Social media engagement is a critical indicator of health for community-driven brands. And with more people using social media to connect with brands than ever before, social media engagement should be increasing, right? But as volume increases, so does the need to stand out from other brands. As it turns out, social media engagement relies on marketers having a balance of creativity, data, and luck to engage with consumers on social media.
Publishing timely, relevant content results in happy, engaged fans. But what can you do to ensure you’re getting the maximum social media engagement from each post? This article explores five ways you can improve your social media engagement through content to capitalize on the potential engagement generated by each post.
1. Source Authentic, Community-driven Posts
Customers value authenticity and relatability now more than ever, especially on social media. Naturally, it’s important to produce content related to the topics that your fans are talking about to gain social media engagement. Evaluate user-generated content and listen to your fan interactions. What are the common topics? What is the thread that ties together everything your fans are posting on your page? Posts with fan-sourced content drive the highest social media engagement because they resonate natively in social media feeds. Plus, it’s a scalable way to source new and interesting creative that constantly engages customers with your brand.
Morphe Brushes showcases community posts from their top influencers and everyday customers on their social posts to create authentic connections with their audience. And it’s working. This strategy has helped them grow to over 7.5 million followers on Instagram.
2. Provide Easy Calls-to-Action
The simplest way to drive engagement on social media is by directly asking for it. End your posts with a specific call to action telling your fans what to do next. If the post is valuable enough, fans will be ready to take the next step and perform whatever it is you want them to do.
Sample calls-to-action include:
- React with a like or heart to cast your vote
- Visit the link below for more information
- Retweet if you agree. Favorite if you disagree.
- Tag someone who needs this product
Michaels uses a simple “Swipe Up” CTA on their Instagram stories to get their followers to not only submit their creations but to also visit their website.
Giving your audience a way to engage specifically and ‘take the next step’ can be a great way to boost engagement or even convert customers to purchase on a product page.
3. Feature posts for Evergreen Engagement
Once you publish, it’s time for optimization. Respond to the comments. Like those praising the post. Support the post with a paid promotion. And most importantly, track your engagement to see how it’s performing. If the post is an evergreen post that performs well, pin it to the top of your profile. This will continue to drive engagement after it stops showing in newsfeeds. You can pin posts on Facebook and Twitter. On Instagram, you can feature posts in your Featured Stories section.
Elemental Labs saves their top-performing stories in their Featured Stories section. Each category includes timely stories that are relevant to different topics such as customer reviews, recipes, gym partnership programs, product reviews, and more.
Pinned or featured posts will be the first pieces of content fans see. If you’re not sure what you should feature, put out a call-to-action for your most engaged customers to share their connection to your brand for a chance to be on a featured story. By featuring your top-performing posts, fans who are visiting your page for the first time will see them and appreciate your best content upon arrival.
4. Build Engagement into Contests
Give your fans what they want: the chance to win your product or be featured more exclusively on your brand accounts. Social media contests can be a major source of user-generated content. Ask your fans to share photos and videos using a branded hashtag. This will increase your engagement and have routine UGC appearing in your notifications for the duration of the campaign.
Wish, a mobile shopping site launched a #WishFamStories. To enter, fans and influencers posted photos and videos talking about their experiences using Wish along with the contest hashtag.
Successful UGC contests create a social media flywheel. As more people enter, more people find out about it. The cycle continues while driving engagement and reaching new fans.
5. Add Local Hashtags to your User-Generated Content Posts
It’s important to not only engage your fans, but also those who aren’t following your page but still might be interested. Adding local hashtags to your posts increases the likeliness that your content will be found by relevant, active users who are browsing.
GILI Sports adds local and state hashtags to their posts to attract residents and tourists who might be interested in their products.
By doing so, they are sharing their content with their followers and those checking out the hashtags. This strategy will drive more engagement than simply relying on those who already follow your brand.
Marketers who take the time to carefully plot their social media posts and incorporate engagement-inducing strategies will be the ones who will succeed. There’s so much you can do to multiply the amount of engagement you get on a post. Businesses should provide direct CTAs, feature top-performing posts, create consecutive content, launch contests, and add local hashtags to their posts. By incorporating those tactics, they will increase engagement and activate their fans while driving sales for the company.
Over the last 10+ years, Anna Crowe has developed SEO and content strategies for major brands like Brother, Marriott, IHG, Hearst Magazine, PMI, Mailboat Records, Dollar Thrifty Rental, to name a few. Anna is the Assistant Editor at Search Engine Journal. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).
This article originally appeared in the Pixlee blog and has been published here with permission.