10 effective tips to build engagement on social media platforms

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Social media is an effective way of building an audience of people who spend money in your business. But you need to be able to measure your marketing investment.

One way savvy organisations are measuring return on investment (ROI) is through engagement. This catch-all word includes the number of people who visited your pages, ‘liked’ (for FB), commented, clicked on a link, jumped through to your website and ultimately purchased or contacted your business.
You can get free engagement info, or insights, on many social media platforms – Facebook, for example, has an inbuilt review function; for Instagram this was a bit of an afterthought. Insights tell what engagement you’ve had for the post, the day, and the week. Simply put, it tells you what worked and what didn’t.

That’s essential information because your audience is telling you what resonated with them. For Facebook you see engagement defined as post clicks, shares and comments. For Instagram, it’s post likes, comments and bio clicks.

Active and passive engagement

Active engagement is the number of likes, comments and shares, which tells you how shareable your content is. If people are sharing or liking, their friends see it too, which increases your reach. This is how content goes viral!

Passive engagement is the number of post clicks, link clicks, video views and image clicks, which measures consumption of your content. They may not be sharing your posts but if your aim is to get more people to your website, you’ve got useful information to act on e.g. include links in your posts.
Total engagement is the total monthly measure of action across your page. From one month to the next you can figure out which content was more engaging.

Detailed analysis

The other thing to consider is your engagement rate per post. Take the total number of likes, shares, comments and clicks and then divide by the number of people who like your page. A good rate is 1% or greater (on Facebook; much higher on Instagram generally) is good! But there’s more!

You can find out what time of day people are more likely to see your posts, which posts did the best and audience demographics. It pays to look at this information and to market more effectively so you aren’t wasting your time with social media.

Tailor your marketing

As you get more and more information on your audience and can define what matters to them, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing towards how your audience can benefit from your business – always design your content with your customer in mind. For example, we know anything that triggers an emotional reaction is more likely to appeal – meaning they’re more likely to follow you!

Connecting benefits to your audience will ensure they understand why your products are so good! A good way to create that connection is to show images of people using your product or benefiting from them.

Clear, concise messaging will ensure people understand exactly what you do, and when you write your posts specifically for your audience and your customers, you can personalise them, creating more trust in your brand.

Call to Action

Lastly, you need a call to action (CTA). A CTA will inspire people to act, e.g. ‘Click here for a 10% discount available today only’. CTAs create urgency and encourage customers to act, which translates to sales if you do them well.

Top ten posting tips for building engagement

1. # Use hashtags to drive more engagement

A hashtag is used to help find content on a social media platform. By typing #socks in the search bar (in Instagram) it will show you all the posts within the social media platform on socks. Hashtags also help you to find new audience members through this search ability. You can use up to 30 hashtags (in Instagram) but it will look rather spammy. Don’t be spammy! Aim for 5-10 in each post. Check out other brands in the same industry and track your engagement when you use different hashtags. You can also create branded hashtags, making it easier for your peeps to recognise you easily.

2. Use good quality images in the correct size for your social media platform

Sounds simple enough and it is. Ensure your photo doesn’t get cut off so that your audience misses the point of the image or its quality. Brighter pictures are also more likely to be seen, as are muted colours such as blues, greens and greys. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s consistent and part of your brand.

3. Content, content, content

Content is a huge reason why people follow you. So, make sure the content is posted in a way that attracts your readers, either with a statement or question, by using various types of content, or by using content that never goes out of fashion. Using other ways to talk, like emoticons, is also a great way to make something a little different.

4. Include a call to action

Tell your audience what you want them to do…otherwise they just won’t do it! Create urgency to help put your audience in the right frame of mind to get clicking!

5. Post at the right times of the day

No point in putting effort into your content if no one is going to see it! Think about when your audience is most likely to be looking at your page! If it’s a lifestyle page, they aren’t likely to be checking you out during the day. Before work, during lunch or after work will be the best times for you. This is a trial and error process but your insight stats will help.

6. Use video

Videos are huge on Facebook, and if you are teaching or showing people how to use something, this is a great way to get your audience watching quickly!

7. Post consistently

This doesn’t mean you should barrage your audience with multiple posts each day. In fact, it has been shown, that the less you post in one day the better engagement you get. Whatever you choose, do it consistently.

8. Offer a unique perspective

It could be a ‘behind-the-scenes’ peek, or a picture of you hard at work, or you could tease your audience with bits of information about your latest launch – either way, show them a little more than perfection all the time. They want to get to know you, your brand and your company.

9. Ask questions

Ask your audience a question, or create a poll or quiz. People will answer if the topic resonates with them, especially if it’s currently trending. The more comments, the more engagement and, the more engagement, the more people will see your page and content.

10. HAVE SOME FUN!

This ultimately is the most important point. Life can be far too serious too much of the time. So, have some fun! It doesn’t have to be informative or inspiring or salesy all the time. Being creative and original is the best way to get the attention of your audience. Sometimes a funny face is all that’s needed ? but always join in on whatever conversation is happening on your page!

Rebecca Jenkins

Rebecca Jenkins

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If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover, please send to Rebecca@socialmediainc.co.nz and I will answer them in the next article. Join me for our final article in the February edition of focus.