For many businesses, a large, loyal audience that regularly engages with their social media content is, in short, the holy grail. Unfortunately, however, it’s exactly because many of your competitors are also on the hunt for it that you could struggle to get your business noticed above the usual online noise.
There is a comfort to be had in the fact that, regardless of which social media platforms you use, sticking to the following key principles can help you to create a more engaged audience.
Quality not Quantity
Most people would argue that you’ll get more engagements the more you post, and whilst this seems like a logical approach it may not be necessarily true for you and your business. The reason behind this is that many social media platforms now prioritise content based on what their users want to see. So if you always engage with a brand or user, you are most likely to see their content at the top of your feed. Meaning that by just sharing large amounts of content at once could just be a waste of time, because if no one is engaging with that content, then you’re probably not showing in their feed anyway. Another issue of it could be that you’re actually pushing your audience further away from engaging as they feel the influx of posts is just spam.
That’s why we recommend analysing your channels and posts to find out which type of content, the time you share and frequency of posts works for you. A good motto to think is also quality over quantity, one great post with lots of engagement is better than lots of posts with little engagement. Sharing lots of content at once can also water down your content, and have the opposite effect you want it to.
Listen to your audience
Naturally, publishing a steady stream of relevant content is crucial to success on social media. However, with social media being so competitive and busy, it can be difficult to get your brand seen or attract your audience’s attention. This is why you might have to go to them.
Unless you know what people are talking about, you can’t expect to be in tune with the industry as a whole. You can combat this by researching what keywords your audience often uses. For example, if you run a property investment firm, it stands to reason that you should use keywords and phrases like “property investment” and “buy property” when searching social media. By searching these things as well as hashtags and your brand name you can find out what keywords and phrases your audience is using, in order for you to mirror this and increase your impressions and engagements.
You can’t just expect people to come to you
Unfortunately, you can’t just share content combined with keywords and hashtags and expect the likes, comments and shares to roll in. A great way to receive engagement is to engage yourself. By engaging with other users you are putting your brand out there for other users to see your account, who may not have actually known you exist.
Replying to comments from your audience is another great way to engage, gain feedback and offer exceptional customer service. Exercise care with how you respond to particular comments though. For example, in replying to a remark on the enterprise-oriented LinkedIn, you ought to be more formal than you would when crafting an answer to a Tweet. The medium should largely define how you interact with your audience.
Be punchy and to-the-point
You have precious little opportunity to make an impression on web users who are already snowed under with online content, much of it warranting scarce attention. For this reason, you really need to make that impression count – and it starts with the headline of each new social media post.
As warned by Mashable, people are much likelier to simply read the headline than the whole post. Furthermore, online audiences usually lack patience and skim for crucial details. These sobering statistics shine a light on the importance of being succinct with your social media content.
Running competitions on your channels can be a great way to encourage engagement as your audience have another incentive to engage. Be careful though, as one-off competitions can lead to spikes in engagement that can be hard to replicate frequently without offering prizes on a regular basis.
Remember your channels don’t have to stand alone. Whilst we recommend not sharing the same content in the exact same format on the different platforms we do recommend driving your audience from one platform to another by reminding them you are on there. You can also run competitions across all of the different platforms to boost your following and engagement, this is particularly good if you have a larger audience on one platform compared to another.
Evaluate and adjust
Monitor engagements and adjust your strategy as you see fit. Also remember that what works now, might not work in even a month’s time, so by constantly reviewing your social channels and content and measuring their success you can devise a strategy which gets your results.
If you still find yourself occasionally stumbling with your social media marketing strategy, then feel free to get in touch and see how we can help.