Social media engagement involves any type of interaction between your social media account and an audience. This audience includes your customers, followers, and prospects, but also anyone else who happens to view, comment on, or share your post.
Whenever someone performs any of the following actions, it is considered social media engagement:
- Watches a video
- Clicks on an image
- Follows a link
- Likes a post or comment
- Makes a comment
- Retweets on their own account
- Shares on their own feed or with friends
- Saves or bookmarks
- Follows your business
In other words, your social media accounts are meant to be social and if they are, then you’re doing it right.
Now, if you’re lacking in the social arena, don’t give up. There are plenty of easier-than-you-think ideas to gear up your engagement metric.
So let’s discuss five of the best ways to get you trending!
1- Be Authentic and Natural
While an occasional surprise is welcome, you’ll typically want to maintain a consistent, authentic, and natural voice on your social media accounts. Doing so establishes who you are and what you stand for in the world. Clearly articulate (this means EDIT) every word to minimize confusion and maximize impact.
Above all, be kind. In times past, it was considered that even bad publicity was good publicity. Being controversial was often applauded. Thank goodness that mantra is shifting to one of sharing love and inclusivity instead. Humans have to endure enough hate already—we don’t need more of it circulating around. So be nice!
2- Produce High-Quality Picture and Video Content
It can not be stated enough—including images and videos into your posts is of utmost importance for engaging an audience. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? But don’t think that you can get away with using low-quality media. People have been treated to visually stunning pictures and high-def movies for many years now. Publish anything less and your credibility will be questioned.
As for the content on your images and videos, the options are as many as you can imagine:
- Your brand ambassadors:
- Current customers
- Features of your products
- Benefits of your services
- How-to guides
One option is to go live. Engaging fans on a real-time basis by live streaming an important celebration or event (or just on a regular basis) can bring in great results.
A few perfect opportunities for this type of media engagement include:
- Product launch
- Milestone celebration
- Industry announcement
- Sporting event
- Weekly brainstorming session
- Giveaway contest results
Another effective strategy is to ask your audience to share (and tag!) their own images and videos.
3- Create Unique Hashtags and Utilize Trending Ones
#Hashtags, a combination of letters and numbers that categorize content and make it more discoverable, make it possible for anyone who clicks on it (or searches for it) to see a page with every other post that has the same #hashtag.
One way to stay relevant is by continually creating unique hashtags and jumping on the train of trending ones. Look to the seasons and the news cycle for guidance, and proactively direct your messages at other popular online topics.
However, don’t assume that just simply adding a hashtag to the end of your post will be enough to get it to trend. Also, using irrelevant hashtags or the same long list of hashtags on every post is a bad idea.
Here are some quick tips for hashtag success:
- Include hashtags to your bio.
- Add <30 hashtags per post or <10 per story (but put them in a caption or comment).
- Insert emojis.
- Tag more specifically (for example, a relevant location).
- Use hashtags that industry influencers are using.
- Experiment with a combination of niche and trending tags to find a sweet spot.
- Browse through the hashtag page to ensure the content is applicable and appropriate.
4- Present Polls and Surveys
There are plenty of things to know about your audience that will guide how you conduct your business (products, marketing, service, etc.) and target your desired audience.
Some of the biggies are:
- Age (at least by generation)
- Stage of Life (college students, parents of toddlers, retirees)
- Spending Preferences (income, purchasing patterns)
- Interests (what other businesses do they engage with, what do they do in their free time)
- Location (specific geography, weather, time zone)
Keep in mind that each social network reaches specific demographics so you should post a personalized, dedicated poll or survey on each site.
Once you receive the results from your audience, spend plenty of time immersing yourself in what they are telling you, both through their words as well as their actions (or lack thereof). What do they want and need? What do they enjoy? What are their struggles? How can you be their solution?
5- Act on Feedback
Through surveys and via social media analytics tools (https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/337820/the-best-social-media-management-analytics-tools), you’ll have a lot of data to dissect, interpret, and apply.
People really want to be listened to when they speak so once they do, it’s time to act! Just make sure you post the actions you will be taking and invite your audience to follow along with you on the journey. This is a great way to engage your audience and create loyalty, winning appreciation and applause in the meantime.
The Results When You Improve Your Social Media Engagement
Once you’ve improved your social media engagement strategy, it’s time to relish in the results. Much of the data you’re after can be easily measured using social media analytics tools (https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10694-understanding-social-media-analytics.html):
- Audience Profile
- Audience Size
- Content Analysis
- Competitive Benchmarking
- Community Responsiveness
- Sentiment Analysis
- Reach & Engagement
In the end, what you can expect from implementing the above five strategies is social proof of your business, an ever-expanding market reach, and a boosted brand awareness — which are all priceless results.
Guest article written by: Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer located in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys writing about leadership, HR, and employee engagement. She has most recently worked with DocInfusion. When not writing and educating herself, you can find her hiking the canyons with her dog and friends.