, and schedule them at the optimal times, yet still get no likes, comments, pins, retweets, or shares on them.
So, how do you get your audience to comment on your social media posts? How do you earn those retweets and shares? How do you spark your social media engagement?
It may feel as though there is some sort of hidden strategy that enables some people or brands to generate more engagement than you so. But there is a lot you can do to increase your social media engagement. To help you better connect with your audience and improve your social media effectiveness, here are seven ways you can increase social media engagement.
But first, just to clarify our definitions, what exactly is social media engagement?
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement isn’t simply about garnering a few more likes and shares from customers on social media. It is more about building a long-term relationship that requires dedication, willingness to adapt, and the commitment to provide a superior and consistent customer experience over the long term.
Seven Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement
- Go Visual – Use Images & Videos
- Initiate the Conversation with Your Audience
- Hold Contests & Sponsor Giveaways
- Humanize your Brand through Emoticons
- Give a Shout-Out to Clients and Partners
- Monitor both Tagged and Untagged Mentions
- Post Consistently on Social Media Platforms
1. Go Visual – Use Images & Videos
Visual content is crucial for social media engagement. Social media posts with visuals—images, photos, screen shots, infographics, charts, graphs, videos—inspire more engagement than those without pictures. However, not just any visual content will be helpful; it needs to be crafted well.
Each social media platform has different specifications for picture sizes. To assure your images look good—not stretched, distorted, cut-off, or pixelated—make use of one of several social media image size guides.
Other than images, what else helps increase engagement on social media?
Ask Specific and Pointed Questions: To pique your followers’ curiosity and get people talking on social media, ask questions. Mix open-ended questions with simple “yes” / “no” queries. These work best for generating click-throughs. For instance, are you wasting your time on social media?
Run a survey or poll: Another good way to create engaging social media posts is using polls or surveys. Not only do the result from polls give you data about your customer’s pain points and issues, but they also give your audience a chance to feel heard. Social media polls and surveys are the simple tools for quickly obtaining customer feedback. For example, Walmart is constantly utilizing surveys and polls to learn about their social media followers.
Use relevant hashtags : Social media posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without. Hashtags help people to locate your content. Just be careful not to go overboard and over-use them; three hashtags is generally plenty for any post.
hashtags = increased engagement.
hashtags = gaining potential clients.
While these techniques can help, none of them assure engagement. You still have to offer value to your audience! It doesn’t look great to ask a question that no one answers or have a survey that scarcely anyone responded to.
2. Initiate the Conversation with Your Audience
One of the fastest ways to spark engagement on social media is to jump right in and start a conversation. It may not be as hard as you think! Talking to your audience on social media is much the same as talking to them in person.
Here are four ways you can break the ice and start the engaging conversations with your audience on social platforms:
– Begin discussions on recent industry news.
– Ask conversation starter questions from your audience.
– Kick off a conversation by starting a debate (be careful with emotionally-charged topics though).
– Humanize your brand and increase engagement by thanking people for following.
For example, here’s one way Netflix initiated a conversation with its fans that span different parts of the world.
3. Hold Contests & Sponsor Giveaways
Running a social media contest that gets users engaging with your brand is a great way to raise brand awareness and attract new customers while retaining the old ones.
There are different types of contests you can host, from primary sweepstakes to trivia questions to competitions based on creativity. Facebook and Instagram are two social media channels that are excellent for contests.
Holding contest and giveaways can be effective and popular, particularly for retail or hospitality marketers looking for ways to use social media for your small business. Holding regular contests and giveaways can help keep your audience hooked.
Here are a few essential points to know before you start holding a contest:
Free giveaways motivate everyone. Ask people to tweet with a specific hashtag, like or share your content, or become a follower for a chance to win a gift. That gift could be a freebie, discount code or perhaps a promotionally priced membership.
Make your contest as fair as possible and give all users an equal chance of being picked for the prize when choosing a winner. To ensure a fair contest, make use of a random selection tool.
Be clear about your goals and precisely how you want your audience to participate for the best outcome. Before you launch your contest, define easy, simple rules.
For instance, style and health expert Biancajade launched a campaign that gave away a hair color kit with the goal of expanding the reach of her post by getting people tagged in it (and she succeeded in that).
4. Humanize your Brand through Emoticons
Using emoticons is a fun way to get your audience to engage with your posts. They identify not only things and activities but also emotions, making it easier for followers to understand brand messages.
Emojis in tweets can increase engagement by 25.4 percent, and emojis in a Facebook post can boost the number of likes by 57 percent, and comments and shares by 33 percent.
However, make sure you use them well. A few emojis per post will suffice for most brands. Including an excessive number of emojis makes your social media posts complicated and hard to read (and a little desperate). Use them sparingly and ensure they fit your brand.
For instance, Domino’s Pizza is brilliantly utilizing emojis. This is helpful for showing clients what each post is about in a quick, visual manner.
5. Give a Shout-Out to Clients and Partners
Expressing gratitude toward your fans, partners, and customers publicly on social media sites is an excellent way to show them you appreciate them.
Most consumers value being recognized by the brands they follow online, and chances are they’ll share your post or retweet it to their networks, creating online word of mouth that can increase your reach and enhance your engagement.
6. Monitor both Tagged and Untagged Brand Mentions
Consumers and business buyers won’t always use an @ sign when mentioning your company or product on social media, so monitoring only tagged brand mentions means you’ll miss out on a lot of conversations. For example, this is an untagged mention of Domino’s Pizza.
Responding to untagged mentions like this helps increase your social media reach and visibility, and can lead to greater sharing as well. This is where social media listening comes in. Using a sophisticated too helps you discover and respond to more of the people talking about your brand on social media.
7. Post Consistently on Social Media Platforms
One last tactic to bolster your social media engagement is to stay active and post consistently.
Keep in mind that social media moves fast! The constant stream of tweets, posts, and updates reduce the chances your content will be seen or interacted with.
People will engage more with you and will remember you if they see you consistently in their social media feeds.
Thus, it’s vital to post frequently on a regular basis. This won’t only help maintain your following but also increase your fan base and expand engagement with your posts.
Earning social media engagement isn’t rocket science, nor there is some secret recipe behind it. The keys are to design engaging content, stay consistent, and make it easy for your customers to engage.
What do you think? Do you have examples of social media posts you have created that used these tactics? I hope you find these social media engagement tips useful. Please share your experience and recommendations in the comment section below.
Elmira Assiyeva is a content developer at Statusbrew. She’s fascinated by storytelling, entrepreneurship, and travel, and loves to write about social media and digital marketing strategies.