In this article, we’ll cover seven tried-and-true tips based on current trends, statistics, and personal experience to help grow your social media engagement.
A strong social media presence is crucial for a brand’s marketing strategy in today’s digital marketplace. But it’s more than just a popularity contest for having the most followers—businesses need to grow social media engagement if they want to stay relevant.
Likes, comments, and shares drive a brand’s reach well beyond the company’s direct followers. But how do you drive that engagement to make a significant impact?
Read on to know the methods you should incorporate into your social media marketing strategy to improve your engagement.
- Post authentic content that’s true to your brand. Visual content and fan features are the most engaging.
- Take advantage of hashtags and scheduling tools to maximize your reach.
- Use incentives like giveaways and rewards to encourage follower engagement.
7 proven ways to grow social media engagement
Social media marketers have various reasons for wanting to give their social media engagement a boost. The #1 reason? Increasing brand awareness.
Social media continues to be a potential gold mine to reach new customers and leads while keeping your existing followers excited about your brand. Whichever platforms you’re targeting, these seven tips will help you increase your brand’s reach and grow social media engagement:
1. Be authentic
Audiences are increasingly favoring authenticity over staged photoshoots, generic posts, and scripted pre-recorded videos.
The BEST piece of advice on this list is to be your genuine self. There’s a reason TikTok saw the most growth, with about 25% usage in 2020 shooting up to 44% in 2021—viewers love the raw authenticity. Most of TikTok’s content doesn’t look like it came out of a high-end production studio. It’s just regular people posting amateur yet entertaining videos.
Publishing authentic content that is original and creative is the best way to grow social media engagement and maintain a loyal following.
2. Timing is everything
Your audience won’t be on social media 24/7, which means you need to post when they are online if you want maximum views and engagement.
Many platforms have built-in scheduling tools so you can plan your posts and send them out at the right time. Taking advantage of scheduling also helps you to post consistently and plan your content calendar.
Third-party scheduling tools are also available. Even if you don’t pay for a subscription, these tools can be great resources to know the best times to post on social media.
However, remember that your audience is unique. Just because Sprout recommends posting at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays doesn’t mean your audience is active at that time. Don’t forget to use analytical tools and collect data to understand your followers so you can schedule accordingly.
3. Use a mix of trending, branded, and niche-specific hashtags
Plugging in the top trending hashtags on your posts isn’t the best strategy. Yes, trending hashtags are getting much attention, but also much competition. Other posts will bury yours in an avalanche almost immediately.
To grow your social media engagement, you should strive to find a balance. Pick a few relevant trending hashtags, but also find some niche hashtags as well. Although they won’t have nearly as much traffic, they’re much more likely to be seen by the right people who are genuinely interested in the topic and easier to convert into customers.
You can also experiment with creating branded hashtags. For example, Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke was a massively successful campaign that many companies still study for inspiration.
4. Incentivize your audience to participate
Nothing incentivizes followers to engage quite like a contest or giveaway. You can set your own rules, but be sure to encourage followers to share your post so you can get extra exposure.
It’s a simple but highly effective trick. If you want to grow your social media engagement, give your followers a chance to earn something in return for their participation.
5. Post visual content
Videos, images, GIFs, and infographics are much more engaging than text by itself. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are specifically designed for visual content, while others like Facebook and LinkedIn feature mixed media, including plain text.
Visual content is the way to go. Don’t believe us? Check out these statistics:
- 86% of businesses say that visuals will be an essential aspect of their 2020-2021 marketing strategy.
- Visuals increase information retention by 78%.
- People who follow directions with both illustrations and text do 323% better than people who don’t have illustrations with their instructions.
- Visuals in color make readers 80% more motivated to read the content.
No matter which platforms you’re using, visual content is a powerful way to boost engagement and improve information retention so your marketing message sticks.
6. Feature your fans and customers
If you want your audience to engage with your content, you need to engage with your audience.
One of the best ways to do that is to feature loyal followers. User-generated content is a hit with audiences who love to see regular people in the spotlight instead of the usual Photoshopped, perfectly posed models.
Not only are fan features effective on their own, but they also boost other engagement initiatives. For example, let’s say you advertise a chance to feature fans if they post a photo of your product with a branded hashtag. If the campaign is effective, you’ll be driving engagement for your hashtag campaign, collecting an abundance of assets to use, and expanding your reach and brand awareness as people post and share their own content about your products.
7. Go live
Did you know that Facebook live videos generate ten times more engagement than regular videos?
This trend is a direct result of audience preferences favoring unedited, authentic content. Live videos make viewers feel like they’re part of the experience. Some content creators are hesitant to prioritize live videos because they don’t feel like they have control. There’s no redo if you misspeak or make a mistake.
But that’s what audiences like! It’s real-life happening in real-time, and it’s a trend that continues to grow.
Grow your social media engagement like by like
Approximately 233 million people in the United States are on social media. Although this massive audience is diversified across multiple platforms, that’s a lot of potential to reach new customers, clients, supporters, and followers.
Is your social media strategy currently tapping into that vast market? Try the tips we covered in this article to boost your influence. If any of them worked wonders for your social media engagement, we’d love to read about it in the comments!
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