Likes, comments, mentions, shares. Often referred to as vanity metrics, these measures can be linked to improved customer loyalty, expanded reach and increased sales to name a few. Research shows promptly addressing a customer complaint on social media can ‘increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%’ (Jay Baer). Conversely, 30% of customers who feel ‘shunned’ by brands on social media are ‘more likely to switch to a competitor’ (Sprout Social).
Seeking this sort of engagement on social media may sound a little vain, but if you’re ultimately looking to improve your bottom line, then you need to give your audience a reason to follow you in the first place. It’s no longer enough to clog their feeds with offers and promotions, they want more! Social audiences want to be entertained, educated and personally benefited one way or another.
From vibrant visuals to enticing competitions, we briefly list 11 simple ways to increase social media engagement for your brand.
Talk about your topic
This can be as obvious as sharing your thoughts on Fashion Week if you’re a high-end fashion retailer, or more abstractly linked like the example below from Peel. Peel design thin cases for iPhone’s, but their brand is all about minimalism – so, they share design inspiration through interiors and architectural designs that exude a similar minimalistic appeal.
Get involved with Q&As and AMAs
If you have a large enough following, this can be a simple way to get your followers involved, but it’s not without risk. Before announcing your Q&A or AMA, be prepared for mitigating sticky situations in case you’re asked controversial questions or the session steers away from the message you want to send.
Share third-party content
Whether it’s user-generated, from relevant influencers or other brands, sharing content is an easy way to expand your asset library and get other audiences interested in your brand. Quality user-generated content is gold on social media! It encourages people to share their experience with your brand online and it gives your followers insight into what it’s like to be your customer from an average person rather than a paid influencer.
Speak like a human, not a robot
It’s fine to have some sort of brand or style guidelines on how to communicate on social media, but make sure you aren’t fielding every mention with the same generic response. Instead, speak like a human being with a personality, established tone, consistent voice and perhaps even a personal signature to let your audience know that there’s a real person behind the screen. Innocent is an excellent example of a brand with a real personality on social – lighthearted, quirky and sometimes sarcastic.
Use relevant hashtags
The keyword here being ‘relevant’. You want to reach audiences that have similar interests to your brand and content, so rather than hopping on the most popular hashtags, do a little research to find high performing, relevant hashtags for your brand. To find relevant hashtags, try checking out what your competitors are using, taking a look at what influencers in your industry are using, or researching tags on Hashtagify to discover related hashtags and which ones are most popular.
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Social polls can be about your brand and products or a related trending topic in your industry. For example, the ‘this-or-that’ style poll is a simple and effective way to increase social engagement on Instagram, but you can run similar polls on Facebook and Twitter too. You can take this one step further with an interactive Instagram Story like the example below.
Run contests and giveaways
One of our favourite platforms for hosting a social media giveaway is Woobox. You can run instant win campaigns, photo contests, sweepstakes and much more. These can also be customised with your own branding for a cohesive design all around. You can see an example of one of the more basic campaigns below where followers can comment to win.
Post at the optimal time
Analyse your current posting time results or use the best practice standards if you don’t have enough data just yet. The majority of social platforms have built-in analysis and reporting tools to evaluate how your posts are performing. You can find the best day or hour to post for various goals, including the most views, furthest reach or highest engagement, then you can use this data to inform which types of content you should post and when.
Engage with the latest news and trends where appropriate
It really is all about relevancy! Whether you’ve listed the top events in your industry in advance or you jump onto trending topics as and when they happen (like the infamous Oreo Super Bowl Blackout tweet) you’ll place your brand in a conversational topic that interested people are already engaging with.
Ask, ask, ask
Request customer feedback and product reviews, ask your audience specific questions that require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, or go the ‘general’ route with a simple and effective ‘how are you?’. As the saying goes, people love talking about themselves, and your customers will be more likely to provide feedback on their experience if they know it’s being acknowledged and appreciated. This is especially beneficial if you can receive feedback that you can implement into improving your products and services for the future.
Create visual interest
Unless your products or services are highly visually interesting on their own, then you’ll want to curate or create content with vibrant colours, beautiful messages and creative twists. Be sure to decide on a cohesive look and style for your content before you start. Then, you can share compelling posts that attract viewers and leave them wanting more.
If you’re not sure whether your social media marketing is performing well, have a look at our blog post on measuring social media activity and how to improve your strategy. Or, if you’re looking to spend more time on higher level business activities, why not contact us today to find out how we can help with your social media marketing.