One of the first lessons I learned as a blogger is that engagement is more important than numbers. While having 10,000 followers is great, it makes more sense to have 1000 active followers than 10,000 passive followers.
This lesson became very apparent to me after I run my seemingly successful FB campaign, which garnered hundreds of new likes for my FB page. While my numbers were up, my engagement was diluted by followers who had liked my page with no intention of engaging with it.
Engagement is vital to every business; you need an audience and customers who are willing to go the extra mile to interact with you, your brand, and what you have to offer. When this happens, you open up yourself to new ideas and better ways of doing things.
That is why below we will be looking at how to increase engagement in your social media community, so that you can interact more efficiently with your followers.
1. Quality Content
By far, the most straightforward and efficient method of increasing your social media engagement is to provide quality content. When you create and share content that is relevant, unique, and useful to your audience, then they are sure to respond positively.
However, if you are constantly posting articles, videos, advice, and giveaways that do not help them in any way, then they will start ignoring what you have to offer.
Additionally, you should play around with the content that you share with your social media community, and track which types of content are received better. Some niches do well with articles while others do better with videos.
And before I forget, take the extra step to ensure that your content is exciting. You can do this by adding pictures, infographics, graphs, polls, games, quizzes, and other interactive content.
2. Facebook pages vs Facebook groups
I currently have a Facebook page for my blog; however, there has been a lot of talk about whether FB groups perform better. Facebook groups allow your audience and customers to interact with each other, as opposed to just interacting with your brand.
By providing a platform where ideas are shared and topics are discussed, you take engagement to a whole new level. However, you need to make sure that what is being discussed revolves around your brand and/or your niche.
Furthermore, you can use your Facebook group to offer exclusive promotions to a target market that has already shown interest in what you have to offer.
For example, if you are a mechanic you can start a group for car lovers, where they can discuss fixing, maintaining, and updating cars and motorbikes.
Alternatively, if you are a food blogger, you can have a Facebook group where people share recipe ideas, talk about new kitchen equipment, and discuss growing fruits and veggies at home.
I am part of a couple of excellent blogging groups on Facebook, where I get to share posts, ask questions, receive advice, create partnerships, and gain support. And best of all, Facebook groups have more visibility than Facebook pages. If someone posts in the group, then I will definitely see it. Pretty awesome!
3. Stay on top of trends
Gone are the days where we had to tune into the news to get updates on what was going on around the globe. Now all you need to do is log onto Facebook or Twitter to get firsthand knowledge on current news from multiple sources.
As a business, you can take full advantage of this news sharing system. By simply identifying trends and tying them into your brand, you can increase engagement dramatically. However, you need to ensure that you pick the trend carefully. You do not want to tie your brand to a controversial event, and you do not want to take advantage of a tragic event- that’s simply in bad taste!
A few years ago, there was a black out during the Super Bowl, leading to people venting frustrations and making jokes on Twitter. Oreo took this moment to send out this ingenious tweet:
‘Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.’
This tweet received 15,000+ retweets and 6000+ favorites, which is engagement that most brands spend thousands/millions of dollars to replicate. And Oreo didn’t even spend a dime; they just paid close attention to the social media trends.
In the same breath, posting viral content will increase your overall engagement. If a piece of content has already proven to attract engagement, then take full advantage of it.
I have found that when I post content that receives a good amount of engagement, then the reach of the next piece of content will increase. So if I share viral content created by someone else, the resulting engagement will ensure that my following posts have a greater organic reach.
4. Don’t be selfish
It is tempting to only share your own content on social media. However, this is a huge mistake. Firstly, your audience can benefit from other people’s content, so sharing different (but valuable) content with your followers is beneficial to them.
Secondly, collaborating with others helps build relationships. I usually share other people’s content more than I do my own, and when this happens, the person who created the content will often re-share it, like it, comment on it, and even follow me back. This is immediate engagement with no effort on my part.
So if you share something on Twitter, be sure to mention the name of the person who created the content, and if you share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or G+, ensure that you tag them.
You can also go further to collaborate with other people in your niche, and cross-promote each other’s content. This provides you with access to a whole new audience.
5. Start a dialog
Sometimes the reason that people fail to engage with you is because you have not given them something to engage about. At the end of each blog post, I have a Call To Action where I ask people to comment on their feelings/experience in relation to the post.
By simply doing this, I give people an opening to engage with the post. When I give a starting point for dialog, I ensure that my audience is not left wondering what exactly to say about the content I have just provided.
If you have been in the position where you read a great blog post and are left wondering ‘what next?’, then you know what I mean.
That is why it is your job to start a dialog. Ask your audience what they feel about a certain law change in your industry. Create a poll and ask them to comment on which branding choice they prefer. Ask them to leave a comment about their best experience with your brand. Encourage questions, and then go ahead and answer them.
Create a Call To Action on the content that you share, and include questions during the content promotion stage. If your social media account has several openings for a dialog, you will see your engagement increase.
The approach given above can be applied to different facets of business, including user engagement, email engagement, and employee engagement. By increasing engagement in all areas of your business and brand, you ensure that you are getting the most out of what you are offering.
Using the tips provided above, you can ensure that your social media audience starts to contribute to the conversation around your brand.
Before you leave, I urge you to share these tips with your friends, family, and colleagues, and drop a comment sharing your favorite engagement strategy for your own audience. Also remember to sign up to the Business Broken Down newsletter, so that I can start emailing you first-hand post updates like a boss.
I hope you have a great week, and I’ll see you back here next week.