Social media marketing is a key to success, and engagement is critical. Here’s how to take your engagement from crickets to fireworks.
Now that everyone is “doing” social media, it’s high time to talk about how to do social media better. While every marketer has “increase audience engagement” listed as a top goal in his or her social media strategy and plan, few are taking the necessary steps to make it happen.
Be the engagement you wish to see: It may sound silly, but one of the best ways to increase engagement is to engage. Follow industry influencers and thought leaders, as well as target customers, and engage with their content. Like their posts, retweet their articles, and comment on their questions and successes. Doing this, even just a little bit, creates conversations—and as anyone in marketing knows, conversations can often lead to sales.
Share unique or hard-to-find information: Your social media feed is probably full of dozens of accounts posting the exact same article, from the leading publication in your field. Look for resources most people don’t know about or wouldn’t normally look at. If you can find and share valuable content from a source that addresses your target audience, even perhaps only 20% of the time, your brand can become known as a source for insider/underground insights, and that can translate into more trust as well.
Join Twitter chats and live Q&A sessions: Participating in active discussions hosted by other people is a great way to expose your brand to new audiences and, in some cases, assert your brand as an authority. To find these events, use a search engine to look for “(industry) tweet chats” or “(industry) Twitter chats,” where “industry” is fairly general, such as health care or finance. Likely, someone has already done the work of finding the best chats to join.
Don’t be too eager: Posting too much (more than 10 times a day on Twitter), reposting older content too many times (7 times is the limit, research says), and using too many hashtags could all contribute to stagnant engagement stats. And chances are, the marketers doing it have no idea. Actively work to avoid these pitfalls. Additionally, conduct a little research on the best days and times of the day to post on each social channel, and experiment to determine what your audience responds to the most.
Use visual and interactive content: Posts with images or video perform better than those without. Facebook posts with pictures, for instance, see 2.3 times the engagement as text-only posts. Audiences also love to answer questions, so ask them. Use polls and surveys to invite your audience to engage with you, making the topics relevant to them or to their pain points.
Putting these five strategies into practice will take some time and some discipline, and some will produce results faster than others. Over time, though, the results will be clear.