Picture this: you’re single. Like, sticking the fork directly into the whole pie single, and every time you open your computer there’s another engagement announcement. Meanwhile you’ve got a closet full of bridesmaid gowns that, as the character Kevin from 27 Dresses says are, “instruments of torture inflicted on you by a bride who wants you to look ugly.” Basically.
The old “always a bridesmaid never a bride” struggle is sometimes *too* real on social media, and I’m not just talking about being engaged to be married. It often feels like engagement is happening for everyone else while you’re sitting at home every night, waiting for a click or a like, wondering what you’re doing wrong, or what you could possibly do to get someone, anyone, to notice your business.
Engagement on social media can be defined simply as getting your audience to like, share, click and comment on your posts. Why is engagement important? Well, mainly because it helps you know if you’re posting things your followers actually like or care about, and it helps grow your business. Sounds simple enough. But in reality, it feels anything but simple. If you have little or no engagement on your social media, it’s time to reassess your content strategy. If you’re feeling frustrated or don’t know how to stand out in the crowded space of social media, we’re sharing a few tips. Here are 10 ways to drastically improve your social media engagement.
1. Stop the Scroll
The first step in getting someone to engage with your brand is to stop their mindless scrolling. You can’t engage with an audience that’s thumbing past you. The best way to get their attention is to post things they want to see. Grab their attention with eye-catching, unique, high quality photography (i.e. not shot on your iPhone 4). It’s also super important to note that photos including faces get skipped over way less.
Research shows that simply adding an image to your post on Facebook and Twitter can result in a way higher interaction rate. On the same note, an Instagram image with human faces gets 38% more likes and an increase in comments by 32% on average. Pretty sure it has something to do with those algorithms no one understands, but either way… chin up and say, “cheese!”
2. Be Funny
Most people on social media want to be entertained — not sold to. I mean think about it, people go to their social media apps to relax, maybe to escape the stress of life, and keep up with people they care about. So it’s important to be positive, and humor is a great way for your brand to promote on social media while still keeping an audience engaged. Keep it light and fun, or people will begin to ignore or even (duh duh duh) unfollow your posts.
3. Use Simple Calls to Action
A great way to get more engagement is simply by asking for it. Start the conversation. On Facebook, you can ask for a specific reaction with the different reaction buttons. A fun one on Twitter is to ask your audience to respond with their favorite GIF. A great way to encourage a reaction from your followers on Instagram is to use emojis as prompts.
This approach sets the tone and shows the reader how you hope they’ll react. For example, ask everyone if they’re looking forward to an event or the launch of a new product, and prompt them to answer with a ???? in the comments if they’re excited. Or, if you share something humorous, include the classic ????. It’s relatable, and it lets your audience know what you’re sharing is funny (as if they didn’t already know).
4. Invite Followers to Share Content
User generated content is a buzz-phrase that a lot of marketers talk about, and with good reason. It’s one of the most effective methods of social media marketing and it’s pretty inexpensive. (Don’t have a clue what user generated content is? Read about it here.) The truth is, people consider information coming from a personal friend/someone they follow to be more trustworthy than business branded content. Utilizing user generated content helps you engage and share content through your passionate customers. As a result, you’re able to show consumers why they can trust your brand. It leads to higher engagement and ultimately grows your sales. Win-win.
5. Share Your Followers’ Tagged Photos
Think about how much time people spend trying to get shoutouts on social media from celebrities they love. Let’s be real, if GaryVee shared a photo of me on his Instagram, I might die. (Wait, what?) And here’s the thing, your loyal followers feel that way about you too. There’s value in shouting out to your loyal customers who love your products or services. Think about how many people they’re going to tell that you shared their photo! It’s really a great feeling to be acknowledged by a brand, and it will certainly either convert someone into a loyal follower, or keep them a loyal follower.
6. Be Receptive To Your Audience
More and more people are turning to social media to ask customer service related questions. They’re tired of arguing with automated phone robots or waiting a week to get an email reply. They know most businesses are active on social media because that’s where people are communicating. When someone DMs you, it’s important to respond within 5 minutes. (Side note: Facebook actually displays a badge for businesses that average a response time less than 5 minutes so that users know they get quick answers.)
Take 10 minutes a day to sit down and comment back to every comment and message. Whether it’s answering a question or giving a ♥️ or a ???? back to a nice comment, it really doesn’t take that much time, and it adds a personal touch that will go far with your followers.
7. Work as a Team
People love getting free stuff. Plain and simple. A great way to gain a bigger following and increase your audience is by teaming up with other companies or charities to host giveaways. You can use it to gather email addresses and even gain new followers. Giveaways are a great way to grow your audience because, by combining with others, you gain some of their audience as well!
8. Get Personal With Stories
While posts in the feed need to be carefully curated, stories are much more personal so they’re a little more chill. People love and crave genuine connections, and stories are a fun way to let people know about you, your day-to-day, and a behind the scenes of your business. You don’t have to stress as much over the quality of the content, but you do still want to stay on brand. Another huge plus to stories is they always display at the top of your feed and will never get hidden from your followers based on some mean ol’ algorithm.
9. Poll Your Followers
Case studies used to be very time consuming and expensive, but thanks to social media, you can get real time feedback from your customers at the push of a cute little button. Last month Instagram introduced polls as a part of their story feature. Twitter and Instagram polls are a great way to get people to stop scrolling through and engage with you, and as a bonus, they’re a super easy way to get really useful feedback from your customers.
10. Use Live Streaming
Live Streaming is the same deal as Stories, but with a little twist. You can use live streams for a personal story, or a fun behind the scenes of your business. Another great use for live streams is a teaching moment or even to announce a new product. Live streaming really is a fun way to answer FAQs or just say hey to your audience.
I’m sure we didn’t have to tell you why engagement is important. Retaining clients and growing your business are both major, but the process feels anything but simple sometimes. We get it. We really hope these tips help! Please feel free to let us know how these tips work for you!