Every person, influencer, and brand wants to have a considerable following on social media. However, the most significant measure of social media success is an engaged audience, not just a big one. Social media engagement is a measure of how people are interacting with your social media accounts and content.
The following is an excellent analogy by HootSuite “Imagine you threw a party, and tons of people showed up, but they all just sat there silently. No small talk, no dancing, no conversations, no questionable drinking games. Was the party really a success? The RSVP list looks good, sure, but did your guests have fun? Do they like your dip?”
Social media engagement measures how your followers interact with your brand by recording interactions such as likes, comments, shares, etc. Which shows they are interested in your content and may want to support your business.
The major social media platforms already have their custom components of engagement listed for free in their native analytics tools. Jenn Chenn from Sprout Social notes that the trick is understanding engagement on a broad level and how to examine it at a micro-level.
Social media engagement covers many interactions; standard ones used to gauge engagement include likes, comments, social shares, saved items, click-throughs, or retweets. The table below provides a more comprehensive list of the different interactions from the major social media platforms.
|Followers and audience growth||Mentions (tagged or untagged)||Sticker taps (Stories)||Get Directions (Instagram only)|
|Use of brand hashtags||Saves||Direct messages||Reactions|
|Replies||Profile visits||Quote tweets||Clicks|
But merely recording the different interactions and knowing how many people like, share, comment on your content might not be enough. It is best to measure social media engagement using a social media metric called the “engagement rate”. The metric is calculated by dividing the engagement volume (likes or retweets + comments) by the number of followers.
To learn more about mastering the skill of calculating the social media engagement rate, head over to an article I published a while back titled “How to master the skill of calculating social media engagement rate.”
In this article, I will be going over the different ways to increase social media engagement. This is vital because being on social media as a brand is not just about popularity but about making meaningful connections with current and potential customers, which will boost your brand online. Furthermore, it’s also a sign that you’re making an impact in the market. When your followers engage with your content, it shows that your relationship with them is strong and healthy. They are paying attention and likely willing to turn into a customer and become brand advocates one day.
12 ways to increase social engagement
1. Use visual content (video, images, GIFs, and infographics)
To ensure that people engage with your brand and the content you share on social media, you must use a combination of visual content such as videos, images, GIFs, and infographics to help your brand stand out.
The catch, however, is that you should ensure that whatever you post is relevant to your brand and of value to your audience.
The visual content should maintain a consistent brand identity even though the strategy of each platform will differ. Visuals that stand out will attract the right audience, and once people are attracted by your brand, they become aware of it, start engaging and have a higher chance of choosing your brand over competitors.
2. Share content that resonates with your audience
Even though obvious, this point is worth mentioning because it’s pretty vital and ties in with the first one. You don’t want to be sharing content that is not relevant to your target audience because people won’t be interested in it; it’s that simple.
Before starting any campaign, whether on social media or not, you need to ensure that you know your customers, what they are interested in, what types of posts they prefer, and how they consume content. Would they choose videos, images, or GIFs? Focus on creating content your customer would enjoy.
This will help ensure that your time and efforts are not wasted because you wouldn’t want to preach to the wrong congregation.
The only way to find out what content your audience prefers is to experiment with different content types to see which has the most engagement. If image posts perform well on your fan pages, then create more image content.
3. Increase your response time and rate (quickly respond to comments, questions, and mentions)
Having a quick response time ensures that your brand is doing its job well and that customers are being heard and responded to in a reasonable amount of time.
Response time: tracks how fast your social media team responds to important and urgent messages, comments, queries, etc.
Response rate: measures the number of responses against the messages, comments, and queries asked on social media.
The quicker you respond whenever your brand is tagged or @mentioned, the higher the chances your engagements will increase because your followers are more likely to ask more questions, share your responses, like, and comment.
4. Tag influencers, brands, employees, customers, and others to get them talking
Tagging (@ mentioning) is a brilliant engagement strategy because it only takes about half a second and instantly amplifies your content and urges those tagged to engage with your content.
Anyone you tag via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram instantly receives a notification, meaning they become aware of your brand. You win an extra opportunity for engagement. Posts with hashtags generate about 12.6% more engagement than posts with no hashtags. Not only that, but it’s a sure-fire way to make positive impressions on other players in your industry.
5. Use hashtags to leverage trends, current events, and breaking news
Just like with tagging, posts with hashtags receive more awareness and engagement compared to those without. Hashtags can help you leverage trends, current events, and breaking news, making your posts searchable, and while niche tags will help your brand gain awareness and engagement in dedicated communities of potential fans.
Hashtags will further help you engage people who aren’t already following you. When you use relevant and trending hashtags, you improve the chances of users finding your content.
You can use Hashtagify.me to stay updated with the latest hashtag trends.
6. Collaborate with influencers
Over a decade ago, the influencer marketing arena was limited to celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. There has been a rise in social media influencers rise, to the point that the market is almost saturated.
Working with influencers that speak to your target audience will benefit your brand by increasing awareness and engagements. Joint partnerships with influencers can vary in structure. They may include exchanging content, packaging bundled giveaway offerings, and developing an affiliate fee structure; whatever the structure might be, your brand will ultimately have an increase in awareness.
Besides working with these influencers, it is best to follow them and learn how they engage with their target audience and what content they post, and observe how their audience responds to them. Besides just watching from the sidelines, engage with them and take every chance you get to interact with their followers via comments, answers to questions, etc.
These acts will ultimately increase brand awareness and benefit your brand in the long run.
7. Share other people’s content
This can be a review left on your website by your customer, a testimonial or even a response by your followers to questions others might have asked. Engaging and sharing content by others will increase your social media engagement and make customers feel great about themselves for being worthy of going on your business feed. It can lead to them sharing your reply or even screenshotting the evidence of you favouriting or sharing their content.
Sharing others’ content means more exposure for your brand. You can spark more customer engagement by simply clicking the share buttons of positive posts around your brand or goods and services.
8. Create polls & surveys or ask questions
The beauty of polls & surveys is that they increase your engagement and help you understand your audience better. To be able to generate content that resonates with them.
The data obtained from polls & surveys and answers to questions you pose to your audience can inform other aspects of your overall marketing strategy.
9. Run contests and giveaways
In general, people are more than happy to get involved with a brand if it means they will get something in return. Whether it’s a freebie, discount code, coupon, free movie tickets, as long as the giveaway resonates with your brand and target audience. Running a simple contest that engages users with your brand is a great way to attract more customers, raise brand awareness, and increase overall engagements.
Katie Rose notes that offering your followers something in return for tweeting with a specific hashtag, retweeting or sharing your content, or becoming a follower are great ways to reward and acknowledge engagement.
10.Post Frequently, consistently, and at optimal times
There is an excellent possibility that nobody will be aware of your brand if you don’t post consistently. The more content you have, the higher the chances of people coming across it and engaging with it. The more ground you can cover, the better.
Content is constantly being uploaded all over social sites. That’s why for many campaigns, posting up to 3 times spread throughout a day at optimal times is acceptable to ensure your users actually see your content.
11.Lean Into the power of employee advocacy
Beyond just asking influencers and your social media followers to share your content to improve engagement, it help will help if your colleagues could also engage and share the content on their personal profiles.
Having your employees engage with and share your brand’s recent posts on their own social channels can help you secure better placement on social feeds so you can reach more prospective customers and grow your audience.
12.Track and Measure progress
The only way to ensure that you are doing the right thing is to track and measure your progress. Pay attention to your social profiles’ engagement statistics to see how many likes, comments, shares, retweets, and other engagement metrics your posts, ads, and other content are receiving.
Monitor the engagement rate of your posts to see if it’s increasing or decreasing. Tracking engagements on dedicated social media analytics tools will help you gather and analyse this information.
Social media listening tools can also help track your customers’ or the general public’s engagement with your social media content. Tracking will allow you to implement changes that are necessary and capitalise on content that is performing well.