10 Tips for Increasing your Social Media Engagement
With social media, I have found, that most new business owners have a false belief that more followers equal more sales. The truth of the matter is that engagement is the real king. We have heard for years the amazing power social media has over brands, how you can promote your business and products for free, and in some cases how “you can make 50K a year just using social media”. I can tell you probably believed the lie as well. During many years my mantra was: “If you build it, they will come”. But, they won’t, unless you give them a real reason to come. Simply getting your content on these platforms isn’t enough and it won’t generate you 50k on sales.
When done right, social media can produce a domino effect that creates a positive effect on more than just your business, boosting brand awareness and sales. The key to becoming successful in social media is to keep your followers engaged and to create a community around them. Following my top 10 engagement tips for social media, will help you grow your audience and achieve the business growth you desire.
1. Stop talking about your brand, instead talk about your topic.
If you have ever read “How to win friends and influence people”, you’ll understand when Carnegie mentions how “talking in terms of the other person’s interests” can help to make people like you. In other words, talk about the kind of topics your audience is interested in, be a good listener, and encourage them to talk about themselves and their own experiences. Social media is not just for talking about yourself and what you do, is about the people you are helping. Facebook groups are an excellent example of this, when you join a Facebook group you’ll find tons of people asking questions relevant to the niche of the group and looking for “experts” to spread some knowledge. You can create a group on your social platform and invite key influencers in the niche and prospective customers to join the discussion.
Remember: When you are only talking about yourself, it creates an ego focused impression. People in social media are looking for community and to talk about topics they care about. Having groups with members that lead engaging conversations and talk about the latest trends will make your customers see the value of your brand.
2. Join Q&A sessions.
Information is the only real valuable thing we can give for free. Answering questions your followers might have, can generate trust in your brand and also makes you seem like an expert and a helpful brand. If you can provide valuable information and spark a conversation among your followers you’ll become the go-to seller.
To be above your competitors you must be able to answer those questions before anyone else (but don’t worry, I know this might sound like a superhuman kind of thing, but I got you), you can get ahead of your competition by creating a frequency asked questions document in your phone, with common sample answers you can personalize and publish to give quick responses on the go. You can even answer these questions in your social media posts. One of the tips I always recommend to my clients is to create a FAQ section in their Instagram highlights and/or Facebook page, that people can access anytime they check their profile. Going above and beyond to help your clients, is how brands generate trust and are also the perfect way to attract more buyers.
3. Share other’s content.
Whether you repost someone’s post on your story or share someone else’s article on your Facebook page, you can use content from other experts to provide answers to queries. Keeping the diversity in your content, even if the information is not yours (please remember to credit the author), will keep your customers interested.
Some well-established brands have specialized in reposting customer’s photos, and this not only allows you to post more content but also makes your clients feel great about themselves and engage with your brand (by sharing your response to them or screenshotting the interaction, YAIIII). This eventually means nothing but more exposure for you and your brand. If you don’t believe me, check what companies like Coca Cola did with the #ShareaCoke campaign.
If networking with influencers has been part of the highs of your social media strategy, you can use these amazing connections to get your content shared. You can ask well-known accounts (always related to your niche, please) to help you promote your products in exchange for a discount or freebie, a win-win I would say! The best part is that you are getting a ton of eyes in your products with just a little effort.
4. Make your customers feel engaged!
A lot of the businesses that come to me for help already have beautiful content and hilarious and clever descriptions for their posts, but most times they fail to answer to followers. There’s a reason it’s called social media, and that is because the interaction is the key to make this whole thing work. Answering comments makes your customers feel valued. Personalized answers that address each user by name, give customers the feeling they are interacting with a human being, and not just a big corporation. This brings brands closer to the consumer and helps build relationships and loyalty.
Another great way to generate engagement and create a conversation is to ask questions about personal experiences your customers have had with your products/services, it can help to obtain some good insight and get users talking.
5. Make your post visual.
Images and videos are the type of content that performs the best. These usually tend to be more appealing to users than text alone. Visual posts can make your content more attractive to all types of users and increase engagement.
6. Add relevant hashtags.
Hashtags are great for following discussions about a specific topic and connecting with people with similar points of view. This way you can find followers and non-followers that might be looking for the same type of content. Bigger brands have made use of them through branded hashtags that inspire conversations. Walker Crisp, for example, organized a whole engagement campaign by simply asking customers what was their favorite flavor and asking them to answer with the hashtag #chooseorlose. That’s my concept of GENIUS!
7. Create posts and surveys.
You can use polls and surveys to engage with your customers at the times they are most active, this is awesome for getting some feedback. The main goal for these polls is to get users interacting with your content via vote. But your social media poll can be also used to generate some valuable information about your customers.
8. Post Frequently.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. Active social profiles send a message, they show your audience you are up to date, and on top of the game.
Social media moves fast, long are the days where you could post once every couple of weeks and expect your followers to remember who you are. After you post, it is likely your post will get buried under newer and trendier content, and strong brands upload content on a daily basis. That’s why, many campaigns, spread their posts throughout the day, sometimes posting even 2 – 3 times a day. Inactive brands struggle to get followers, so make sure your customers have regular access to your content (a good and easy to maintain posting schedule should have 2-3 posts per week).
Posting times are also an important topic, publishing content at times your audience is the most active will ensure your content is seen by more people.
9. Engage with the latest trend and issues.
Sharing, liking, and engaging with the latest posts on trends and news relevant to your industry is a great way to show support. This doesn’t mean your social media has to be all about political issues if your brand sells dog toys, but demonstrating to users that you value social happenings beyond your business generates admiration for your brand. Just make sure the content doesn’t spark offense or is unfair towards anyone.
10. Use analytics to monitor engagement.
There’s no better way to know If your efforts are actually giving the right results than analytic tools. You can obtain insights on what’s working and what’s not with your social strategy and implements the proper changes to make your account grow. From the best times to post based on your followers, to the number of views per post. Some great tools to help you measure your impact are:
- Google Analytics
- Instagram Insights
So, summarizing all you have learned here:
- Stop talking about you, and talk about the things your customers really want to know.
- Get ahead of your competition answering customers’ questions.
- Share other your followers, brand ambassadors, and even content from your competition, as long as is interesting and in topic with your niche.
- Create the engagement yourself, ask questions, generate the conversation.
- Make your posts as visual as possible.
- Do your homework, find relevant hashtags specific to your post and niche, remember this will help others find you and connect.
- Get customer feedback through polls and surveys.
- Create a posting schedule for yourself, so you give valuable information to your followers on a regular basis.
- Research trends that your followers might find interesting.
- Measure your performance.