On the surface social media sounds simple. Post. Post. Post. However, as many know, it is anything but simple. Getting your followers engaged in your content & brand is the hard part. We’ve all had that moment (or is it just me?!) where you put a lot of thought and are so proud of your post, then you send it out to your followers and…*crickets*. It’s no fun. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 5 social media tactics you can utilize to increase your social media engagement, create buzz for your brand, and kiss those crickets goodbye!
Before we go into said tactics, let’s first start with the basics: When and Where.
When & Where
A simple way to increase social media engagement is to post at the best possible time on the best possible site. You still need to make a good post, but the right time and place can get more eyes on your content. Now this can get a little complicated, because the best time varies depending on your audience. For example- for B2B, you typically want to post within the M-F 9-5 timeline, and even then fridays, early mornings, and late evenings you typically avoid (with a few exceptions- looking at you instagram…).
For this article, we will be focusing specifically on B2C- where posting times have a little more flexibility. For example, Fridays and weekends are among the best times to post to get the most impressions from consumers.
Did you know not every post needs to be on every social media site? Yes, there will be times where you can, or in some places should, post the same thing on every site, and that’s totally fine! But if every single social media space you have is the exact same, what incentive do fans have for following you on more than one?
Before you freak, I’m not saying you have to curate 2, 3,…5, or more completely unique social feeds for all your different social media platforms. As long as you provide site specific content every once in awhile, you will see results. The good thing about social media is that you can get as crazy as you want with it. Just be sure that everything falls within your brand.
Check out our breakdown of the whens and wheres for the following social media platforms:
INSTAGRAM TIP: If you go to your brand instagram account you can see the highest engagement times for your specific audience.
Go to Insights > Audience and scroll down to Followers
ASK A QUESTION ABOUT:
- your brand
- a product
- an event
- a national calendar day
- a holiday
Thankfully, a lot of social media sites have already created tools for you to ask questions easily. You can create polls on both facebook and twitter, and you can also make a poll via instagram stories.
However, don’t feel obligated to use only polls. With a poll, followers are given curated answers- which may not always be what you are going for. Sometimes it’s nice to get an organic conversation going in the comments or replies.
If you don’t want to wait for your consumers to engage with your brand on social media, don’t be afraid to make the first move and comment or reply to a followers post. Brands small and large can benefit from conversing with followers this way. Be sure to reply to post topics that relate to your brand or image. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even reply to posts that mention competitors! Conversing with your followers is great way to give your brand a humanistic image consumers can relate to on an emotional level, which has been proven to increase customer loyalty.
2. Get Creative
Yes, this is a broad category. There are so many ways to be creative on social media. And we can’t possibly talk about them all here. But don’t worry, we will break down the top three categories you can get creative with to increase your brand’s social media engagement.
First up: Copy
You have to make your copy interesting! If you don’t have time for much else- work on this! People get bored SO easily, it’s crucial to make sure your copy grabs their attention. Be personable, funny, and/or honest. It all comes back to presenting your brand in a way that consumers can relate to.
SOCIAL MEDIA COPY TIPS:
- Write like you would talk (AKA don’t be a robot!)
- Stick to your brand personality
- Stay on trend
- Don’t spam promote products
(BUT include a call-to-action when you DO)
The biggest change to social media since the very beginning? There. Are. So. Many. Visuals. When you look at your facebook or twitter feed now, there is imagery everywhere- photos, videos, or sometimes gifs. And obviously with instagram, it’s 100% photos & videos. This gives brands freedom to be creative- which can be a double-edged sword. With so many possibilities it can be hard to make a choice.
What we know is that posts with images have 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts, and people are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video. As long as your imagery (be it photo or video) relates to your brand message and post topic, you’re on the right path. The next step is to make sure your photo will stand out amongst the crowd. With a wall of imagery bombarding your followers at all times, it can be easy for your content to get lost. Check out our list of great tools (free and paid) that can help boost your imagery for your next post:
BEST TOOLS FOR FINDING & EDITING PHOTOS:
Best Stock Photo Resources
Best Photo Editing Software
Photoshop Express [FREE]
Adobe Photoshop [$34/mo]
Adobe Lightroom Classic [$34/mo]
Exposure X4 [$119]
And lastly (but not least-ly): Hashtags
Every social media site uses hashtags in some form. For twitter and instagram it can be especially beneficial. Do hashtag research and make sure you are getting your content to the right audience. Don’t be afraid to pile on the hashtags (especially on insta), the more paths for people to see your post the more engagement you’re likely to get.
There is a balance with hashtags, similar to keywords. You don’t want to use too many high competition hashtags (tags with millions of posts or more), because the likelihood of your post being seen is low. For the best engagement, hashtags with around 500,000 posts, or slightly less, are you’re sweet spot. You still have a good amount of people using the hashtag so it’s not a graveyard, but it isn’t so large that your post gets lost.
3. Incentivize (sweepstakes and contests)
Looking for a fun and exciting way to increase engagement? Gamifications your gal (trust us on this one). Gamification is the application of game elements to other areas, such as social media, to encourage engagement with a product or service. There are two applicable forms of gamification within social media: a sweepstakes (or giveaway), and a contest.
A social media sweepstakes is one of the fastest ways to cultivate major engagement with your brand. People love to win, and social media sweepstakes are especially popular because they usually have a low barrier to entry. You can tie entries to follows, comments, shares, hashtags, etc. You can even have followers tag a friend in order to enter. With each entry your sweepstakes will reach a new audience and you’re more likely to get valuable followers. In addition, you can incorporate paid advertisements (or PPC) to reach an even larger audience.
A contest is another way to increase social media engagement. Unlike a sweepstakes, contests require an element of skill. Because contests require more effort for an entry vs a sweepstakes, this sometimes translates to less immediate engagement. However, contest can still generate meaningful engagement and should not be dismissed. There are many types of contests, but the most successful for social media are photos and videos. As we mentioned above, social media has become a visual space on all platforms. By having your followers upload a photo or video, that means all their followers will be more likely to see their post and engage with your brand in some way.
P.S. Make sure you understand all the legalities behind a sweepstakes or contest before getting started. Or get in touch with our experts and we’ll do the hard work for you, from strategy to execution to analysis.
4. Promote Offers
If Extreme Couponing has taught us anything, it’s that people will go to great lengths to save a buck. If the TLC series doesn’t have you convinced, maybe this will:
By posting offers such as coupons or discounts, you can increase your brand’s social media engagement and promote a product or service at the same time. This can also be a great way to promote your loyalty or rewards program if you have one. By creating a landing page specific to your social post, you can easily track the success of your offer from start to finish. If you want to make sure you get the most out of your offer, this would be another great time to use paid advertisements. Facebook even has specific offer ads.
Influencer marketing has become a fairly lucrative market. If you’re looking to increase social media engagement, why not work with someone who already has a large engaged following. Every industry has influencers- yes even B2B!
There are influencers on every social platform, but you might find some or worth investing in more than others. Check this out:
Brands everywhere are starting to realize influencer marketing can have an astounding positive impact. Be sure to partner with an influencer who aligns with your brands industry and purpose. Also, remember that negative actions made by influencers you’ve worked with can reflect poorly on your brand.
Social media doesn’t need to be complicated. Now that you are armed with the tools you need to succeed, I hope these five tactics have inspired you to create engaging content for your followers.