Social media for business is all about engagement! The more people that engage with your posts, the more that will see the next one. To get good at social media engagement, you have to be good at knowing how to grab the attention of your audience and how to start a conversation. This is particularly true of Facebook but the same rules can be applied across the spectrum.

Getting people talking is a skill but it doesn’t have to be hard, it just takes a little thought and planning. How many flat posts have you seen in your feed that really don’t do anything to engage or inspire? The answer may actually be not many because if they are not posts that engage, they probably won’t even make it to your feed. We take a look at how to increase social media engagement, what to post to start conversations and how to keep your audience coming back for more.

Share Something You Love

Your dog, your cat, your horse… people love animals and as a brand, sharing your passions is a great way to engage your audience. It may have absolutely nothing to do with your products or services but it says a lot about you as a person and will show a more human side to you and your business. Post a picture of your prized possession/companion and perhaps encourage others to share theirs.

It may not be an animal but a car, a piece of jewellery, a piece of furniture or something sentimental that you have owned for years.

What Motivates/Inspires You?

What sparks your creativity and inspires you? Share that thought. Ask people what inspires them, what motivates them. Get people talking

Favourite Tools That Make Life Easier

Easy one for us – Canva! This software is massively helpful in our efforts to create engaging social media posts. We could bang the Canva drum all day long. If ever we are stuck for content, we just open up the app on the iPhone, iPad or computer and create something in a matter of minutes.

Of course, not everyone works on a computer – tradesmen for example may choose a particular type of power tool. Ask people what tools they use to make their job easier. Share a picture of some tools to create that initial interaction.

Stuff You’ve Seen

You could call it copying but we like to think of it as being inspired by what others are doing. You’ve hear the expression about re-inventing the wheel? Well, why do it when you don’t need to? If something has worked for something else, use it to work for you. As long as  you aren’t directly ripping off the competition, plagiarising content etc. Change it up, emulate the idea but put your own stamp on it.

We saw something similar on a Facebook post so we took the idea and created our own version – the original post was just a basic image and text, with no apparent link to a specific company so we used Canva to add the clients colours, logo and font and made it personal to their business. This type of posts will make people laugh, encourage shares and likes. We used a completely new photo and didn’t use any part of the original artwork – just the concept.

You could even share their original post if it’s a strong post. Share a big sharer to increase your engagement. If you find a post with thousands of likes, shares and comments, use it to grab some of that love for yourself. You can share images, memes, quotes, articles etc. Just beware that if you are sharing an article by someone else, when it gets re-shared, it will just share the original article and not your page.

Things That Make You Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine so why not share the love? If you are having a bad day and then you see something on social media that makes you laugh, the chances are it’s going to make others laugh too so share it. Don’t try and do this with every post but now and again add one into your social media content calendar or share one ad-hoc when you see it.

Ask Questions for Social Media Engagement

When we say ask questions, be sensible about what you are going to ask. The idea is to engage people and spark up a conversation. Not challenge people with clickbait type arguments. One of the worst things we have seen on social media is the posts that say “bet you can’t name a song with the letter ‘a’ in it”. It’s a bit spammy and while it may encourage shares or other people seeing it when their friends comment, there is very little value in it.

Instead ask something that is going to spark a genuine and interesting conversation. This is an example of something we recently posted on our hobby site. Running for the Hills is a trail running blog for fans of trail running fans run by us as an outlet for all of our running talk so that we don’t bore our family and friends. The other day, I took a tumble, I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) to document the experience and then shared it online with the caption “Hands up if you’ve ever fallen over on a run”. The comments came in over the course of the evening and for a small page, we reached 24 comments quite quickly. We shared it on Reddit and on a trail running Facebook group too and the engagement was superb. Dozens of comments on both of these posts means we probably had about 70 interactions and over 200 visits to the page. Why did it work? Well, it was something that other runners could relate to, we offered them an insight and we engaged them with something that many of them have experienced. Its these genuine experiences that make you real and help to capture the attention of others.

Offer Solutions to Problems

Offer solutions to common problems or issues or invite your audience to offer their solutions. Get your audience talking by asking how people resolve a certain issue, or asking for recommendations to something that many people may struggle with for example. Again, the above article about running shows a great example of how we were able to offer advice and potential solutions to what to do when falling over while running, how to prevent a worse outcome, how to deal with a fall etc.

Offering a solution to people’s problems will ensure that you get a better interaction.

Be More Than Just a Business

We don’t mean get personal with your audience but show people the faces behind your brand. Don’t be a faceless company with no identity. Instead, share pics of your team at work, share birthdays, celebrations, anniversaries. Share behind the scenes videos and pictures of you at work or play. Has one of the team completed an event like a half marathon/marathon/triathlon or gained a new qualification? These things are the events that you should be sharing.

At Engage Digital Media, we are always asking our customers to keep sharing a steady stream of content that we can share. Pics of them with clients, customer feedback, displays in their shops, interesting photos they have taken. We usually just set up a Whats App group and share ideas. It means they don’t have to spend loads of time preparing and scheduling their own social media content – they can just drop us pics on Whats App and we do the rest.

Engage in the Conversation

Once you have started a conversation, it is important to keep the conversation going. If someone responds, respond back, if they offer a view point, offer a response. The more you encourage the conversation, the better. If people leave reviews or comments on posts, be sure to respond to them. Don’t ignore people who have taken the time to engage with your page.

The more you take time to invest in social media engagement, the better it will work however, if you don’t have the time then it is worth talking to an expert or at least allocating the role to someone in your team. For further help and information, please do get in touch.