10 Tips From The Real World For A Better Social Media Engagement
Do you know that from the total world population of 7.6 billion, 4.1 billion people are using the internet? And 3.03 billion are active on social media? This means almost half the worldwide population.
Then it’s no wonder that 78% of marketers believe that social media marketing is the most effective marketing channel for their business.
In terms of measuring the effectiveness of their social media presence, both small and large businesses consider engagement as #1 way to measure ROI of their efforts.
Therefore, the engagement is an essential part of social media marketing and any company should strive to get it. It indicates people like you. And when people like you, it’s much easier to convert them into customers.
But let’s start with the beginning.
So, what is social media engagement?
Social media engagement measures the public shares, likes and comments on a business' social media efforts. Even if it's a metric for evaluating social media performance, it doesn’t necessarily translate into sales.
It’s about how the customers and prospects interact with you; about building the relationship and delivering the trust to all your audience over a long period of time.
Don’t forget that social media is the place where people connect and associate with each other, sharing the content they like and bringing value for them. That’s why building a social media presence that resonates with your audience and converts it into customers is a long-term game that requires patience and consistency. It starts with a strategy based on truly owning your brand and knowing your target.
Lets’ see, for example, how Happy Family Organics, a company that provides organic foods is receiving engagement on social media.
As you see, people show you their trust when engaging with your content on social media. So, you should continue building that trust.
10 tips from the real world for growing your social media engagement.
Now, that you know what social media engagement is, let’s see how you can boost it for your brand.
1. Know and be yourself
Before anything else, your brand marketing starts with knowing and assuming your own specific “story”. You have to know who you are, why you do what you do and what your values are. And I don’t mean just about your company policy, procedures or business communication. Your most important asset is your passion. It’s the core pillar for all your actions and gives you the creativity to surpass your competitors (even if some of them are large companies).
Remember, if you want to boost your social media engagement, you have to emotionally connect with your customers. Therefore, before crafting any social media strategy and create your content calendar, you should answer the following questions:
Why do I do what I do?
Which is my story?
How can my products and services help my customers?
What differentiates me from my competitors?
If my brand would be a person, what kind of person would it be?
What adjectives describe best the personality of my brand?
How do I want my customers to think about my brand?
What kind of relationship do I want to have with my followers?
2. Know your prospects
Once you know and have defined your own brand, you should also pay the same attention to your customers.
If you want to really connect with your followers, you have to know who you are speaking with. And this doesn’t mean just the demographic data. It means a deeper understanding of your audience.
Therefore, you should invest some time in understanding the psychology of your prospects: what motivates them, which are their interests and beliefs? The first thing you can do is to take some time and review your most popular older posts and see what kind of reactions they created: how many likes and shares did they have? What comments did they get? For example, Facebook’s Insight tool can help you find which of your posts were most popular in terms of likes, shares and comments.
Analyzing the social presence of your competition is the second action you should pay attention to. What do they post? How your audience interacts with their posts? What can you do better than them? These are just a few samples of the questions you should answer.
Also, posting occasionally polls and surveys will help you to unearth other interests of your customers beyond those directly related to your business.
3. Be transparent
Unlike many other marketing channels, social media allows you to connect with your audience in a much more personal way. You should take the advantage of it and use a more particular approach to make sure you create this connection.
You may post anything: from a story about the time when you failed in your business and how did you overcome the moment to a picture from a special event of your company. Or, if you are a solopreneur, you may post an image of your pet laying down near you while you work. Or share a charity cause you support. You can post things that not only connect you with the audience but also humanize your brand.
Because the more your audience learns about the real you, the more it will want to connect and engage with you.
4. Add visual content
As I wrote in my previous article, communication is becoming more and more visual, especially on social media. Considering that all the social media platforms have thrived on the power of visual storytelling, by using visual content will bring the biggest impact for your posts.
Facebook posts with images have 2.3x more engagement than those without, while Tweets with images get 18% more clicks than those without images.
You have multiple choices to increase social media engagement through visual content. Pictures with real people using your product or talking about the experiences they got using your service are always a win. You can also look for stock photos when you want to highlight some of your brand messages or for infographics when you want to share some statistic data about your brands or industry.
5. Be active
If you are serious about increasing your engagement on social media, posting content is a never-ending job. It’s not enough to post from time to time. You have to be active.
That’s why you should post valuable content on a regular basis.
Being active on social media doesn’t necessarily mean to share just your posts. You should also follow active social media users that you resonate with, re-share other people’s content and join trending conversations.
6. Create and share the content you already know people love
For sure some of the content you created and shared continues to perform well week after week, month after month, year after year. That top content is that kind of evergreen content you should share again. Just update it with actual data and share it with your audience.
You can use Google Analytics to understand which of your content gets the most traffic. In this way, you will find out what your audience loves the most and resonate with, so share that content again.
7. Repurpose your content
Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Twitter are just four from a plethora of social networks existing in the world. Bigger or smaller, known or less known, all social networks have a few common characteristics: each of them serves a specific target, has a specific mission, features and good practices.
Imagine you publish an article on LinkedIn (that is a professional network). For sure it will not have the same engagement on Facebook or Pinterest if you publish it as it is.
That’s why repurposing the content is the best option if you want to fit the preferences of the audience to try to reach. So, returning to the previous example, you should take the article published on LinkedIn and convert it into an image you share on Pinterest or Facebook.
This is how Toyota repurposed the content for Instagram and Twitter.
Repurposing your content for different social media networks will allow you not just to reach different prospects across various mediums, but also to be consistent with your content marketing strategy.
8. Use hashtags related to your business
The hashtags are word or phrases preceded by a hash sign (#) and are very common on social media. The business world created specific hashtags for almost all industries. If, for example, you check the designing niche, you’ll often see hashtags such as #graphicdesign. If content marketing is your niche, then #socialmedia, #marketing, #writing are some of the hashtags you should use in your posts.
Use hashtags that relate to your business and your prospects will also follow them on various social media networks.
9. Curate and share other people’s content
You might consider that sharing other people’s content will take away your fans and followers. This is a very wrong and counterproductive idea.
Social media is about connecting people who try to understand and solve their problems, like the same things and share the same interests.
By curating and sharing other people’s content you will help your followers to solve their pain points or provide them valuable information. Thus, you will show them that you care. And it will help you gain authority and trust in the mind of your fans and followers.
On the other hand, the people whose content you curate and promote are more likely to return your favor by sharing the post with their followers. As more and more people are talking about the post with their fans, it will drive engagement to your social media account.
10. Use analytics tools to track social media engagement
Analytics tools are very helpful when you want to measure the engagement of your online content. By using them, you get rich insights of data that will help you adjust and improve your content marketing strategy. From tracking the post views to likes, sharing and clicks to your website, the analytics tools will guide you to find the most successful social media networks for your business and the optimal time for posting.
Each social media platform provides its own analytics tools. You can also use the analytics provided by the automatization tools you use for scheduling your social media posts. Each analytics tool is slightly different so it’s a good idea to experiment with a few to ensure you get all the relevant data for measuring social media engagement. Furthermore, I would recommend also to compare with the data provided by Google Analytics.
From these 10 tips from the real world for growing your social media engagement, you should have learned something about some of the best ways for creating social media buzz around your brand.
Know and be yourself
Know your prospects
Add visual content
Create and share the content you already know people love
Repurpose your content
Use hashtags related to your business
Curate and share other people’s content
Use analytics tools to track social media engagement