With many businesses using social media as their main marketing strategy, they want to do all they can to get their content in front of their audience. It's well known that social media posts which receive high levels of engagement are organically shown to larger numbers of people. Therefore, businesses are continually looking for ways to increase engagement levels on social media to increase their number of conversions and sales.
The problem is, there is no magic wand they can wave to get more of their audience commenting, liking or sharing their content. What works for one business, doesn't for another, and the same goes for audiences. While trial and error is a valid strategy to find out what does work for your audience, there are some other tools you should be using, including:
- creating and referring to your buyer persona
- checking historical social media data
- asking your target audience what they want
- finding out what others in your industry are doing to increase engagement
Creating the content to share can be time consuming, as can engaging with your audience's comments. If your business allows, it is worth considering hiring a social media manager to help you. But initially you will need to do this yourself, and below are 12 tips to help you get more comments, likes and shares on social media.
12 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Engagement
With the number of social media users predicted to continue to rise, it's vital that businesses are able to reach their audiences effectively upon it. A key factor in this success is having content which receives high levels of engagement from their audience. Here are 12 tips to help you achieve this:
- Be humorous - social media is predominately a tool people use to be entertained. They don't want to be sold to, and promotional posts are not likely to win you any friends. The key is to stay within your industry when making jokes and sharing memes.
- Create great visuals - Instagram and Facebook users love visual content. Use tools such as Canva to create visuals which are original, light on text, and contain high quality photos.
- Ask relevant questions - people respond well when they're asked for their opinion. They also love to answer quizzes and polls.
- Provide incentives - as you'll know, competition posts get lots of comments and likes because people want to win the prize. But there are other incentives you could use such as keeping a leader board of points (where set points are given for a task) or even voting for their favourite charity to help it win a donation.
- Post videos - people enjoy watching videos, making this a great complementary strategy to posting images. They tend to receive more views and more engagement. Videos you have made are best, but you can also share on topic ones from others too.
- Use trending hashtags - hashtags help people find content they are interested in following. When you use them, you increase the chances of being found and followed by new audience members. You can create your own hashtag for your business, but a good way to get started is to research what the popular hashtags in your industry are, and use them intitially to build your following. The Hashtagify Me tool lets you find current hashtag trends, while Twitonomy lets you find trending hashtags in a specific niche.
- Share your fans - if you sell a product, ask your customers to send you photos of them wearing it. You can then share these on your social media channels. People will often share photos of themselves and people they know.
- Show yourself - people love to see the people behind a brand. Share photos and other titbits about the people behind your business.
- Be consistent - stick with using your brand imagery, colours and fonts. Keep to the same style, the same industry related topics and the same tone of voice for all your posts.
- Ask for feedback - whether it is reviewing your product, or sharing their opinion on a current news item, feedback is usually freely given.
- Share statistics - a surprising statistic is a great way to get someone's attention, have them comment and share the post with others. Be sure to state where the statistic is from, but a link to it isn't necessarily needed.
- Post at the right times - find out exactly when your audience are online, and schedule for posts for then to reach the largest numbers possible.
We asked social media educator Jenny Latto from Black Sand Social Media for some additional tips. She said, "Take the time to experiment, to see what works for your business. What works for another business, may not work for yours. For example, with my art business, I find Instagram works better in terms of engagement, but for my social media business, a closed group on Facebook works best."
For ideas on where to find content for social media, take a read of the article How to Find Great Social Media Content today.