You may have heard over and over again from multiple sources how important it is to engage your audience. But even though you’ve been following social media best practices and sharing high-quality content regularly, you still don’t see the kind of engagement that delivers measurable results. That’s understandable because driving social engagement is easier said than done.
In this post, you’ll discover some of the most crucial steps that will help you boost your social engagement so you can get more out of your social media marketing efforts. Let’s dive in.
What is social engagement and why is it important?
Before you can start boosting your social engagement, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what exactly it is that you’re planning to increase and why everyone’s making such a big deal of it. In other words, you need to understand the social media metrics that count for engagement and how they factor into your overall performance.
Simply put, social engagement refers to all the ways people interact with your brand’s social media account. So it includes metrics such as:
Social engagement matters because it makes all the difference between someone just seeing your post and someone actually paying attention to what you have to say. It’s the metric that tells you how your social media efforts start translating into quantifiable results.
So it paves the way for other performance metrics such as lead generation and conversions. Unless you can engage your social media audience, you won’t be able to turn them into leads or get them to buy your products or services. This makes it crucial to focus your efforts on increasing your social engagement first so that you can see positive results on a larger scale.
6 tips to increase social engagement
Now that you understand which metrics fall under social engagement and why they’re so important, let’s find out how you can improve those metrics.
1: Know what makes your audience tick
The first rule of boosting your social engagement is to study and understand your audience. The main idea behind this rule is that in order to engage a certain group of people, you have to know what that group wants to engage with.
Find out your audience’s needs, interests, and pain points so you can craft content and messaging that appeals to them. Take a look at the type of content, topics, and posts they engage with the most and use that to shape the future of your social strategy.
For example, maybe you’ve noticed that you get a ton of people engaging with your brand when you go live on Facebook. In this case, you might want to consider using more live videos in your Facebook marketing strategy.
Additionally, you could find out on which channels and at what time your audience is most likely to engage and then develop a publishing schedule accordingly. The customized analytics tool from Rebrandly will let you view which social channels drive the most traffic and at what time your audience is most likely to click on your links.
2: Let visuals do the talking
When it comes to social media, visual content plays first fiddle. Whenever you scroll through your feed, you might’ve noticed that images and videos tend to catch the eye more easily than text-based posts. And when your attention falls on something, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll engage with it. So if you want to drive more social engagement, you need to focus on creating more visuals.
Try to share more photos and videos relevant to your products and company. Take a look of one of our videos about our mission: help companies to do better branding:
Or you could share a brief video showcasing your production process or you could share a photo of your employees working behind the scenes.
Even when you need to share text-based information such as fun facts, announcements, and news, you could turn them into original graphics instead.
At Rebrandly, we not only include relevant images or thumbnails when we share links on social media, we also create original graphics to share inspirational quotes. And we make sure to include the Rebrandly logo so that even if someone shares the post, our brand continues to get some visibility.
3: Create more engagement opportunities
If you want your audience to engage with you, you have to create more opportunities for them to do just that. This means instead of waiting for those engagements to pour in on their own, invite and encourage them. For example, instead of just sharing a blog post, use the caption to ask your followers what they think of the post or whether they have any additional comments.
Similarly, you can ask questions or encourage some sort of engagement such as likes and shares. For example, try encouraging your followers to “retweet if you agree.” This type of encouragement works best if your followers can get something in return. So it’s a great option when you’re running a social media contest or giveaway.
You could even create a poll asking people to share their opinions on something in the form of votes. While the poll could be about something serious, you can even create one just for fun. For example, even just a poll asking people to choose their favourite mid-work snack could make a huge impact on how your followers engage with your brand’s social.
See the following poll where LinkedIn asks people about how they’re taking time for themselves, for instance.
4: Acknowledge your audience
It’s not just in terms of sales and conversions that reciprocity influences consumer behaviour, but also when it comes to engagement. To build a highly-engaged community on social media, your brand needs to actively engage with its followers so that they feel more compelled to return the favour and engage with you.
This makes it crucial to acknowledge your audience as much as possible. Respond to their comments, reshare posts where they mention your brand, answer their questions, comment on posts where they rave about your products, and more. You could even respond to posts that negatively mention your brand in an attempt to turn the tide and convert them into happy customers.
The best part about this is that your acknowledgment won’t go unnoticed even to those who weren’t directly engaging with your brand before. So they might feel more inclined to engage with you later on.
Netflix is exemplary when it comes to this, with the company’s social media team regularly responding to customer posts and comments. They even retweet posts that talk about shows airing on the platform. This not only drives conversation around the platform and its content but also gives users some acknowledgment.
5: Reward your loyal customers/fans
You could go one step farther from acknowledging your audience to giving them actual rewards for their loyalty. Some brands may give out weekly or monthly rewards to their top fans and customers, but this isn’t always viable if you’re on a limited budget. But perhaps a discount coupon might be enough to sweeten the deal.
You could also reward your loyal customers and fans by giving them a shoutout and letting them know how much you appreciate them. Try reposting their photos and videos or sharing their stories, for example. Keep things more interesting and organized by doing a “weekly fan spotlight” instead of giving a shoutout whenever you feel like.
This type of fan acknowledgment could be great for building and strengthening your brand’s social media community, which can lead to better engagement in the future. For example, Adobe regularly shares creations from platform users. This not only helps them shine a spotlight on their customers but also showcases the platform’s potential, so it’s a win-win.
6: Participate in trending conversations
Finally, don’t forget that there are engagement opportunities even outside of your current followership. While it’s great to engage your existing followers, you should also work towards engaging people who aren’t following you on social media yet. This is a great way to expand your reach, grow your audience, and eventually strengthen your community.
One of the best ways to do this is by participating in relevant conversations that are trending in your industry. Look for trending hashtags and follow the conversations around them to see if you can contribute anything. You might want to look for a related post from a highly influential brand or individual and share your opinion in the comments.
Some businesses could even tag an influential person or company and ask them a relevant question regarding a trending topic or current event. For example, see how Twinkl Scotland tweeted to Neil Gaiman seeking permission for a teacher to read one of his books to students during school closures.
If you’re going to do this, however, make sure you choose an account that regularly responds to fans. This means there’s a better chance of getting a response from them. Plus, they’re likely to have a highly-engaged community, so there’s an even better chance of driving engagement for your brand through this community.
We’ve covered most of the essentials that will help you boost your social engagement, but keep in mind that the job doesn’t end here. You’ll need regular monitoring to ensure that your efforts are paying off and discover more opportunities to fine-tune your approach. You should regularly keep track of your post performance to see what works and what doesn’t and then make adjustments to your strategy accordingly.
In case you have any questions about the tips provided here, let us know in the comments.
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- Social engagement
- Social media engagement guide
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- B2C Social media marketing