Kickstarting our series of the most definitive social media guides ever.
Increasing and improving engagement on social media networks is crucial for building your brand, so if you’re interested to know more about this, you’re at the right place! We’ll tell you all you need to know about social media engagement, from how important it is in social media marketing to giving you the best practices to improve it. In order for you to completely understand this essential part of the social media marketing strategy, let’s start by defining it.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is the interaction and communication your audience has on your social media platforms as well as the interaction between you or another representative of your brand and your audience. Engagement isn’t simply a single interaction you have with a customer or a potential customer, but the overall interaction over a longer period of time. Building the relationship between your brand and your audience is similar to building traditional relationships. Think of social media engagement like long-term relationships. In order for it to be successful, you need to dedicate time, be adaptable, be committed, and understand what makes your audience happy.
It’s the total sum of all the likes, hearts, shares, comments, retweets, replies, and so on, on the posts, photos, and videos on your social networks. That being said, commenting and sharing are the two most effective types of engagement, and no wonder!
The biggest social media platforms that have a comment section are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. When someone comments on your post, some of that person’s friends either get notified that a comment was left by their friend, or the post where the comment was left shows up on their feed. This helps your post to become visible to your audience’s friends and attract more attention, which is always a good thing.
Replying to your followers' comments is also the best way for you to engage with them and build their trust and confidence for your brand. Sharing, retweeting, or repinning is another very effective type of engagement since the post becomes visible to many friends of the original sharer. If someone clicks on the post, they’ll be redirected to the original post on the page where it was posted and you have the chance of acquiring another potential customer.
How and Why is Engagement Important in Social Media Marketing?
Social media, being one of the leading platforms for communication nowadays, is the best place where you can generate engagement. But why do we give social media engagement such importance? How is engagement so important in social media marketing?
Firstly, you’ll increase your online exposure and build brand awareness. This is especially beneficial if you’re working with a limited budget and can’t afford lots of ads and paid marketing. Growing your following means talking to your current followers and initiating conversations relevant to your brand. Simply having a large following doesn’t mean that it’ll continue to grow if you don’t actively engage with them, so take some time every day to reply to their comments or simply like your favorite ones and you’ll see the results yourself.
Secondly, you’ll improve the relationship between your brand and your customers and build customer loyalty. Having the loyalty of your customers is extremely important for a successful business. If your customers trust your brand, they’ll be more inclined not only to buy your products or use your services again, but also recommend them to other people. By interacting with your followers you’ll also learn more about them, their likes, dislikes, attitudes, interests, and so on. This will be very helpful for your overall social media marketing strategy since really knowing your audience will help you to create more meaningful content where you’ll receive even more engagement.
One more way in which you can familiarize yourself more with your customers is by reading and answering their messages. Social messages have become the new place for providing online customer service, and this shouldn’t be underestimated. Of course, if your audience is big, you alone would not be able to reply to all messages. Statistically speaking, up to 7 in 8 messages that are sent to brands are left unanswered which only hurts the customer — brand relationship. This is why engaging with your customers, especially when it comes to answering their concerns, questions, or complaints in a private message, strengthens the relationship between you and builds customer loyalty which is why it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Lastly, you’ll increase conversions and improve your sales. Engaging with your customers and potential customers is very effective for increasing your conversion rates and there are many ways in which you can do this, like creating interactive content like quizzes and polls, questionnaires and surveys, contests, live chats, live videos, and more.
All of this makes engagement vital for the success of your social media marketing strategy and with that the success of your brand.
How to Improve Your Social Media Engagement?
If you’re not so sure how to improve your social media engagement, here are 10 valuable pieces of advice that’ll help you to achieve this.
Visual Content in Your Posts
Including visual content to your posts on social media is a guarantee for higher engagement. Many statistics and A/B tests have shown that if we include an image to a quote, question, or any other form of textual content, we’ll get more likes, comments, and shares. Since we’ll get more engagement to that post, the social media platform we use will show the same post to a larger percentage of our followers.
If you sell products, it would be great to include a photo of people who use them. You can even put a short text on the photo where you can include a few words about the product in question or a short testimonial from the customer.
Short videos are also a popular way to increase engagement on your social media profile. If you make the video interesting and entertaining, it’ll not only make your post more engaging, but it can also get you more followers.
Sponsor a Giveaway
Giveaways are one of the fastest ways to boost engagement and get new followers for a price much lower than paying for ads. Not only you’ll get new followers by sponsoring a giveaway, but you’ll promote your products and reach people that never knew your brand existed.
As everybody knows, people love free things and it’s your job to make use of that. Creating a giveaway can be really simple. Publish an exciting-looking picture of your products that you plan to give to your followers. Write 2−3 sentences and announce that each person who likes, comments, or shares the post will have a chance to win some of your amazing products.
Besides creating your own giveaway on the social media platforms your brand is active on, you can also sponsor other giveaways. For example, if you’re in the tech or fashion industry, there are many websites, blogs, and, vlogs that can promote both your products and your social media profiles. All you have to do is find influencers from your industry and send them a proposal.
If you want to learn more about how to find the right influencers for your brand check out our influencer marketing guide.
Share Interesting Facts or Surprising Statistics
Sharing cool facts about your products or something else from the industry you’re in can be fun for your audience to see. Posting statistics about the services you offer, that you think your followers will find surprising or engaging, is always good in order to keep your fans interested in and engaged with your brand.
If you’re in business for some time, you probably have some cool statistics and facts to share. You can tell your followers about the number of your clients in an engaging way. «Our service has helped thousands of people/business. Tell us how it helps you on daily basis?» or «On average, people use our service for 30 minutes every day. Tell us how often you use it and how it helps you save time?»
Make Your Posts Funny
Depending on your brand and the industry you’re in, if it’s suitable and fitting, you should also include humor to some of your posts. Funny posts are shared much more than serious ones and by including humor you can double your engagement rate. In some rarer cases, if you’re lucky and your post is funny and catchy to many, it can even become viral.
The goal of every social media profile for a brand that sells products or services is to get more exposure, by having higher engagement and more followers. But sometimes the social media profiles of such brands can become too promotional, and that kills engagement.
It’s important to keep in mind that nowadays many jokes can be perceived as offensive for some groups of people. Therefore, be careful when incorporating humor. It’s amazingly good for engagement, but if you’re not careful it can backfire as you probably know from some other popular brands in the last few years.
Ask your Followers for Reviews or Feedback
Asking your followers to give you feedback or write reviews is one of the easiest ways to increase the engagement on your brand’s social media profile.
From time to time, you can ask your followers a question they’ll be able and willing to answer. You’ll not only increase the engagement, but it can be useful for your brand in many other ways, like improving the product or service you offer. If you’re a company that offers a service, you can ask your followers how often they use it and for what purpose. You can also ask how it helps them on a daily basis, so you’ll make them answer in a positive way.
Whether you sell products or services, one of the best ways to improve your goods is to ask for your customers' opinions. You can ask them about what they would change or add to the existing product or service. You’ll get not only engagement for your social media page, but some useful suggestions from people that actually love and use your products/services.
Start a Conversation
Initiating a conversation is one of the easiest and fastest methods to improve your social media engagement. All you have to do to start a conversation with your followers is to ask them a question relevant to your brand or the industry you’re in. This is also a particularly useful way to improve your brand, products, or services, by getting practical and helpful advice from your customers.
One way to engage your followers is to ask them to answer a single straightforward question which they’re willing to answer. You can also create a poll for them to fill, so you’ll get more responses. The question you’ll be asking them can be whatever you think your followers care for or are passionate about.
Starting a conversation doesn’t have to be only by asking your followers to answer a question. You can increase your engagement even more by asking the people that follow you or your brand to post photos in the comments of your post. Here you can be very creative and that fully depends on your imagination. Only be sure that what you are asking your followers to post is somehow related or relevant to your brand.
Answer Their Questions
Most customers use social media as their primary way for customer service. Almost ⅔ of customers on average would want you to be able to help them on Facebook or Twitter when they have problems or questions about your brands' products or services. However, the majority of businesses are not able or are failing to help their customers via social media. Around 90% of all businesses won’t assist their customers when it comes to social service care.
So, even if you’re able and willing to help your customers and respond to their questions on social media, be sure to respond quickly. The reason why many people choose social media to contact the customer service is that they believe they’ll get a fast response.
This is a great method for increasing your engagement that you can plan in advance and even schedule. You can do it by making a list with the most frequently asked questions from your followers and customers. Answer them the best you can and schedule each to be published on your social media profiles, one by one, every day or every couple of days depending on your content marketing strategy.
Sign up to Amplifr to receive the best posting time predictions and schedule your content effectively on multiple social media accounts.
Use Emojis and GIFs
Whether you are publishing a post, commenting on other posts, or replying to a comment, using emojis and GIFs is a great way to stand out and draw attention. The more one post stands out, the higher the chances to be seen when people are scroll down their feeds. When they see GIFs or emojis, the scrolling slows down and your post has more chances to be seen. All that’ll lead to higher engagement rate, since your followers won’t miss your post or comment.
Instead of only writing a simple text message, use GIFs when writing comments or publishing posts. That way you’ll have a chance to double your engagement rate. GIFs are very popular with younger social media users but are also becoming more and more liked by older users on different social media platforms.
A higher reach of your post will lead to higher engagement, so don’t miss the opportunity and try posting GIFs more regularly, especially funny and relevant ones. To get the greatest benefit from them, you can even find a cool GIF and edit it with some free online apps. You can write a question or a short statement on it and make it cool and useful for your followers.
Respond to Comments
Regularly responding to your followers' comments is a good strategy for increasing the engagement rate on your social media profiles. But it’s also a serious job so you may want to employ someone to be responsible for it, depending on the size of your brand and the number of your followers. Similarly to answering your followers' questions, responding to comments is also great for improving your page’s engagement.
Try responding to every comment, mention, and even to some posts with relevant hashtags. This can be a time-consuming job, but in the end it’s rewarding for your brand since your followers (potential and active customers) will see that you care about their opinions, comments, and suggestions. That’ll build trust with your brand and you’ll probably get more customers and definitely higher engagement.
Share Content and Causes
Publishing your own original content on social media is great. It’s good for getting more visitors to your website and passing a message you want your followers to hear. If the content you’re publishing is relevant, useful or funny you may even improve the engagement rate of your social media profile. But it’s often great to also share content that other people created.
When you find some article, video, or another post from other creators or influencers, think about your followers. If you think that your followers will like that piece of content, if it’s relevant to your brand in some way, or if you think that it would be helpful to your audience, why not share it on your social media page? When you share curated content, you’ll not only provide relevant information to the people that follow you, but you’ll also build trust with them as well as with the creators of that piece of content.
It’s also good for your business to share causes that’re helping others and are good for our society. From time to time, think about sharing and writing about charities or other non-profit organization. Include what they fight for and how your followers can help them reach their goal. What better way to you show your customers and followers that you truly care?
Which Social Media Platforms are Best for Engagement + How to Increase it?
Every social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, but what do the statistics say when it comes to engagement? Which platforms performed best in the past 2 years when we take engagement into consideration? Are these platforms suitable for your business? How can you increase engagement is you’re already using these platforms or plan to start using them? Let’s take a look.
Even though it’s the second most popular social media platform, out of all the platforms with the largest number of users, Instagram takes the first place when it comes to engagement. More than 50% of Instagram users follow brands on this channel, most of them in their 20s and 30s, and this number only increases.
Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Instagram profiles to see if their overall performance is meeting your expectations.
Best Engagement Features for Brands + How to Increase Engagement
Instagram is a highly visual platform. It gives brands the opportunity to present their stories in a creative and engaging manner via photos, videos, and of course, Instagram Stories. No matter the type of business you run, you can present your products, your company’s story and goals, behind the scenes content, customer’s reviews, and more in a visually appealing manner that your audience will want to engage with.
Instagram Stories, the newest Instagram feature, are a great way to engage an audience. They’re fun to look at, easy to access, and most importantly in this case, Stories allow brands to add a personalized touch to engagement. The more authentic brands are when using Stories, the more people will relate to them. Moreover, the fact that Stories are the first thing most Instagram users look at before scrolling down their feed means that your audience will see your brand more often, therefore engage with your brand more regularly as well.
Instagram Stories Highlights also play a big part in increasing engagement, both for your most dedicated followers as well as new ones that access your brand’s Instagram profile. Highlights, or the Stories you pin on your profile, allow users to find out more about your brand and stay on your profile for a longer time. In order to inspire more engagement, make sure to add a call to action that’ll invite your followers to interact in some way.
For example, if you create recipes, your call to action can be for your followers to post a photo in the comments of the meal in question, or if you sell products, you can invite your followers to share their experiences via a post, a photo, or a video, and so on.
Also, don’t forget about direct messaging. Your customers and potential customers might have questions regarding the products you sell or the services you offer, so instead of calling your company they’ll most likely message you directly. Make use of this feature and see direct messaging as a new tool for customer service, which in turn will also increase your engagement rates.
Facebook is still the best platform where businesses can find their target audiences, since, after all, Facebook has the most diverse audience out of all other social media platforms. After making some changes in the way their algorithm works, Facebook now prefers those brands, influencers, and users who create «meaningful interactions» among users. This is why Facebook users in 2018 see more posts from their closest people like friends and family as opposed to content from brands.
Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Facebook profiles and Pages to manage them effectively and hassle-free.
Best Engagement Features for Brands + How to Increase Engagement
One of the best features Facebook offers for brands is their targeted ads. Why are ads so important for brands, you may wonder? Because you can select your perfect target audience too see them. You can narrow down your audience by location, demographics, interests, and so on, so that you can drive more engagement and increase brand awareness at the same time.
Another way to increase engagement on Facebook would be to produce content that, as we mentioned before, inspires «meaningful interactions» among users. You can do this by creating content which will trigger an emotional response from your target audience based on what you know about them. This is a great way for you to utilize the power of Facebook groups.
Therefore, make sure to always welcome new members, pay attention to the conversations your followers have, and most importantly, encourage them to engage in different ways. Ask questions, create polls, create challenges, start discussions, respond to questions, and so on. The important thing is to regularly create engaging content and be present.
Another feature which is extremely beneficial for brands is Facebook Analytics. By using Facebook Analytics you can have more insight into which posts perform well and which don’t so that you know what works for your audience and what doesn’t. For example, if there’s a post that has a significantly larger numbers of likes, shares and comments, you can use it as an inspiration for your content strategy since you know that you’re audience will engage with similarly constructed content.
Finally, live videos not only increase page engagement, but organic reach as well. Since it gets more and more difficult for brands to achieve organic reach on this platform, Facebook live videos give users an easy way to connect with their favorite brands and influencers. In order to maximize the power of live videos, make sure to always inform your followers that you’re going live so you can reach more people. Describe the content that’s to be expected in a creative and enticing way so that your followers are intrigued to see what the video will be about.
While broadcasting, encourage your audience to like and share the video on their profiles so that more people can see it. Be confident and talk to your followers as if each and every one is standing right in front of you. You can even respond to their comments and call them by their name in order to spark engagement and inspire them to interact even more.
Since we mentioned Instagram, the biggest photo-sharing platform, and Facebook, a platform where both photos and videos spark engagement, now it’s time to say a few words about the most popular video-sharing platform, YouTube. Apart from being the biggest social media platform for videos, YouTube is also the second most popular search engine after Google. With over 1 billion users and a diverse audience, this is a great place where you can reach and engage with your audience since more that 70% of YouTube users follow brand channels every week.
Best Engagement Features for Brands + How to Increase Engagement
One of the best things about YouTube is that you can post an unlimited number of videos, create different playlists, and share the videos on your other social media platforms, even integrate them into your website. Due to YouTube’s diverse audience of more than 1 billion people, you can easily find your target audience and drive engagement.
Being the second most popular search engine, having a YouTube channel will help with your SEO. This means that when people search for your brand’s channel or a particular video, it can be found both on YouTube and Google. This is why you should optimize your YouTube channel for search engines, starting with the title and description of each video you upload.
Still don’t have a YouTube channel? Check out our complete guide on how to create a YouTube channel.
As you can see, in order to have a successful social media content strategy, engaging with your audience is of a great importance. Our last tip for increasing engagement would be to schedule your posts when your target audience is most active. You can figure this out by using tools like Amplifr, so go ahead and grow your brand online.