When it comes to generating social media engagements, many companies get it wrong. Businesses new to social media tend to view it as a zero-sum game. But nothing could be further from the truth. Building engagement is all about leveraging the social media environment. In this post, we’re sharing 10 killer tips that will help you do just that.
1. Post frequently.
Your posting calendar is the most important tool at your disposal, because in this game, timing is everything. The fact is, if you don’t post and share consistently, your audience may stop paying attention to you. Imagine this: you’re using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to curate content. You have done this for weeks and start getting comments from followers about how dependable you are. Then, even though people are clicking your links, you stop curating for a week. Or two. Or three. Amazing, right? But people do it all the time.
The same goes for your site. If you expect people to engage with you, you have to post regularly. And don’t forget Google’s Freshness Score. This is basically a measure of how often you post new content, and it can affect your SEO. As far as promoting yourself, we suggest a posting schedule like this:
- On Publish – Post to Twitter, Facebook, etc., trumpeting your new post.
- Same Day – Schedule additional social media messages.
- Next Day – More social media messages scheduled.
- Next Week – Schedule another group of messages that promote your best posts.
- Next Month – Schedule posts promoting the content that performed best the month before.
Do this for every piece of content you publish, but remember: don’t just promote yourself. If you do, followers will tune out. Don’t be afraid to promote competitors or other authorities in your niche.
2. Time it right.
Too many marketers post social media messages when it’s convenient for them. Don’t go down this route. Your best bet will always be to schedule your posts for peak times. After all, for content to go viral, you have to get as many eyeballs to it as possible. Use tools like Post Planner and Tweroid to know when the majority of your followers are online. Shooting in the dark hurts your engagement, and poor engagement makes it harder to tell if your content is resonating.
Generally, you want to post in the afternoons and avoid early morning. Posting on Thursday and Friday should net an engagement boost. But every audience is different, and you must dig into your stats to determine optimal posting times.
3. Master hashtags.
Hashtags started on Twitter, but have been embraced by most of the major social media channels, and for good reason. Hashtags allow users to gather around a specific issue, and they empower brands to drum up attention, too. Hashtags make it easy for users to search social media sites, and with crafty posting, you can get yourself in those results.
But don’t just hop into any old Twitter chat. When poaching hashtags, you had better have something of value to add to the conversation. Otherwise, users will tune you out immediately. But hashtags can explode your engagement if used wisely.
4. Embrace emoticons.
Research shows that using emoticons in social media can make you more popular. This can translate into faster follower acquisition and higher engagement rates. There is anecdotal evidence that emoticons spur comments, too. Keep this in mind: people respond to emoticons the same way they do a real human face, so use them strategically. For instance, a great way to soften the bite of a critique is to add a few emoticons.
5. Use images.
According to some big hitters like Buffer, sharing images on twitter can boost retweets by 150%. Images focus the attention, which in the online arena can yield a huge advantage. Remember, the average Internet user’s attention span is dwindling fast. Grab them from the moment they clap eyes on your message. Posting a large image along with a short message can yield staggering results. Twitter isn’t the only network to benefit from images. According to LinkedIn, posts with images get 98% more comments than posts without images. All that said, make sure your images are relevant.
6. Be personable.
Social media is about human interaction. When companies hide behind the mask of being a “brand,” people tune out. Show your customers that your company is made up of real people. After all, if you aren’t willing to show the human side of your organization, why are you on social media? Social media is inherently…social. When responding to fans or critics, do so in a personal and conversational manner. When writing your posts, try to sound as human as possible. This will help consumers relate to your brand. For your profile pic, you can use a logo in a pinch, but a picture of a real person will perform better.
7. Encourage conversation.
End your posts with open questions wherever possible. This encourages conversation, and the more conversation you generate around your brand, the better. When it doesn’t make sense to end the post with a question, still say something like, “Let us know if there’s anything else we can help with.” Someone will take you up on that. Another way to keep the conversation going is to share related content.
8. Actively seek new followers.
Most social media platforms offer APIs that allow programmers to create companion apps. Take advantage of these! For instance, Nearby Tweets allows you to find users based on location and keyword. Twitdom, Tweepi, and TweetFavy are other examples. TweetFavy allows you to put favoriting on autopilot, which can generate hundreds of new followers per month. Note: These tools won’t do you much good if you aren’t publishing and sharing quality content.
9. Tap into social issues.
Most people share posts, images and infographics because it makes them feel more connected to the world they inhabit. People love sharing content that makes them feel as if they’re making a difference, too. You can take advantage of this trend and do some good at the site time by becoming involved in social causes. Infographics can be a great way to go, and you should brand them with your URL, but don’t go crazy with your logo.
10. Share the love.
One of the greatest secrets for spurring massive engagement is to share other people’s content. The best marketers leverage OPC because it generates buzz and visibility. When you share content from other companies—or even from your followers—let them know. They will often return the favor. Of course, this effect is most powerful when you have a strong following, but it’s never too early to start.
What’s your take? Let us know in the comment’s section below!