Engagement. The one thing that content creators on social media are obsessed about.
How do I get more likes? Why are people not responding to my picture? Or that occasional, ‘Omg! Someone shared my post!!!’.
There was a time when it was all just about the numbers and being satisfied with the number of followers or ‘likes’ we have. Today, however, engagement means starting a conversation around a particular picture or post.
As spoken about in the 3 Social Media Metrics to focus on, engagement does not necessarily lead to a direct increase in sales revenue. The goal of engagement is more about building brand awareness and image. If engagement were a person, his happiness is not based on how much he earns but the quality of his relationships.
Here are 4 ways to engage your audience:
Create content your audience want to see
Before this can be done, you need to know their interests, their likes and dislikes. Businesses like to start off with following anyone and everyone on their social media accounts, and then hoping to catch the bait. However, you are only going to get followers who have no interest in your content. In order for you to have ‘quality’ followers, you need to have ‘quality’ following.
Once this is established, knowing what content to create becomes clearer. In other words, decide on your content based on your followers’ interests. Instead of creating the content you want your audience to see, create something that they want to see. In order to align your content on multiple platforms, you can use a content calendar.
Tip: Create a content calendar that takes into account your past and upcoming campaigns. For example, if there is a contest that is currently being done on your Facebook page, you want to keep your Instagram followers in the loop too. See your followers as people who form your community, rather than people who you are trying to sell something to.
Know who is talking about you. There is a high chance of your brand name having different variations or even posts that go ‘un-tagged’.
Even though most businesses create designated hashtags for their brands and manage conversations from there, those posts that are not tagged properly are overlooked. You may be thinking about the triviality of this when in fact, according to Buffer,
“hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.”.
Educating your audience about using branded hashtags properly will also help to attract the right followers for your brand.
Tip: Instead of just looking at user-generated content (UGC) under the designated hashtag, take note of the UGC created under the variations around that hashtag too.
A conversation always starts from a dialogue. If posting pictures or videos alone is not enough to get people talking about it, initiate a conversation. You can do this by including questions in your captions. Like this:
“How are you feeling today?”
“We need suggestions for a giveaway contest next week, any ideas?”
“If you could travel to any country for free, where would you go and why?”
By asking questions instead of directly asking for likes and shares, you show your audience that you are interested in some real interaction.
Tip: Do not overdo this. Initiating a conversation in every post would make your audience feel that this is all just part of the routine.
Find a few people who are already using your product/service to speak for the brand. This is not the same as engaging ambassadors. What consumers value today are hearing about the product/service from people who have something in common with them, rather than celebrities and influencers whom they know are paid to say good things.This should not be done with monetary transactions. Rather, get real customers or users to testify how good your product/service is.Tip: Don’t only listen to positive comments. Listen to the negative things people have to say about your product or service. Negative comments can be used to improve your current product/service or even reveal some of the potential problems of the product/service.
In the next article, we will talk about how you you can make more meaningful engagement on social media.
What is your own experience with social media engagement? We want to know 🙂