Summary - Sometimes you have to get back to basics to drive the best results. Here are 10 tips to help you increase your social media engagements across any platform.
The popularity of social media has risen astronomically over the past few years. Now users are no longer spending a few minutes perusing the internet each day—instead, it’s become an active part of their daily routine. A way to connect and communicate with both friends and strangers alike - and thanks to smartphones, people are more connected than ever before.
But as a result of that popularity, millions of people are online at the same time, which is a blessing and a curse for marketers. A blessing because the market has already congregated in one spot which makes it easier to tap into, and a curse because it makes it increasingly difficult to stand out amongst the noise.
As a result of this fast pace, what works in social media marketing one week may not necessarily work the next. Which means that many of the social media best practices you saw in 2017 or 2018, won’t be valid today.
Heck, some of the social media marketing tips from the beginning of this year will no longer be valid!
So, how do you determine which tips are worth following when creating social media content? Well, it all depends upon what your social media marketing goals are.
But if you’re looking for tips to increase social media engagement, well then you’ve come to the right place!
To put it shortly, or in case you want to jump to a specific tip in this blog, the 10 essential tips to increase social engagement are:
Let’s delve in, shall we?
#1: Go Niche
As 2019 continues, more and more brands are verging off-topic when it comes to social media marketing. Clothing brands tweet about TV programmes, food and beverage brands comment on the clothing industry and so on and so forth. As a result, their marketing messaging gets diluted against their desire to be relevant.
This can be a good tactic for short-term engagement, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and in the long term it can leave consumers feeling confused about what a brand is trying to say.
Which is why, if you’re looking for tips to increase social media engagement, going niche and creating content that helps establish your brand as the ‘go-to’ place for information on that subject (whether memes, business advice, recipes, or holiday inspiration) can help you avoid short-term clickbait and focus on developing a solid strategy which provides real value to your audience.
#2: Be Useful
Creating content that helps your audience doesn’t just mean answering their questions when they arise. It means providing solutions before people need to use them.
There are many different ways you can implement this, and the style of useful content you create will depend upon the product or service it is that you’re selling. But content examples include:
- Useful tips or hacks
- Live sessions
- Behind-the-scenes previews
- Unique ways you can use a product/service
- Q&A sessions
- Product inspiration
- Results from previous users of the product/service
Providing information that your audience can use will help to establish your brand as an authority on the subject and, because you’ll be posting relevant content, it will also help ensure that your customers are interested in what you’re saying—which helps to develop more social media interaction.
#3: Review Your Insights
Ensuring your staff knows how to communicate with customers and interpret analytical data, is more important than you may think.
If you don’t take the time to know what’s working, and what isn’t—you could end up focusing your energy and resources in the wrong areas.
Especially when it comes to your audience.
Many brands assume that they know who their audience is, but people are complex, and as a result, audiences are too. Which means large percentages of people who were once the epitome of the ‘ideal customer persona’ that was drawn up, may now fall outside of it.
By taking the time to regularly review your data, looking into more than just social media reach, you can see which segments of your market have evolved, and adapt your marketing methods or content approach to the type they respond to best.
Which means that when you plan future content, you’ll be able to segment your audience further and communicate with people in a way they’ll engage with and respond to.
#4: Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
There will always be methods that are tried, tested and results still hold true. But in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, things become outdated quickly and businesses cannot afford to become stale.
Which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.
Implementing different tips to increase social media engagement doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether it’s by hosting a live discussion on Instagram or inviting an audience member to get involved behind the scenes, there are multiple ways to experiment and try something new, whilst still increasing customer engagement.
Just ensure that you never try to shoehorn your business onto a trend simply because it’s popular. Always follow tip #1 and ensure your marketing messages are relevant.
#5: Utilise All Of Social Media’s Features
Social media is rapidly changing in terms of the offerings they provide.
Take Instagram for example.
What used to be a platform for simply sharing pictures, has become a platform where you can share stories, post videos, upload images, or present galleries.
But even more than just the platform evolution, it’s become an app focused on customer engagement. Instagram now includes everything from chat functions, stickers, polls, questionnaires, live capabilities, countdown clocks—and the most recent update includes a shopping integration.
There is no shortage of ways to get your audience active and engaged with the content you’re producing, especially with the innovations social platforms are releasing. So follow tip number #4 and experiment a little!
#6: Set SMART Goals
While there’s no doubt about the benefits of having a social media presence can have, there’s no point posting on social media “just because”.
You should be posting on social media with a purpose.
Whether it’s because you’re planning to open up new communication channels, increase conversions, or drive traffic—it’s important that you set goals, and that they’re SMART.
Afterall, if your goals are not specific, measurable, actionable, realistic or time-bound, how will you ever know if they have provided a benefit to your business?
#7: Make Your Content Accessible
This is perhaps the most important tip of all because accessibility is so important. Not just in terms of getting a brand seen, but in terms of making people feel valued.
If you’re not sure on how to implement changes, here are a few tips:
- Provide subtitles for your videos
- Provide audio descriptions as well as visual ones
- Caption your stories on social media
- Provide alt text on the images you upload
#8: Start a Discussion
You know what they say; opinions are like… belly buttons (what were you thinking of? 😉 ) in the sense that everybody has one.
So give the people a chance to share them (the opinions that is!) by getting your audience involved. There are multiple ways you can implement this on social media, including:
- Casting a poll
- Hosting competitions
- Creating Q&A sessions
- Publishing an interview
- Asking for feedback
- Sharing other people’s content (such as relevant blog posts or images that they have created with your product)
No matter which method you opt for, giving your audience a chance to converse will never fail. Because it creates an opportunity to communicate and get direct feedback from those who use, or are interested in, your business.
#9: Optimize Your Posting Times
We know, we know. This particular tip is pretty self-explanatory. Or is it?
Delve into any analytics data from your social media channels and they’ll probably tell you that your audience is most active in the morning, on their lunch break, and in the evenings.
Groundbreaking stuff, eh?
But this information alone isn’t enough, because the time durations are too wide.
Because while you think it’s smart to post at 7 am on a Tuesday—there are probably 100 other brands who think the same, which means your content can easily get lost!
So, be sure to regularly experiment with social media posting times to ensure you find the time, and time zone, that works best for your business and audience.
After all, the secret to success could be at 7:07 am on a Tuesday, but until you try, you’ll never know!
#10: Invest in Your Social Media Strategy
Social media managers are more than just content creators — they’re community managers and data analysts.
So when it comes to your social media channels, it’s important to invest in the team who will be managing your strategy.
After all, social media isn’t just something you can whip up, post, and forget about.
Creating a successful social presence takes time, thought, and energy to ensure that you’re successful in reaching the goals you set out to achieve—and it can often take a team to get you there.
One of the best ways to achieve those goals is to know when, and how, you need to invest in your team.
The best way to do that will be different for every business. But whether it’s hiring somebody who knows the industry, providing new equipment and training courses, or obtaining knowledge by reading authority blogs for inspiration, it’s important that your team has access to the resources they need.
Every tip mentioned above can essentially be cut down into bite-sized pieces, making them much easier to remember in the long term and even incorporate into a social strategy doc. So, without further-ado, here are the copy-paste optimized summaries of the 10 tips to increase social media engagement:
- Go Niche
Avoid confusion and dilution by talking about multiple unrelated topics. Create and share content that helps establish your brand as the ‘go-to’ place for information on your specific focus.
- Be Useful
Provide information that users will find interesting and helpful.
- Review Your Insights
People, and thus audiences, change. Regularly review your target persona and ensure your team knows how to interpret analytical data to see which segments of your market have evolved.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
The world of digital marketing is rapidly changing, what worked one day may not work the next. Or, what didn’t work one day may work tomorrow! Experiment with new tips as they come along.
- Utilise All of Social Media’s Features
With the new capabilities and features social platforms are releasing, there are tons of emerging ways to get your audience to interact with your content.
- Set SMART Goals
You should be posting on social media with a purpose. Align your social strategy with specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound goals.
- Make Your Content Accessible
Making people feel valued is a huge way to boost your social reputation and engagement. Providing subtitles, audio descriptions, captions for stories, and alt text for images all help to make your content digestible for a wider range of audiences.
- Start a Discussion
People like to share their opinion. Get your audience involved with polls, Q&A sessions, competitions, interviews, asking for feedback, and sharing other people’s content on your feed.
- Optimize Your Posting Times
You may think it’s smart to post at X time on X day, but there are probably 100 other brands who think the same, which means your content can easily get lost! Regularly experiment with your posting times to find the time period that resonates the most with your target audience.
- Invest in Your Social Media Strategy
Creating a high quality social strategy takes time and effort, be prepared to invest in the team that is managing it and fostering it’s success.
Originally published September 5, 2019, updated Oct, 08 2019