The name of our business reflects this critical aspect of social media for businesses – engagement. In order for your social media to reach its potential, you need to engage your customers on your social pages. Without this, you might as well be talking into an empty room. Engagement is the key to successful social media and building a community. We share 5 tips for how to build engagement on social media.
Ever noticed the businesses that seem to get likes and comments on every single post, that get their content shared and that seem to be everywhere? It’s because they have great engagement. If they didn’t they would have very few likes (maybe the personal account of the person who runs the social media marketing and the business owners mum) and you wouldn’t be admiring their efforts.
How it works
Good engagement signals to the platforms such as Facebook and Instagram that the audience is interested in what you have to say and so they show more of your posts to more of your audience. Make no mistake – getting engagement on social media is no mean feat – it takes time, passion, patience and commitment with consistency but it is possible with some time, effort and patience.
1. Post consistently
Avoid the temptation to post every time you have something to say. This could lead to some very heavy days and some days when there is no content. Post regularly and stay consistent – don’t leave huge gaps where you don’t post followed by a raft of posts. If you have a lot of content look to schedule it for the month. This way you are in control of what posts go out and when and you know you have a steady and consistent stream of social media content. this is the first step to build social media engagement.
2. Quality over quantity
3-4 good quality posts in a week are far better than 10 that are posts you have cobbled together for the sake of it. Vary the content to include:
- Some product posts – don’t overdo it and don’t be too sales-heavy
- User-generated content – share the posts your customers share and tag you in – it shows great recognition and encourages more
- Reviews – produce graphics using templates on platforms such as Canva which are easy to use and make your business look more professional
- Team photos, office photos, pictures of behind the scenes, the company van
- Industry news
- Polls – which colour, which shape, which size do you prefer? Instagram now has a feature which allows you to ask a question as a poll within the caption space.
- Business news – awards, launches, events etc.
- Video content – customers talking to camera, customer generated videos, images stitched together and animated to produce a video accompanied by music.
- Swipe graphics – swipe to see more.
3. Respond to your audience
If someone comments, respond. Start a conversation, build a community. If you are seen to engage with your audience, they are far more likely to interact with your posts. If they share your post, thank them. Ask people to share the love but don’t make it a condition to win a prize.
Be sure to like their posts, like their comments, follow them back if they follow you. Respond to their comments, engage in conversation. If they tag you in a post and their audience start commenting, make sure you get involved.
4. Make your posts engaging.
Not every post has to get 100 comments but make sure that some of them are the type to get considerable traction. Don’t look for link bait with mysterious headlines that produce crap results. Instead ask the questions that people want to answer and that are relevant to your business. There are some very simple posts you can do to build social media engagement. Try and make it relevant to your industry. If your business is in the pet category, ask people to share images of their pet. A good one is to ask them to post the last photo of their dog/cat in their phone.
5. Encourage user generated content and reviews.
If your customers have bought a product and taken the time to tag you in a post, it shows others that you are a real business with real customers that choose your products. If they have shopped with you, ask them to leave a review. Reviews are signals to Google that your business is trusted. They also show customers that you are trustworthy.
Benefits of great social media
For those that are feeling that this all seems like hard work, time consuming and just another thing you have to remember, it is important to understand what social media can do for you such as:
- Opening doors to new audiences
- Growing your business and brand awareness
- Signaling to Google of your businesses worth and can help SEO
- Building a community and a place to talk to your audience/customers
Using social media is free – it doesn’t cost you anything to start Facebook and instagram accounts and post your content – it will cost to place targeted ads to grow your audience and reach more of your potential clients but you can do this if you choose to. Some have built their entire business off of social media. It is certainly not somewhere that can be ignored since, according to the figures released today by Mark Zuckerberg there are now 3 billion people using at least one of their apps every day which include Facebook, Instagram and Whats App.
The thing to remember is success doesn’t happen overnight, and like anything, it does take time to build social media engagment as well as some thought, a little creativity and some handy apps such as Canva, to get results.