This article has been contributed by Jack Paxton.
Social media engagement is the new currency for business success.
Brands that are looking to perform well on social media measure their performance on the amount of engagement they receive on their social media accounts.
The more engaged you are with your audience, the more opportunities will arise for your brand. Opportunities like lead generation, remarketing and customer service.
That being said, increased social media engagement is difficult to achieve. It requires a plan and time to perfect.
Lucky for you, this post has a plan (or two) for you. Also, by following the tips in this post, you might even be able to save yourself a bunch of time!
But first, let’s look into what exactly social media engagement is.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
Social networks are designed to allow users to upload content for other users to view.
Social media users can interact with that content by liking, commenting or sharing. This type of interaction can be defined as social media engagement.
The most common forms of social media engagement are:
- Link/media click throughs
Social media engagement is a common metric for measuring the performance of a brand on social media.
So, a brand that performs well on social media will have high engagement on their posts. This means more likes, comments and shares than brands that don’t perform well.
However, high social media engagement does not translate directly into more sales. It’s better used at the top of the funnel to boost awareness and interest rather than at the conversion end of the funnel.
The bottom line is that engagement is key when establishing a connection with people on social media.
Why is Social Media Engagement Important?
Social networks are packed with billions of users worldwide. This is an opportunity for brands to easily interact (engage) with people.
The more your brand and social media users engage with each other, the better your chances are of finding new opportunities.
Some of those opportunities are:
- New leads – Social media is particularly effective in promoting awareness and creating interest in your brand. Posts with high engagement and shares are more discoverable by a wider audience on social networks. This opens the door to new leads for your business.
- Retargeting – Engaging with old customers or online visitors on social media is an ideal way of bringing them back to your brand.
- Customer service and support – Your brand can deliver additional service and support efficiently by replying to comments on your posts.
By engaging with customers, leads and other users on social media, your brand can gain the trust of these users. Trust is crucial in business today, especially in a highly competitive market.
How to Increase Social Media Engagement
We’ve listed some of the most common and effective methods of increasing your social media engagement below.
There’s plenty of research and planning involved, which is necessary. Take your time to understand these tips and keep practicing them until you get it right.
1. Know Your Audience
All too often do brands produce exceptional content, only to receive a mild to mediocre response on social media. Why? What went wrong?
The common answer is that these brands didn’t know their audience.
These brands posted content that they thought was cool, but it actually was lame in the eyes of the target audience.
Research your audience and find out what are their interests (or what influences them). Then post content relevant to that interest.
For example, a target audience that likes Game of Thrones might not necessarily be completely interested in the Sci-Fi Fantasy Genre.
So, posting Star Wars memes may not do it for this crowd. Do a bit more digging to find out more about your audience.
2. Post Content that is Valuable to Your Audience
By knowing your audience, you can deliver valuable content that’s tailored to them.
People jump onto social media to get their daily fix. That daily fix is content that they appreciate.
And when a person appreciates a piece of content, it will make them care enough to like, comment and share that content.
Image source: AirBnB Instagram
AirBnB has an excellent content strategy that’s a perfect example of delivering valuable content.
Each picture tells a story of a perfect getaway. And let’s face it, the perfect getaway is a dream we all have.
So coming across this content on Instagram will remind us of our dreams (#Goals). People love to dream, which is why this content is valuable.
Now, how do you make this dream of the perfect getaway a reality? Easy, you book that spot with AirBnB!
Do you see how smart AirBnB is with their valuable content?
3. Stay on Topic
OK, now you know your audience’s interests and you have mastered the ability to produce valuable content. Will this be enough to increase engagement?
Of course, it will! However, social media is fast-paced and it’s filled with users that have short attention spans.
In other words, your content might be the cream of the crop today, but that same content will be ‘boring’ in weeks to come.
A great way to keep things interesting is to add some variety to your content.
Look into topics that are currently trending and see if you can become a part of that conversation.
The ‘Tiger King’ documentary went viral because of its outlandish characters and storyline. It paved the way for an unlimited number of memes, and is considered the savior of 2020.
HotSince82 (Daley Padley) chose to be a part of the conversation by including himself in one of the most meme-able pictures of the year.
4. Social Media Contests
Social media contests are among the most viral types of content out there.
If a person stumbles onto a contest post with a prize that interests them, then they will certainly want to engage with that post.
You can take engagement further by allowing contestants to submit entries in the comments section of your contest post.
This way, every entry will be considered as engagement on the post.
Photo editing software brand, Topaz Labs, hosted a social media contest with impressive results.
They increased their social media followers and acquired new email leads. Topaz Labs also used their contest as an opportunity to boost social media engagement.
Contestants were given an incentive to engage with Topaz Labs’ Facebook posts (more on this below). As a result, they were able to drastically boost social media engagement within a short period.
This is just one example of why social media contests (or giveaways) are such a powerful tool for increasing social media engagement.
Examples of Excellent Social Media Engagement
Apple – Promote UGC with Hashtags
Apple has a brilliant initiative called “Shot on iPhone.” They hosted many campaigns that encouraged users to take high quality artistic photos using an iPhone.
Now, Apple constantly promotes the #ShotoniPhone initiative by including it on their Instagram profile description.
Image source: Apple Instagram
#ShotoniPhone is an extremely popular hashtag that Apple continues to support. It’s a massive hashtag that’s filled with user-generated content related to the brand.
Dbrand – The Right Attitude
Mobile skin manufacturer, Dbrand, is famously known for their quirky attitude and dark humor.
They create funny posts that are centred around their products. Their humor is a bit unusual, but in line with their personality.
Image source: Dbrand Twitter
They also maintain (or develop) their online persona by consistently replying to the comments on their posts.
Responding to comments is crucial to social media engagement. Not only do your comments add to the engagement on the post, but they also keep the conversation going.
Dove – Selfie Contest
Beauty bar manufacturer, Dove, used a social media contest to increase engagement on a post.
Users were required to submit a selfie of themselves (holding a bar of Dove soap) in the comments section of the contest post.
Image source: Dove Facebook
As a result, the post received close to 10k likes and just over 600 comments!
McDonald’s – Uses Polls to Increase Engagement
McDonald’s is one of many brands that use polls to increase engagement on their posts.
In the post below, they asked a simple question, “what would your go-to flavor be?” They then gave users four options to choose from.
Image source: McDonald’s Twitter
Polls are presented well on social media, which is why they receive plenty of engagement from users. You only get to see the results of a poll after you have taken part in it.
This intrigue is part of the reason that users are quick to engage in social media polls.
Increasing Engagement with a Social Media Contest
A social media contest is probably the quickest way to increase social media engagement. Social media users will immediately like, comment and share a contest post that has a great prize on offer.
If you host photo contests, like a selfie contest or cutest dog photo contest, then you can expect to double down on engagement.
How? User-generated content (UGC). Contestants that download and upload media to your contest post will also be adding to the engagement on that post.
Now, It’s also possible to increase social media engagement even further with a contest by using ‘bonus actions.’
With bonus actions, you can allow contestants to complete additional tasks to earn points. The points they earn can be used to unlock prizes or discounts.
A bonus action such as “Comment & share this post” (pictured above) will let contestants engage with your social media post to earn points.
This strategy is ideal for further encouraging social media engagement with a contest.
Social Media Engagement FAQ
Q – Does an increase in social media engagement mean a direct increase in revenue?
A – No. Social media engagement is the metric of determining the number of interactions that social media users have with a brand. Brands can choose to use these interactions to generate leads or provide service. Because of this, social media engagement is not directly related to revenue. It can, however, indirectly lead to increased revenue downstream.
Q – Is social media engagement compulsory for all companies?
A – Engaging with customers on social media has proven to be far more efficient than traditional methods. You can find new customers or retarget old ones, simply by engaging with them on social media.
Q – What is the quickest way to increase social media engagement?
A – By hosting a giveaway or contest. These viral campaigns can be hosted over the course of a week or two and can potentially generate massive amounts of social media engagement.
Social media engagement is crucial for brands looking to develop a closer relationship with its target audience. It’s even more crucial for brands that are in a highly competitive market, with customer service being the main differentiator.
Consistently keeping your followers engaged with your brand can generate new leads and opportunities to bring back old customers.
Increasing social media engagement does take time and effort. However, you can speed things up with a social media contest or giveaway.
How important is social media engagement to you? Do you have any strategies of your own that have worked in the past?
Let us know in the comments below.