10 Tips on How to Increase Social Media Engagement
After you create a website for your brand, you need to get out there and let people know you’re open for business.
The best way to do so is to set your sights on social media. In particular, you need to learn how to increase social media engagement to bring attention to your brand, make meaningful connections, and accelerate your business growth.
It’s the “engagement” part of that strategy that’s going to be key to your success. Today we’ll look at what it is, what it’ll do for your brand and 10 ways to get more of it.
What is social media engagement?
Social media engagement refers to the responses your social media posts receive. While comments, likes, and shares are the most common type of social engagement, some platforms use different engagement features or terminology for them.
For example, on the one hand, a Twitter user would "retweet" a post, but a Pinterest user, on the other hand, who wants to share this IKEA post would use the “Save” button:
Just keep in mind that the ultimate goal of social media marketing is to get meaningful engagement. That means that while having a high number of interactions or follower numbers may look good, it’s the quality of the interactions that’s more important.
The importance of getting engagement on your social media
Social media might be free to use, but the time you invest in creating content for each platform, growing your list of followers, and engaging with them is very valuable. With this in mind, the last thing you want is to create a social media account and end up talking to an empty room. Or, worse, to talk to a super-crowded room, but get ignored by everyone.
When you nail your social media strategy and give people a good reason to engage with you, you’ll reap plenty of benefits:
Build greater brand awareness. You don’t need to be Kim Kardashian level famous in order to get good engagement. You just need a great strategy aimed at the right audience.
Increase your clout. You have a great website and a promising offer. But the conversational style of marketing on social media allows you to really let your brand’s voice and thoughts shine.
Exponentially increase your reach. When someone engages with your social media posts, it can help the algorithm identify your post as more relevant and interesting and there is more likely to push your content into more people’s feeds.
Develop meaningful relationships. Unlike your blog, email marketing, or traditional marketing, where you talk at your audience, social media is a conversation. And when you give people a reason to engage, really meaningful interactions can develop from that.
Provide better customer service. Even if you’re not handling technical support on social media, simply being there to answer questions for interested prospects or existing customers gives you another opportunity to demonstrate how much they matter (and to show others curious about your brand how attentive you really are).
Get more accurate data. You know who your audience is, but the metrics you get from social engagement can tell you a lot more about their story and inform how to better connect with them.
How to increase social media engagement
If you’ve already begun using social media for your brand, then you’re familiar with basic social media marketing tips and strategies. However, what we’re going to focus on below are 10 ways to improve your social engagement metrics and get a better ROI on your marketing strategy as a whole.
01. Make a record of your current engagement rates
There are two places where you can get social media analytics from. First, you can log into each of your social media platforms and use the analytics provided there. For instance, here’s what Twitter’s Analytics dashboard looks like:
Each social media platform provides statistics based on the types of engagements available, and you’ll get engagement statistics for each individual post. You’ll also see average performance stats related to:
Retweets without comments
The second way to get analytics is if you use a social media management and scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. There, all of your social engagement data will be in one place. Regardless of which tool you use, it’s recommended to export the data as a spreadsheet and save it on your computer.
If the tool does not do this for you, here is the formula of how you can calculate your own engagement rate:
Social Media Engagement Rate =
# of Engagements (sum up all likes, shares, comments, etc.) ÷ # of Followers ✕ 100
Do this for each of your platforms, and afterwards compare your engagement rates to a few of your competitors who have a similar size following.
02. Set measurable goals for future engagement
Now that you know roughly what to shoot for, it’s time to set some goals. The first thing to set goals for is your social media marketing efforts.
Which audience are you looking to reach?
What actions to wish for them to take upon seeing your content?
How will you measure success?
To help you decide which engagement metrics are most important to you it’s important that you know that not all engagements are created equal. For example, the Instagram algorithm values saves, shares and comments more than likes.
Figure out which engagements to track based on your business goal (if you want to create brand awareness, focus on increasing page visits; if your goal is to build a community, focus on growing the number of followers or comments under each post etc.).
Next, figure out which social media platforms to focus your efforts on that can best help you reach your above goals. Remember, sometimes it is easier to build a successful engagement strategy if you limit how many platforms you focus on.
03. Get to know your audience when they’re on social media
In order to build offerings and create content for your target customers, you need to figure out who they are in terms of demographics, needs, and motivations.
Which platforms do they use most?
What kinds of accounts do they follow?
Are there certain topics that tend to catch their interest more?
What types of posts and content are they more likely to engage with?
Do they communicate using GIFs, emojis, or acronyms?
Start by looking through accounts for brands similar to yours. You should be able to spot some trends in terms of content with the highest engagement.
Then, do some research on their followers—especially the most engaged ones—and find out what their feeds look like. Because not only do you want to share posts that are relevant to them, you want to speak their language as well.
04. Write blog content that’s going to get their attention
While you don’t want your social media feed to be all “Me! Me! Me!”, you can create a blog with high-quality and thought-provoking content to share with your followers from time to time.
So, make sure your blogging strategy coincides with your social media engagement goals. For instance:
If your goal is to boost the number of clicks and saves on Pinterest, create more Pin-friendly content like infographics.
If your goal is to get more engaged followers on Instagram, record a daily vlog.
If your goal is to increase the number of comments you get on each Facebook post, start writing blog posts that answer common questions your customer service team gets.
Every platform has its own strengths. Figure out which platforms you want to increase social engagement on and then create content in shareable formats for each.
05. Experiment with different social media post formats
In order to increase engagement, spend some time testing out different kinds of social media posts.
Here are some post formats and themes to consider:
“Live” video events
Contests and giveaways
Animated GIFs and Memes
You never know which ones will get the most attention and engagement until you give them a try. Plus, with the variety of social media platforms available, there’s a lot to play around with.
If you're looking for inspiration, take a look at this curated list of social media ideas and tips on how to use them effectively.
06. Create social media posts that are eye-catching and engaging
As we write this post, Internet Live Stats tells us that there have been over 375 million tweets sent, 3.5 billion YouTube videos viewed, and 42 million Instagram photos uploaded today.
Needless to say, there is a lot of noise on social media. Having a great social media channel will help you get more followers, but that doesn’t guarantee that they (or other social media users) will see your posts in their feed. There’s just too much new content being published every second of every day. In order to get people to slow their scroll, your posts need to be eye-catching.
While it does vary based on platform as well as the industry you operate in, images are more or less the most effective way to capture someone’s attention on social media. According to Social Insider’s report, images clearly dominate for attention over carousels and videos on Instagram—and this is the platform with the highest levels of engagement.
It’s not just images alone that make a post eye-catching or engaging though. Applying filters so your images all have a similar look is one way to make your content stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, creating a logo and adding it as a watermark to all custom content is another way to make your posts more recognizable and eye-catching.
You should also be constantly on the lookout for new features. TikTok, for instance, recently launched a new video Q&A feature. Every platform creates new features in response to the way people use the platform, so take advantage of them as they’re a good way to drum up more attention.
Even if the bigger visual components of your posts initially grab social media users’ attention, it’s the accompanying message that’s oftentimes what convinces them to engage.
In addition to writing awesome messages, give them some visual style, too. For example, on platforms like Twitter and Instagram where hashtags and handles are popular, use them to not only improve the discoverability of your posts, but to make your messages stand out like this @travelchannel tweet:
Tagging someone else’s handle is an especially good way to get exponentially more eyes on your content, which can increase engagement, too.
With platforms like LinkedIn and Pinterest, where you have more room to write, take advantage of the space as The Walt Disney Company does here:
Just remember that the rules of formatting long content apply here, too. Add paragraph breaks to make long text less intimidating to read. Including emojis along the way helps, too.
Another tip is to focus on creating content people would like to save for later or share with their friends. Try including a question in the caption that has the potential of starting a discussion and conversation in the comments section.
07. Create social media posts that are authentic
While there’s certainly a lot of room for what you can post on social media, not everything is going to fit with your brand identity. So, make sure you’re creating posts and choosing formats that are authentic to you.
For example, entrepreneur Marie Forleo is on all the big social media platforms and has hundreds of thousands of followers there. She could easily throw different kinds of posts at them. What Forleo does, however, is stay in her lane.
Most of Marie's posts—regardless of which channel she shares them on—are inspirational and motivational images and video content where she talks directly to her followers. What you won’t see her share are infographics, animated GIFs, or shameless selfies.
And that’s a really important part of getting high levels of engagement on social media. Sure, you want to market your brand and increase your leads and sales in the process. But you have to be genuine when you do it or else people will quickly catch on that it’s all just for show.
08. Don’t just wait for people to come to you
Dedicate some time every week to look for new relevant users to engage with. One way to easily do that is to follow Gary Vee’s $1.80 engagement method. This proven to work method encourages you to find users through the top hashtags in your niche and to comment something meaningful on their posts.
Other methods include engaging with:
Customers who’ve shared photos or recommendations of your products.
Companies whose missions you really dig and want to keep tabs on.
Brands you want to partner with.
Blogs and news sites that share content that you and your audience will find valuable.
Cute and funny accounts that add some extra positivity to your feed.
Whether you’re sharing your love for another brand’s offering or you’re simply getting involved in other users’ conversations, you need to get out there and be social. It’s a great way to show that your brand actually cares about making genuine connections and being part of the social media community and not just using it to boost conversions.
09. Respond to your engagements in a timely fashion
Once you start giving people a reason to engage with you on social media, get ready to respond. While you might not want to thank the dozens or hundreds of people who like each of your posts, take time out to respond to those who share and comment.
Check out Burger King’s tweets and retweets for a masterclass in responding to followers:
Burger King responds to all kinds of posts. Customer service issues. Memes. Ridiculous demands. And, not only that, it does it with its trademark personality and quickly, too.
If you don’t have that kind of bandwidth to monitor social media 24/7, that’s okay. Just make sure you respond within 24 hours.
10. Review your analytics regularly and reconfigure your strategy as needed
When you set up your social media branding, you set up monitoring and analytics for this very reason. Without these insights, there’s no way to measure your marketing strategy’s efficacy.
On a regular basis or at least monthly, it’s a good idea to audit your social media analytics. In terms of engagement, ask yourself questions like:
Which posts get the highest numbers of engagement?
Which posts get the best type of engagement?
Which ones go completely ignored?
Are there any platforms where your engagement rates remain really low?
Don’t forget to look at Google Analytics either. There’s a section under Acquisition that will tell you which platforms drive traffic to your site as well as the best quality of leads.
If you can nail down which posts and platforms are giving you the biggest ROI, you can reconfigure your strategy and give your audience more of what they want where they want it.
By Lirut Nave
Social Media Team Lead