Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingFive tips to increase social media engagement

Five tips to increase social media engagement

77% of people in the US have a social media account. But few brands succeed at engaging followers. Here's how you can increase social media engagement.

According to Statista, 77 percent of people in the U.S. have a social media account. If your business doesn’t yet utilize social media, you’re missing out on lots of opportunities to get your content promoted and recognized. But beyond your social media, have you considered how to interact with the audience behind it?

Most brands do, in fact, have social media accounts across various channels, but they have one thing in common: they hardly ever socialize with or get to know their followers. What good is social media if you don’t use it to connect with and better understand your audience? It’s building these relationships that will improve your conversions, leads, and customer engagement level.

Getting the engagement you want through social media isn’t always easy. It takes time to build your platform and gain people’s trust enough that they want to consume your content regularly. Be patient and know that as long as you keep up with it, you’ll see results eventually.

Here are five tips you can increase your social media engagement with followers.

1. Interact with followers

When you give clear, direct responses to thought and feedback from customers, you’re showing them you’re actively engaged in the conversation and care about what they think. Many consumers like to reach out to brands via social media rather than contacting them through the phone or by email. This also gives brands an opportunity to build a connection with their followers.

Sprout Social survey found that 68 percent of consumers want brands to participate in conversations they’re mentioned in while 83 percent want brands to respond to them. Users already want to actively engage with businesses on social media, so by giving them what they want, you’re more likely to be in their favor.

More and more consumers count on social media when there’s an issue and depend on brands to respond to get it fixed right away.

2. Ask for feedback

You shouldn’t underestimate your audience’s willingness to interact with you when given the chance. People online have nothing to lose by being honest with you and you shouldn’t be afraid of possibly receiving negative customer feedback. There’s nothing wrong with that because it allows you to fix what isn’t working for better results.

Ask them how to better get in touch with them. Find out what interests them, start up a conversation, and be genuine in your pursuits. Suggest that they write reviews of your products and share it through their own social media. Encourage them to spread the love through all their platforms once they learn to love your brand and its interactions with followers. Reviews give newcomers important information about your business and its products so it’s important they are positive.

3. Get visual

In a reported study by eMarketer, Facebook business pages with images receive an 87 percent increase in engagement by visitors.

Visual mediums allow people to absorb and consume information easier and quicker. People want the easiest experience available, and demonstrating through graphics is more stimulating than reading paragraphs of text. The more interactive you can be towards users, the better.

Get creative with your visual approach. Upload images, graphics, infographics, GIFs, video, and whatever else suits your taste. Be sure to upload content that fits and resonates with your brand and your audience. Otherwise, your posts might come off childish and immature.

4. Create a contest

Who doesn’t love entering contests with the chance to win something? Contests are a fun, interactive way to spark your followers’ interest, get them talking, and introduce them to different products. They also appeal to a broader audience which attracts potential converting visitors.

Announce your contest through all your active social media channels. Determine how long the contest will go for and what the rules are for entering, like if your followers must like or share your post to be considered. This will boost your visibility and level of engagement.

Make your prize something you know your audience will love that ties back to your brand. If you know your audience well, coming up with ideas for prizes they’ll enjoy should be easy. The more value the item has, the higher chance you have of giving them something they’ll really enjoy.

Don’t forget to thank your participants once the contest is closed. Send a follow-up email thanking them for their participation and link them to a piece of content you think they’ll enjoy. You can also offer promo codes and discounts as further incentive to convert them to paying customers and encourage them to share their experience with your brand on social media.

5. Foster community

Building a community on social media is difficult in the beginning because you have to give people reason enough to follow and engage with you as a brand. Eventually, if you stick to it, you’ll see followers start to trickle in and that’s when you can begin engaging.

There are multiple ways you can foster community through social media:

  • Listen to your audience. Ask them directly what they want to see from you and what will solve their problems as a consumer. Don’t exclusively talk to them about your products or business; instead, converse with them like you’re friends and keep it casual. This will make them feel more comfortable with you and urge them to buy.
  • Be honest. Everyone falls short sometimes. When your business exposes its shortcomings, own up to them and try to fix them rather than ignore them or pretend they don’t exist. Admit to your mistakes and avoid using excuses and lies out of embarrassment.
  • Be a quick problem solver. When users reach out to you on social media asking for help, respond as quickly as possible with a solution to bring them. Be eager to solve their problems. This will encourage them to continue engaging with you and spark interest in others to do so as well.
  • Share user-generated content. Encourage them to share their own content and tag you in it. This will boost your reach with potential customers and present real-life usability of your products. Consumers also like seeing other customers using your products to show their quality and functionality.

Over to you

If you’re not at the level of social media engagement you’d like, these tips should help you get started. Giving your audience what they want — in this case, direct communication — will show your brand as friendly, personable, and willing to help with any issues. If you ask for constructive criticism, you may be surprised by what you find and how the advice you receive could improve your engagement. By inserting more visual content into your posts, like image and video, you’re likelier to catch someone’s attention. What do you do to increase social engagement?

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