Social media engagement has been in the shadows as a goal and metric, but it seems that 2016 will be the year audience engagement gets to (finally) shine!

It’s one thing to amass a following – just numbers of people that pile up and follow or like your social profiles for any number of reasons. The real question, the one that my career has been based on is – is the audience actually engaging with you or your brand? I mean really engaging beyond passively liking. If they are engaging with your content is it on posts that matter? Engagement includes all of the above – likes, shares, comments, but goes deeper into clicks, clickthroughs and ultimately sales.

There are many moving parts to getting an audience to engage with you on your social media channels
  • Talk to people: In order to get engagement one must engage! Respond to comments and concerns, join in on relevant conversations or industry chats and groups, and ask your audience questions. So what if the first few times you ask a question no one answers? Your audience may need to get used to you asking before they start to answer.
  • Get employees involved: If you have a slight problem getting the conversation started, get your employees involved. Social Media Today reports content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brands. Get your employees in on the sharing and commenting and watch others start to join.
  • Get your timing right: This one is easy. Post when your audience is there to see it.
  • Use the right hashtags: Don’t use hashtags for hashtags sake. Hashtags are search functions and, therefore, are very important as to how people find your product. Do some research and find out which hashtags are relevant to your brand, as well as how consumers are using hashtags in their conversations. Integrate useful hashtags to attract the right audience.
  • And last but not least CONTENT: The most important part of driving engagement is of course, your content.
    • Post relevant content: I will say this until I am blue in the face. In a past post I spoke about how irrelevant posts lead to useless engagement. This still reigns true. If you sell tires but your account is full of cat photos for in the interest of gaining likes – well, you’re only hurting yourself and your brand by attracting an audience that wants nothing to do with your actual product or cause.
    • Make sure you create content that not only ties into your brand but adds value or answers questions for your core audience. This also ties into the 80/20 rule – 80 % of posts should be for your audience and 20% used to push traffic to your site, other links, etc.
    • Use visuals. Wether it is a photo or video, a visual will increase fan interaction.
Okay so there is one more thing to remember when building an audience and attempting to ramp up social media engagement : It will take time. Be patient. I usually let my clients know that (if the correct methods are implemented efficiently) you start to see things organically pick up in about 3 months. I know – it sounds like a long time but it’s well worth the investment. Some business can see results more quickly but as everything in social media – it depends on the individual accounts.

I hope these quick tips help you craft a content strategy that produces social media engagement for your brand. As always, let me know if you have any questions!


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