Of course, every social platform is different. Different rules on boosting your social media engagement apply. The same goes for brands. Every brand has its own audience, its own rules.
However, there are a few parallels you can take from each of them. A few ground rules that apply to all.
That being said, let’s jump straight into these five tips on boosting your social media engagement. There’s also a bonus tip at the end.
Social media is all about being personal. This seems so obvious that you often neglect it the most.
Just think about it. How many times have you been too formal or too salesy? You got to sell, of course. I’m all for selling. But you have to make your fan base feel connected and you need to provide value first.
Most of the content people post on social media is personal. Everything from “I’m here hanging with my friends” to “I just watched the worst movie ever”. It’s the nature of how we connect and share with each other on social.
So why should your content be any different?
Just how personal you get with your content depends on your business. Even so, give your content a human touch. Be careful, though, being personal with your content doesn’t mean you share what you had for breakfast or how cute is that puppy. Think about added value to your audience.
And always write in a conversational tone. Imagine how you would speak if a fan was sitting right in front of you.
What also works is humor. How many times has a funny meme made your day?
I’m not suggesting you fill your stream with memes and funny images. I do, however, think that when you get people feeling good, they tend to engage more.
Putting people in the center of the post is another way to humanize your content. Turns out people like looking at other people. If it’s your personal brand, it will be mostly you in the images. If it’s your company, spotlight your employees.
Think. How you use social media? Do you stop and read every post? I bet you don’t. Nobody does. People skim through, they don’t read.
So when do you stop to read? When something appealing comes up. And that most likely includes a visual or a video. Makes sense, right?
The goal here is to attract the reader’s eye. Your image should evoke an instant response.
Ideally, you should use the visual as a magnet to get people reading. I recommend you relate it to your product or service. Then you surround your visual with valuable content and drive traffic to your site.
As a side note shared links most likely won’t get as many likes (hearts), comments and shares, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get click-throughs. People simply forget to go back when they’ve already visited the target URL.
If you’re struggling with social media image sizes, you should check my Quick and Easy Cheat Sheet for Social Media Image Sizes. Choosing the right image size for each network is important. You want you visual to look good on every platform.
If you want people to engage or to make a certain action, you need to be clear about it. Want them to click? Say “click”! Want them to share or tag a friend? Ask them!
A call-to-action can be anything from “click here to get these awesome tips” to “tag a friend who would benefit from these tips”.
But make sure the action you want them to perform is relevant to the content.
I also recommend you ask open-ended questions. Questions that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no”. While open-ended questions won’t bring you as many replies as a simple CTA, the ones you’ll get will be from highly engaged followers.
One way to further boost social media engagement is to run a contest. I am not a big fan of contests, but they can skyrocket the engagement.
When you run a contest, make sure you set goals and objectives for the contest itself, as well as the objectives of your brand’s cause.
To keep your engagement rates high, you need to stay consistent. Posts and updates need to be flowing regularly.
In a cluttered digital world where everything is just a click or two away, your fan base will not stay loyal if you don’t provide valuable content on a regular basis. Period.
Better yet, you should have a schedule. If for instance, you post your blog updates on Thursday, then you start posting them on Monday, and then on Friday, people will get confused and you will start losing them.
Of course, you got to test things out. But once you’ve found your sweet spot, you should stick to it.
An irregular schedule (or worse, not posting at all) is a great way to kill your social media engagement.
Staying consistent with your social media updates is hard, I know. There are a lot of tools out there that can help you with that. Buffer, AgoraPulse, HootSuite, Sprout Social, or Edgar… just to name a few.
If you aren’t sure how often to post on social media, here’s a great infographic from Buffer.
When you receive a comment or a message from a follower, he will expect a response fast. Some expect it in a few minutes, but most at least within an hour.
A study showed that 53% of Twitter users expect a response at most in 60 minutes. There is almost no difference if a contact attempt comes out of business hours. Your fans expect same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.
You need to be responsive.
Also, responding to current events is a way to boost social media engagement. Be sure that you stay true to your brand and don’t post a random timely event just for the sake of it.
Just on Facebook, the amount of video has increased 3.6x year-over-year. A game-changing feature across social media has been auto-play.
Now is the time to jump on the video train.
Don’t worry, nobody expects you to make super professional videos. That’s the charm of social media. Don’t get caught up in trying to make everything perfect. Awesome videos can be shot with free apps on your smartphone.
Got any questions or comments? Post them below. Also, share this blog post with a friend who needs to read these tips.