How to Increase Engagement on Social Media
Brands are moving beyond vanity metrics such as followers. Instead, they’re looking at social media engagement, specifically how to increase engagement. Why? Because having an engaged social media following, is much more valuable than having thousands of followers who don’t care about what you have to say.
“Organic reach for branded Facebook pages is 2% on average.”
These days all social media networks have enforced algorithms, set to improve the user experience. These algorithms prevent brands from targeting the masses and instead favour content that a particular user will find interesting. Content that receives high engagement, tends to be favoured by the algorithms and lead to a higher reach of your content.
A few facts to help us understand the challenge we as marketing professionals face:
- Every minute, 527k photos are shared on Snapchat, 695k giphys are sent and 350k tweets posted
- The average person receives over 120 phone notifications a day
- Organic reach for branded Facebook pages is 2% on average – so if you have 1000 followers, only 20 people will see your content.
- People miss up to 70% of their feeds. This is because Instagram/Facebook’s algorithm filters out a lot of content.
Whilst people are spending more time online than ever, there’s also an overwhelming amount of content. Brands are having to compete for attention and find ways to stand out amongst the noise. This is made harder by social media sites algorithms which filter out content. To add to this challenge, earlier this year, Facebook claimed they’d be making it even harder for brands to stay visible, with an algorithm change favouring content from friends and family.
Aimlessly posting masses of content in the hope it’ll reach a large number of people is no longer a wise approach. Customers expect highly targeted personalised and authentic content. We need to engage with our audience and create bonds.
So, onto our top tips to increase engagement on social media!
Increase Engagement on Social Media by:
1) Using more video
There has been a 53% increase in engagement on videos on Instagram. The trend is the same >on Facebook. It was reported between January 2014 and January 2015, that the number of videos showing up in people’s news feeds had increased by 360%. Mark Zuckerburg, has said going forward, video (both live and pre-recorded) is going to be a big priority for Facebook.
If we want to attract our audience’s attention, as well as be prioritised by the algorithm, it’s looking like video is a good place to start.
2) Go live
Leading on from the previous tip, going live on social media is another online trend we need to hop on. Live video is currently getting the most engagement on Facebook. According to Facebook, viewers comment 10x more on Facebook Live videos than regular ones.
If you’ve been following our latest social media updates blog, you’d know that Facebook has also announced two new features for live video: polls & gamification! Some brands, such as Buzzfeed and Fresno are using live video to host game shows.
We can start by showing behind the scenes of our brand, such as showing how we make our products or day in the life of our teams. We can even live stream our events or host Q&A sessions with an expert. Overall, use video to increase engagement on social media!
3) Go the extra mile for customers
After a child left their beloved stuffed toy at the Ritz Carlton, staff sent pictures to the family of a stuffed toy enjoying ‘an extra night of vacation’ before sending it back to the child.
Whether it’s going above and beyond to provide an amazing customer experience, or providing amusing replies to people’s tweets, these will help increase engagement on social media.
In 2018, humour is one of the best ways to engage an audience. Just look at companies such as Innocent, Tesco and Oreo. They use humour in their social media accounts, and people like it. Many of Tesco’s sassy responses to customers have become infamous. Just because our brands haven’t got anything to do with humour, doesn’t mean we can’t use it as part of our brand persona.
In fact, according to our social media influencer software, Innocent Drinks get an average of 43 engagements per post on Twitter, 33 comments per post on Instagram & 3.7k likes per post on Facebook.
4) Tell people what you want them to do
We all know the importance of a call to action in our campaigns. The same applies to social media. If we want people to tweet photos of an event we’re hosting, or have people send in photos of them using our products in a particular place, ask.
Encouraging people to share, is a great way to build communities and increase engagement. It also organically expands the reach of our brands because our audiences are sharing their posts with their networks.
However, remember, Facebook is cracking down on so-called ‘engagement bait‘, so don’t try and cheat the system by running ‘like & share’ competitions or ‘like if you….’ posts.
5) Ask questions
Asking questions is the easiest way to create a conversation. This is such a simple, yet often forgotten method of engaging our audiences. All of our favourite platforms now let you post polls, which is a perfect way to increase social media engagement.
On Instagram: In Instagram stories, you can either create a ‘poll’ or use ‘ask me a question’ features.
On Twitter: You can ‘add a poll’ to your tweet.
On Facebook: You can add polls to your page
Kinds of questions you can ask your audience:
-Advice & recommendations
-Would you be interested in X content?
-Trendjack social media days & news headlines e.g. emoji day
6) Look outside of your brand, industry and competitors
We should regularly benchmark ourselves against competitors, to understand how we’re performing in our industry. However, we need to go beyond this. We should look beyond our own industries to gain inspiration from other successful brands.
Just because we don’t sell smoothies, doesn’t mean we can’t take a leaf out of Innocent’s book when it comes to increasing engagement.
What is it that certain brands are doing differently which is leading to success? We want to be the market leaders in our fields. So whilst, looking at trends in our industry is great, we also need to be the trendsetters.
7) Use gifs & emojis
Using emoji’s may seem a bit juvenile- but everyone’s using them! According to scientists, when a person sees an emoji, their brain lights up in the same way as when they see a human face. Emoji’s have the power to change the mood of the reader.
Gifs are also a great way to bond with audiences and bring some humour to the conversation. Check out giphy for some inspiration!
Even adding a GIF as a reply to a tweet, can transform a simple ‘thank you’ tweet, so something much more engaging!
(this is us frantically writing this blog post)
8) Embed your content
Lot’s of algorithms don’t favour links. This is because by posting a link to video or article we’ve created, takes the user off their website. When possible embed videos into your post, rather than sending users off the website. Whilst we may want to promote our blogs, create content that can be enjoyed on the particular social media site as well.
Videos & Infographics can easily be embedded. Canva is a great tool if you’re after a quick way to create infographics!
There’s so much data out there, utilise it. Looking at vanity metrics isn’t always enough. Having thousands of followers doesn’t mean thousands of people are engaged with our brands. Analyse how many people mention our brand or product, what sorts of posts are sparking engagement, and what isn’t.
It’s worth performing a brand health check every now and again to help inform strategy going forward. Meltwater’s PR Insights reports is a good place to start. We can provide digestible data about competitors, media exposure, reach and tonality. See how website traffic has been affected by brand mentions.
10) Think differently
‘Think outside the box’ it might be a cliche, but it’s true. Try lot’s of different social media platforms and see what sticks. Whilst we tend to stick to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can increase engagement by considering alternative sites such as Reddit, Tumblr and Giphy.
If you have a big personality in or associated with your brand or a particular quirk in the office, consider utilising it. Our audience is more likely to relate to another human than they will a faceless brand, so start getting employees involved in social media campaigns.
Take #AskEddie for example. Southern rail let a 15-year-old work experience teen, loose on their social media pages. This led to a huge boost in engagement, viral posts, and even people forgetting about their complaints against Southern Rail.
Trend jacking is another great way of thinking differently. Jump on a viral tweet or story and put a unique spin on it. We’ve seen loads of great examples of trendjacking such as Oreo’s superbowl tweet.
This post was edited 8th August 2018 with more up-to-date information.