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In an ever-changing world of social media, there is one thing that can be frustrating and that is when people do not engage with your content on your social media platforms. Engagement can come in many different forms: likes, comments, shares, and retweets…but most forms of engagement have value as it indicates your target audience is listening.
Not only does engagement show your audience is listening but it also opens the door for you to build a sense of community with your following. Engagement allows you to develop long lasting relationships with your online community and will help you drive business. There are many ways to increase engagement but one thing remains steady, you need to put time and effort into your social media to get people to engage. You need to care about your audience and you need to be genuinely trying to help them, provide solutions and/or trying to connect with them on a real level. If your only goal on social media is to sell and make money you will find people see right through this and they are not likely to engage. As a business, you are not readily accepted. You need to earn your place in the communities where you want acceptance. So buckle up and commit to truly be present and watch the engagement begin!
As a community manager at SocialNicole, I manage many client social media channels. Believe me, I know how challenging it can be to get your audience to engage with your content and to keep the engagement momentum going. I promise that once you get on a roll and really start to figure out how to connect with your target audience, what they are looking for and how you can be of service the engagement will come. I use the word momentum because that is typically how it works. It starts slow, but over time with some elbow grease, strategy, and continued effort, the engagement will begin, from there it will get easier.
Below are my top tips to increase engagement on your business social media channels. I hope this helps. If you have questions after reading this feel free to comment below and we will be happy to answer your questions! Go forth and engage!
6 Tips To Increase Your Social Media Engagement
1. Know your audience to increase your social media engagement
I know we have said this before and we will say it again. It is crucial that you know your audience. If you do not have a target audience in mind it will be very difficult to come up with content that will resonate with a particular audience or niche. People tend to NOT want to narrow in on a tight and specific audience, stating that “anyone” or “many people” can use our product or service and narrowing the audience seems like a missed opportunity.
We understand how difficult this can be and also the feeling of leaving money on the table by “excluding” one audience while catering to another. The fact is that you are leaving a lot of money on the table when you try to reach a broad audience without any real definition. You need to know who it is that buys your products or services. Chances are it is one or two key audiences. There is a high possibility that there are plenty of people within that very narrow audience who want your product or service, yet you are doing a scattershot approach to reach as many people as possible. The fact is if you do not have excessive amounts of money you will not be able to reach that massive audience and even if you could, your most likely buyers will be the narrow, targeted audience.
When you focus on your targeted audience you are not leaving money on the table, you are investing in reaching the people who will most likely bring money to the table and ensure they will see your messages. By targeting one audience it does not mean that other audiences will not see your messaging, it just means you are focusing your message to reach the target. Your target is where the money is, go after it and make it yours.
2. Be relevant and provide value to increase your social media engagement
This goes in hand with knowing your audience. Post content that your audience will find relevant to themselves and their lives. When you do this you become relatable and your audience is likely to engage.
The fact of the matter is that people are bombarded with content all day long. They have news feeds pushing into their phones, emails coming at them left and right with all kinds of articles and information to process, they may even be viewing feeds on multiple social media channels. There is no shortage of content for them to view. So the question is: Why should they care about your content and why should they choose to connect with you, listen to you and/or engage with you?
The only way to reach people is to be relevant and make sure your content has meaning for those who see it. This is why you have to create a very targeted audience. When you create that audience you will be able to curate and create content that will be valuable to your audience. Remember that you are there to help people and provide value. How can you help and provide value if you are speaking to everyone? You cannot. The best examples of businesses using social media are those businesses that have narrowed their target audience and are creating content that is truly relevant to them. This content includes paid promotion and ads. Just because you “force” me to view your content does not mean I need to engage with it and/or decide to allow you to join my community. You must be willing to provide me with relevant content and give me a reason to engage. That’s it, but that is everything,
3. Be active, but remember the rule of quality over quantity will yield results when increasing your social media engagement
Being present daily on your business social media platforms is essential for your audience to see you and engage with you. While it is important to post daily (for most channels), you may even post multiple times in one day on occasion, you need to be aware of whether or not the content you are posting is valuable to your target audience. Posting quality content is essential to ensure your community finds value in staying connected to you.
There are two types of content you can post. Content that you curate from others and content you create. Both are important to your content strategy. Many businesses and brands do not share any content that is not their own. So the question we have is this? Do you have that much content that you do not need to curate from anyone else? Do you think that you are that interesting and/or you are an expert at every topic that your target audience may be interested in or want to know more about? Chances are you will answer no to these questions. No, you are not that interesting and no you will not be an expert on every topic that is worth sharing. And no you most likely do not have the resources to create new content daily to reach all the needs and wants of your audience.
There is no reason not to share other people’s content. Of course, you are not going to share competitors content and you will take the time to review and ensure the content you are sharing is high quality and worthwhile. Sharing other people’s content is most often a good strategy. Talking only about yourself all the time that can get pretty boring to your target audience. Who wants to listen to a company drone on and on about their products and/or services and share only content about themselves? It is important to mix things up and this is where curated content comes into the picture.
For curated content, you should create a feed of the trustworthy sources that you would like to use to curate content. Typically we look for relevant blogs where we know the bloggers or have spent time getting to know them through social media, we may also select news source and other industry sources for a feed to curate from. We have certain guidelines in place when curating content to find the best and most relevant content. One last word about curated content, if you tag the people who created the content it can help build a relationship with them. You may find over time they begin to share your rockstar content too. This can help you increase your own reach and engagement. I mean, this is what being social is about, sharing what others are doing, giving accolades, lending a helping hand and being a real human being that cares. Try it, you will not be disappointed!
As far as creating your own content this is where you have a chance to shine. Do not copy others, do not do what everyone else is doing. Set out to create unique content and do it well. Create compelling images, enticing messages and excellent content that is high quality, useful and relevant. It takes a lot of effort to create awesome content, but trust me it matters. We definitely advise quality over quantity. Take a look at our blog, we typically post once per week. We try to focus on real topics that people are looking for answers to. We work to make our posts relevant and useful.
That’s right, we only post once per week which means we are sharing a lot of other people’s content to fill in when we do not have our own unique content to share. When we do share our content it is high quality and people want to read it. This is why our email list has grown, why we are on the top of Google searches and why we have created an amazing sales funnel that feeds this growing company. Quality over quantity matters. Make sure you provide the quality content that people want and watch them engage.
4. Experimenting regularly is necessary and important to increasing social media engagement
Here is the thing, social media marketing is both a science and an art form. While SocialNicole is comprised of experts who have years of experience in how to create compelling content, present the content in enticing posts that are geared to get engagement and constantly working on campaigns to increase engagement one thing never changes. We have to test what we are doing and see if it is effective and make adjustments. Constantly. It never ends. Digital marketing provides us with great analytics to see how content performs. But if you are not analyzing the data and testing to see if you can do better you will not see improvement in your engagement and results.
It’s also important to test out different formats of content such as photos, videos or quizzes, and polls. There are so many different types of content you can post, try them all out and fin out which type of content your audience engages with most. Don’t be surprised to learn that while your audience loves videos, they may not always choose to engage with your videos. They may prefer photos, slideshows or other content depending on what the topic, event or campaign is. Testing is imperative to ensure people are engaging with your content.
5. Ask your social media followers to engage
This is so obvious and yet most businesses miss this one simple thing. Be straightforward and ask your target audience to engage with your page by telling them what you want them to do. Tell them if you want them to comment on a post, share a photo or take a quiz. Most business posts miss the call to action. What is it you want your reader or viewer to do? You should know when you post the content and then tell them. An example is to post a question with a link to an article and then say, “What you do you think? Please tell us in the comments.” Or for some nonprofits, we work with when they have an important message that they want their community to hear they will simply say at the very beginning of the post “Please Share”. This is so simple yet it is missed by most organizations. The results are compelling. Don’t be afraid to ask as this will help you get results.
6. Engage with your audience
This is another simple tip and yet it is often missed. Businesses will work so hard to get people to engage and then when people start to engage the business will not interact. Seems pretty counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Yet what happens is that a business or organization will be so busy and when the engagement comes in they may not think the comment(s) warrant a response or that the person or people commenting are not asking for a response. Our rule of thumb is that we respond if we can to let people know we are listening. Our responses always include liking the post but that is not enough, we reply to the comment to be sure that the person sees the response and knows we are actively engaging. If you want people to engage with you, you need to engage with them. Do not let a golden opportunity to build your community and your social empire slip through your fingers by NOT responding.
Be sure to reply to your audience when they engage with you. Like their comments, answer their questions and thank them for sharing. Engaging with your audience will help build a sense of community. When you participate in a two-way conversation with them, it’s likely that they will choose to engage more with you in the future.
My final thoughts on social media engagement and how to get your audience talking
While social media is always changing and evolving, having active and engaged social media platforms has always been important. When people engage with your content you know your audience is listening. Engagement shows the door has been opened for you to create a community, build relationships and eventually drive business. I hope this post not only gives you tips to help increase your engagement but that it also drives home the importance of creating a social media presence online that is positioned to engage.
Getting results with your social media marketing is a lot like working out, you have to keep at it and build it from a solid foundation. You can never stop growing your community and you have to be willing to do the work to get the results. Building a presence that provides value, quality content and is truly looking to connect and engage will lead to your business growing. It will happen naturally because your target audience will want to share your business with others. They will feel you are truly present and real, not just a corporate robot posting content to fill the page. Please share your engagement tips with us below. We would love to hear your comments.
Need help coming up with a plan to increase engagement on your pages? Contact SocialNicole today and let us help you engage!