This article has been contributed by Shane Barker.
Over the years, the number of users on social media has skyrocketed. Nearly 4 billion people use it now, which is more than half the world’s population – and it’s only increasing.
That’s the reason why numerous B2B and B2C brands have started actively promoting themselves on various social platforms where their audiences are the most active. Social media helps them reach the right people without a large budget.
While you too may have started to use social media to grow your brand, it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends on each platform to ensure that your strategies are updated.
An important part of this is to optimize your posts to maximize your reach and engagement.
Going into 2021, it’s essential to know how to optimize your posts in the best manner possible. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the top social media optimization activities so you can do just that.
How to Increase Engagement on Social Media – 9 Social Media Optimization Tips
Here are the latest social media content optimization techniques that you can leverage to improve the impact that your content has on social media.
1. Schedule Posts
While you may have created stellar content for social media, you need to ensure that you do so consistently. If you post too frequently, your followers may feel that you’re spamming their feeds and they may choose to ignore you or hide your content.
On the other hand, if you post irregularly and at long intervals, the chances are that your followers may forget your brand.
But manually posting content can be challenging.
That’s why it’s helpful to use social media scheduling tools that can help you post content on various social media platforms at the exact times you want it to be published.
You also don’t need to go to each website or app to publish the posts and it can all be done with a single click.
Doing so can help you maintain a solid presence on the social media feeds of your followers. When they keep engaging with your posts on seeing them, more of your posts will be shown to them, which can further boost your engagement.
2. Use New Formats
Platforms have come up with new social media content formats, like Instagram’s Reels for example, that have instantly become popular among content creators and brands. So, when you’re creating content for social media, make sure that you leverage such new formats to further optimize your campaigns.
And that’s not all…
Even the play rate for Reels is exceptionally high at 40.1%. This shows that not only is Instagram prioritizing Reels but even users are engaging more with them.
Similarly, you could opt for Instagram Live Shopping with which your audience can shop for your products while watching your live video.
So, whenever a new content format is launched, make sure that you try to leverage it as part of your social media optimization plan. This way, you’ll make the most out of the added engagement and reach.
For example, note below how influencers like vistanow have started to use Reels to generate engagement.
3. Leverage Videos
Videos have become immensely popular on social media platforms due to their engaging nature. In fact, about 85% of businesses now use them as a marketing tool.
But what’s driving their popularity?
The growth is primarily driven by social media users as they like to watch videos and are twice as likely to share them than other forms of content.
And that’s not all…
An overwhelming majority (86%) of people even say that they would like to see more branded video content from brands.
This popularity of videos among social media users has prompted platforms to redesign their feeds and content formats. Here’s how each platform has responded to this rise in the popularity of videos:
- Facebook: Launched Facebook Watch and placed it at a prominent spot in the new design. This way, all the videos on Facebook can be seen there.
- Instagram: Launched IGTV for long-form videos, Stories, and Reels for short videos. They even placed Reels at a prominent spot in the new redesign.
- LinkedIn: Incorporated Stories recently
- Twitter: Rolled out Fleets, which are similar to Stories
- TikTok: Platform dedicated to video content
It’s due to all of these factors that one of 2021’s top social media optimization methods is to ensure that videos find a place in your brand’s content strategy.
4. Create Shoppable Posts
One great way of optimizing your social media posts and generating revenue is by creating shoppable posts. While this feature is restricted to Instagram currently, it can play a crucial role in not only helping you drive engagement and reach but also in boosting your revenue and sales.
How is that?
While shoppable posts may look like regular posts on Instagram, you also have the option of tagging your products in them. When that’s done, users can simply tap on the product and checkout directly without having to leave the platform.
And that’s not even the best part…
You can even partner with influencers on Instagram and get them to create shoppable posts with your products. Alternatively, you can provide content to them to share. When their followers see these posts, there’s a good chance that they will check out your products. Many of them may even buy them.
For instance, note how Shop WeWoreWhat uses shoppable posts as one of their social media optimization methods to not only generate engagement but also sales.
5. Use Custom Designs
Visuals have the power to improve your reach and engagement as they can instantly catch the attention of anyone scrolling through your feed. While videos can be a great way of doing so, it helps to leverage images and infographics as well.
While they’re not as dynamic as videos, these designs can contain a lot of information and they can convey the same without the need to read long blocks of text.
So, how can you optimize your images and infographics?
The way ahead is to ensure that you pay attention to their design. Powerful visuals can be instrumental in getting the attention of your audience.
For this, it’s helpful to leverage design tools as they can help you come up with great infographics without much effort and expertise.
6. Leverage Hashtags
Hashtags have a great role to play when it comes to content optimization on social media. While they’re primarily used to club similar content under one roof to aid discovery, you can use them to your advantage.
How is that?
You can incorporate hashtags into your posts so that your posts will show up on the hashtag pages. Those who follow those hashtags will be able to see your posts and this can help you expand your reach and engagement.
And that’s not all…
You could also come up with a branded hashtag that can help you improve your branding on social platforms.
All you have to do is use the branded hashtag in all of your posts and also encourage your followers to use it in theirs. This has two advantages:
- All of your posts will be grouped under that hashtag. This means that anyone who’s following your hashtag will be able to discover your posts. As a result, you’ll benefit from greater visibility.
- When others use your hashtag, it’ll gain more traction and this can further increase the number of people who would visit your hashtag page.
Daniel Wellington has done this exceptionally well. The hashtag #danielwellington has over 2.3 million posts now and this number is only increasing.
7. Post at the Right Time
One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind while optimizing your social media content is the time of posting it.
You have the option of publishing your content all throughout the day, but you need to find the times when it’s likely to find the highest number of viewers.
When you post at a time when most of your audience is likely to be active, the chances are that a majority of them will see your post. This, in turn, will mean that the likeliness of them interacting with your posts increases.
If your posts get a lot of engagement quickly, they might get even more engagement as the algorithms may deduce that your posts are engaging and show them to more people.
According to HubSpot, the best time to post varies for each platform.
- Instagram: Between 1 to 5 PM on working days and the best day is Friday.
- Facebook: 9 AM, 11 AM to 12 PM, and 3 to 4 PM. The best days to post are Thursday to Sunday.
- Twitter: 8 to 10 AM and 6 to 9 PM. For B2B companies the best days to post are weekdays while weekends are best for B2C businesses.
- LinkedIn: 10 AM to 12 PM is the best time to post and the best day is Wednesday.
However, these are generic timings. For the best results possible, you should consider finding the time when your audience is the most active.
The process is pretty simple — all you have to do to integrate this into your social media optimization plan is head to the analytics section of your business page and then look at the time when your audience is the most active.
These are the times when you should consider posting your content for maximum engagement and reach.
A great way of getting this timing right is by using scheduling tools to schedule the post.
For instance, note how Facebook shows the distribution of the number of active users for each day and the time that they’re active too.
Image source: Boostlikes
8. Try Location Tagging
Just like hashtags, location tags can come in as handy tools for optimizing your social media content. While hashtags are used to collect all the posts that are similar, location tags help collect posts that are from the same location.
But how does this help your cause?
When you post on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you can add your location to them. As you’ve added the location tag to your posts, they’ll be visible on that particular location tag’s page.
Whenever anyone checks the location’s posts, they’ll be able to see yours and this can help grow your reach and engagement.
These can come in extremely handy when you’re hosting or taking part in an event. During these times, it’s likely that many people will be checking the location tag’s page and this can improve your posts’ visibility.
If you’ve got offices at multiple locations and countries, you can try varying the location with each social post to ensure that you’re making the most out of the location tags feature.
9. Use CTAs
CTAs or calls-to-action play a critical role in getting your audience to take the action that you want them to. They’re especially useful when you want your audience to click on your link and head to your website.
How can you use them to optimize your content?
Whenever you publish a post on social media, you can mention what action you want your audience to take in the post or caption. This CTA could range from asking them to tag their friends to clicking on your link and registering on your website.
You could also customize your CTA button if you’re running a social media paid promotion.
But why should you do this?
When you tell your audience exactly what they need to do, they’ll be more likely to take that very action.
For example, note how ClickUp has added a “Learn More” CTA for their paid promotion.
Social media is a major marketing channel for brands. And, to leverage it well, you need to create and optimize your content. To start, you can schedule your posts to be published when your audience is the most active.
You could also leverage videos and visuals to make the posts more attractive and engaging. It also helps to embrace new content formats as they’re likely to get more engagement.
If you’re selling products, you should also consider using shoppable posts.
A great way of optimizing your content even further is by leveraging hashtags and location tags. You should also consider creating a branded hashtag to improve your brand awareness and engagement.
Do you have any questions about the methods of social media content optimization mentioned above? Ask us in the comments.
About the author: Shane Barker has been a digital marketing consultant for 15 years, currently specializing in influencer marketing, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.