When the various social media platforms were launched, industry experts looked on and predicted what would happen in the future. That was all the way back in 1997, and here we are 24 years later and it is now estimated that there are currently 3.78 billion people who are using various social media platforms on an active basis. Looking at the trend lines, it’s clear to see that this is a number that steadily increases each year.
Almost half the world’s population are active on social media, meaning it is here to stay, and companies need to ensure they are pouring the resources and time into creating social media accounts that don’t just draw visitors to them, but also entice them enough that they engage with the business. But that’s not exactly an easy task for all companies. Perhaps you’ve been watching the social media engagement numbers drop on your own accounts and you’re left wondering what you’re doing wrong? Here, we’ll peel back the layers and look at some of the ways in which you can increase your social media engagement across all accounts and get the kind of results you have set out to achieve.
Determine What Your Current Levels of Engagement Are
In order to see improvement, you need to have a clear starting point. This will help you to track and monitor results to ensure that you’re making the right choices and heading in the right direction. Having a ‘gut feeling’ that engagement numbers are down doesn’t cut it; you need actual data that you can analyze and then use to create your plan moving forward. The most important data to pay attention to will be how many shares you get, how many likes you get, how many followers you have, and how many comments you have from people. Obviously, you can dig much deeper than these metrics, but these are the basics you want to be on top of.
Understand There is No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Now it’s time to start giving thought to your plan. One mistake that business owners can make is to just follow the competition and do what they’re doing. However, what works for one company isn’t necessarily going to work for yours; in fact, you could end up creating a negative effect. A good way to form your strategy is to always be aware of who your customers are – or, in this case, your followers. What is it they are looking for? What gets them excited? What calls them to action? At the same time, any of the steps you take on social media need to reflect your brand’s image or else there is a disconnect, which certainly won’t help with engagement.
Why Do You Want to Increase Engagement?
Pulling those layers back even more, ask yourself why it’s so important to increase engagement? Sure, it can result in more followers, but it’s likely that there is more to it than just your follower tally. This is why you will also want to set a goal that you can work towards. This helps you to lay out a blueprint to success. Some of the more common goals companies can have regarding their social media accounts can include getting feedback from followers regarding your products and services; finding a way to launch your new products and service; finding a way to find new customer leads; devising a way to increase brand awareness; or perhaps creating a mechanism that you use for educating your customers.
Start Spending More Time on Content
Now it’s time to look at the content you are sharing on social media. Even if you follow all the above-mentioned tips, if you’re not sharing the right kind of content, then your efforts will go to waste. Content doesn’t have to be confusing; at its core, it is about sharing something that will spark interest in a follower, reader, or viewer. What this means is that you need to step inside the shoes of your target audience and figure out what it is they are looking for. Here’s where you should also feel encouraged to be creative and step outside the box. In an endless sea of social media posts, it can be hard to stand out, so you need to be aware of this fact and find ways to add an interesting angle to each and every post.
Some of the tips to keep in mind when creating content include:
- Use humor if it aligns with your branding
- Use visuals, e.g., charts, graphs, and pictures
- Use short video clips – this is especially helpful when showcasing new products
- Create a poll or ask questions to encourage engagement
- Host contests
- Encourage followers to post their own pics under your posts
- Ask simple yes and no questions
On top of the content being more creative, that effort also needs to be sustained and consistent. A one-off creative and fun post isn’t going to have the kind of lasting effect you’re after. Every time you post, you need to be looking for that “hook”, i.e., the thing about it that will draw people in and capture their attention.
Respond to Engagement in a Timely Manner
The final tip is to make sure that you’re actually responding and engaging with followers. This creates the sense that your business is more than just some sort of entity, and that there are real people behind it. When customers ask a question, make sure they are getting a response as quickly as possible. If customers post fun comments, go ahead and engage with them, and show the personality of the brand. With that said, it may be time to look at staffing and how much focus you put on your social media platforms. Do you have a dedicated staff member(s) who is actively posting and responding to comments on a daily basis? If not, it may be time to think about this.
If you are looking to increase social media engagement, these tips will certainly help you to get started and finally see the results you’ve been aiming for.