10 ways to increase your social media engagement like never before
Columnist Jordan Kasteler dishes out his top tactics for getting your audience to like, share, click and comment on your social media posts.
It’s probably one of the most frustrating parts of social media marketing — no engagement.
You post day in and day out hoping to see the social side of social media start to happen. Sometimes, a like or two will pop up, but most of the time, you hear crickets.
It’s disheartening. It’s also costly. Your social media marketing can’t pay off if your audience isn’t getting excited about what you have to say.
Social media is a popular way to use direct marketing. This type of marketing allows you to connect one-on-one with your customer, speaking directly to the person who will eventually open his wallet and buy from you.
With an opportunity like this, you want to capitalize on the connection. Engagement allows you to do that.
Here are 10 of my favorite ways to rise above the noise on social media and engage your audience.
Stop the scroll
The first step in getting someone to engage with your brand is to stop them from scrolling. If you can stop your audience from thumbing their way down the newsfeed, you have their attention. The best way to get that attention (and in turn, get engagement) is to post something they want to see.
- Know why your audience is on social media.
Why does your audience log in to a specific social media platform?
Perhaps your target audience loves using Facebook to browse through news stories. If that’s the case, post more newsworthy content.
On the other hand, your audience might log in to Instagram to look at their friend’s pictures. If that’s the case, you’ll have a better chance of stopping the scroll by posting behind-the-scenes pictures from your business.
If someone sees a picture of one of your employees doing something fun, they’re more likely to stop and check out what’s happening in the picture.
Once your audience stops scrolling and reads what you have to say, she’s more likely to engage with your post.
- Know what your audience does away from social media.
Another way to stop the scroll is to understand what your audience does when they’re not logged in. Use this to capture their attention.
For example, if you sell outdoor products to dog lovers, use more dogs in your posts. Show a dog on a hike. Or show your team playing with dogs. Regardless, incorporating dogs will make your audience more likely to stop scrolling and look at what you have to say.
- Be funny.
When consumers show up on social media, they want to be entertained — not sold to. When a brand forgets this, they lose the attention of their audience. Engagement plummets, and people ignore their posts.
Humor is one way brands can promote on social media while still keeping an audience engaged. One brand that did this well and saw tremendous results was Dollar Shave Club. Their commercial went viral, sharing their brand’s message while at the same time entertaining their audience.
People liked it, shared it and started tagging their friends to watch it, too. Ultimately, the commercial got millions of likes, shares and comments, helping it get viewed over 22 million times.
Inspire a reaction
Four months ago, Facebook unleashed an entirely new way of engaging with people and brands — Facebook reactions.
For years, users were complaining that there was no appropriate way to react to some posts. For example, hitting the “like” button felt inappropriate when someone would share sad news. To give people new ways of engaging with one another, Facebook introduced five new ways to react to posts: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.
As a marketer, this opens up a new world of opportunity for you. Your audience is encouraged by Facebook to react to what you share on various levels, which makes engaging your audience easier.
- Use emojis as prompts.
One way to encourage a reaction is to use emojis in your post. This sets the tone and shows the reader how you hope they’ll react.
For example, if you share something humorous, include the laughing emoji in your post. This shows your audience that what you’re sharing is funny and deserves a good laugh.
- Ask for a specific reaction.
Sometimes, you can get more engagement simply by asking for it. With Facebook’s reaction buttons, you can ask for a specific reaction. For example, host a contest and award people for hitting the “love” button instead of the “like” button.
- Ask for a review.
You might not be able to reward people for reviewing your business on most social media networks or websites, but you can also ask for your audience to leave a review in the form of a Facebook reaction.
Share one of your blog posts about an industry topic and ask people to share their gut reaction using Facebook’s reactions. Or post a picture of a product and ask for the review in the comments on Instagram.
Social media engagement isn’t all about likes, comments and shares. Clicks are another form of engagement. They’re perhaps one of the most important forms of engagement because they support your digital marketing funnels.
One way to do this is to use social media to spark intrigue among your audience.
- Share some compelling data.
People love knowing the facts. Offering survey results or compelling data that gives insight into a topic in your industry is a great way to get people interested in clicking to your website to learn more.
But don’t give everything away on social media. Offer a teaser, and then encourage your audience to engage with you by clicking over to your website.
- Unveil a new product.
Do you have a new product release? Did you make some exciting updates to your service offering? Let your fans be the first to know by unveiling it on social media.
Use social media to get people excited about the new release. Tease them with a few new details, and then encourage them to click to your website to learn more.
- Give something away.
People love getting something for free. Spark intrigue among your audience by offering the freebie, and use it to gather email addresses from your social media followers.
- Stream live videos.
Videos have it all — eye-catching movement, audio, imagery and sometimes text. Combine these elements, add in the excitement of live video, and you have a recipe for engagement success.
Live streaming has become a hot new way for brands to reach consumers. Facebook took a page from Periscope’s playbook and started offering live streaming to brands. Take advantage of it. You can stream industry events, how-tos, exciting milestones for your product, or even your own weekly news report. It’s a great way to get people to pay closer attention to your brand.
Social media marketing is ineffective without engagement. To get your audience commenting, liking, sharing and clicking on your posts, you need to entertain them, inspire a reaction and spark intrigue. The better you do this, the more engaged your followers will be.
How do you engage your audience?