Would you like to build and grow social media engagement and a community of people who WANT to interact with you, WANT to know more about your business, and WANT to buy from you?
Of course, you want this…who doesn’t?!
However, many small business owners find themselves feeling stuck, spinning their wheels on social media and just not getting the engagement they’re looking for.
So in this post, we’re going to talk all-things-social-media-engagement!
We’re going to look at:
- The definition of social media engagement (what is it really?)
- Why social media engagement is so important for your business, and
- 7 ways you can increase your social media engagement, starting today.
Let’s dive in!
What is Social Media Engagement?
The word “engagement” can mean different things in different contexts.
However, a general definition of social media engagement is this: when people interact with you and/or your content on social media.
This can be likes, shares, retweets, re-pins, views, comments or mentions. It can also mean clicking on links that you share and then going to your website to read a blog post or buy a product.
Basically, if someone sees your stuff on social media and takes any kind of action, this is social media engagement!
And guess what: the MORE we get of it, the better! Which leads us to the question…
WHY is Social Media Engagement Important?
But why is this, exactly?
Obviously, when we post something on social media we want people to interact with it. After all, this is the whole reason we post to social media in the first place!Obviously, when we post something on social media we want people to interact with it. After all, this is the whole reason we post to social media in the first place!Click To Tweet
But, it’s not just that our egos are stroked any time we get a like or a comment. There are some solid business reasons why social media engagement is so important.
1. It Boosts The Visibility of our Posts.
When people interact with your posts on social media, this signals to the “powers that be” that your post is interesting, valuable and is worth reading/seeing.
For instance, you may have noticed that when you post something on your Facebook business page and you don’t quickly start getting likes, comments or shares, your post reach, and engagement often fizzle out before it even started.
On the other hand, as people start interacting with your post, Facebook’s algorithms “notice” your post is popular, and give it even more visibility, showing it in more of your fans’ feeds.
The same is true on all the major social networking sites. The more engagement you get on your post, tweet, or pin, the more visibility the algorithms will give it in people’s feeds!
2. It Boosts Your Credibility.
Engagement on your social media posts signals to fans, followers and other users that you’re a person with credibility.
It indicates that your posts are interesting, entertaining or educational and that you’re worth following or interacting with.
The flip side of this, of course, is that if your social media is a ghost town, why would anyone want to follow you…never mind do business with you?
It all comes down to social proof. If people see others engaging with you on social media, they are far more likely to trust you, follow you, and ultimately, to buy from you.It all comes down to social proof. If people see others engaging with you on social media, they are far more likely to trust you, follow you, and ultimately, to buy from you.Click To Tweet
3. It Means You’re Hitting The Mark With Your Audience.
If no one is interacting with your stuff, this is a good indication that you’re probably not in touch with your audience’s main issues and pain points.
On the other hand, if you’re regularly addressing their key concerns and offering information that catches their attention, the likes, shares, and comments will inevitably follow.
In this way, your social media engagement is a great signal of how well you understand your audience. If you consistently hit the mark and produce engaging content, this will help you design products and services that hit the mark as well!
How to Increase Social Media Engagement: 7 Strategies You Can Start Using Today
Some may see social media growth and social media engagement as two separate things.
However, in my experience, many of the strategies that help you get engagement also help you grow your social media community.
As you implement the strategies below, your followers will begin to engage with your content more and more, and this will lead to the organic growth of your social media community.
1. Do What You Know Works.
Your audience has already told you what they like – and it’s up to you to dig into your analytics to find out what this is.
Every social networking platform offers some type of analytics, and there are some amazing tools out there that can help you dig even deeper into what your audience likes and dislikes.
For instance, my team and I use AgoraPulse (screenshot above), and we can see exactly how my audience responds to my posts: including post impressions, engagement, clicks, and paid and organic reach.
Based on these metrics, I have a number of options that I KNOW my audience will respond to:
- Re-post content that has already proven popular
- Able to create new content that provides more info on a topic my audience has responded well to, and
- Create content using the same formats that have gotten lots of interactions and engagement: for instance, if I see that my audience responds well to image-based posts, I know I should create more of those types of posts in the future.
2. Respond and Interact.
Engagement is a two-way street. If all you do is post content and then move on to your next task, you’ve missed the point of SOCIAL media entirely!Engagement is a two-way street. If all you do is post content and then move on to your next task, you’ve missed the point of SOCIAL media entirely!Click To Tweet
While it’s true that a good percentage of your social media engagement will come from simply posting amazing content, it’s also important to follow up by responding to comments and interacting with your followers.
As a small business owner, this can be hard! You only have so much time in the day and it might seem like a waste of time to regularly respond to questions and comments on social media.
But trust me when I say that when you take the time to actually engage with your audience, they WILL notice, and it WILL lead to increased trust and engagement – which will lead to increased leads and sales.
3. Use Facebook Groups to Truly Build Community.
As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, it has become increasingly difficult to get your Facebook page posts seen by your fans. This can obviously lead to far less engagement, leads, and sales.
One way around this – and a GREAT strategy in its own right – is to create your own Facebook group where you can interact with your prospects, customers, and clients.
Groups have a much more personal feel than pages and allow you to truly build a community: a place where your members can interact with you and with one another.
It’s also much easier to get your posts seen within groups, especially if your content is geared toward the specific problems and questions your group members are asking.
Need more tips for increasing engagement in your Facebook group? Check out, 21 No-Fail Tactics to Boost Your Facebook Group Engagement (and Keep Members Around).
Wondering how to build a group that helps you build community and make money in the process? Check out my post, How to Start and Grow a Profitable Facebook Group.
Need even more help on building a Wildly Profitable Facebook Group From Scratch with no ads, email list or followers required? Check out my latest course here.
4. Post at The Optimal Times.
There has been a ton of research done on the optimal times to post on social media.
For instance, according to Sprout Social, Wednesday is generally the best day to post on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The best times differ slightly between platforms, and are as follows:
Instagram: 11am (or Friday at 10-11am)
Twitter: 9 am (or Friday at 9 am)
LinkedIn: 9-10am and 12pm
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean these days and times are ideal for YOU!
Your social media analytics will give you a good idea of whether this is when your audience is most engaged, so make sure you check your own stats first.
6. Use a Call To Action (CTA) in Your Posts.
It’s human nature for people to want to know what’s next: so let them know what action you want them to take!
Research shows that when CTAs are used, posts get more interactions overall. For instance, according to a TrackMaven report, using the words “Share”, “Please” or “Like” and “Now” on your Facebook posts lead to more interactions than not using a CTA.
Some other examples of calls to action you can use include:
- Click the link
- Download now
- Like this post
- Comment below
- Buy now
- Follow us
- Hit the subscribe button
- Share this post
And as always, keep an eye on what increases engagement with your audience!
6. Get Your Community Involved in Your Content.
Using a compelling call to action is one way to get your audience engaging with your content – to have them actually DO something, rather than just read your post or look at your image.
However, the type of content you post also has a big impact on how much engagement you get.
Some examples of content that will inspire your audience to take action include:
- Asking questions (including fill-in-the-blank questions)
- Sharing user-generated content (e.g., posts, pictures or videos of your followers using your products)
- Asking for feedback
- Holding Q&A sessions
- Doing Facebook Lives or Instagram Lives
- Hosting live events on social media
- Doing polls or surveys
- Holding contests or giveaways
All of these strategies get your followers directly involved with you and/or your content, drawing them in and getting them to interact.
7. Regularly Post Engaging Content.
I know…too obvious right?
But just hear me out!
In #1 we talked about looking at your analytics to find content your audience loves. However, if you only pop onto social media every once in a while to share that content, you’re unlikely to get much engagement – if any.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “How often should you post on social media?”, there is some research out there that can give you a good baseline from which to start your own testing.
The folks at Volusion compiled the latest research and found the following optimal posting frequencies:
Facebook: 1-2 times per day.
Instagram: 1-2 times per day.
Twitter: 5-10 times per day.
Pinterest: 5-30 pins per day.
LinkedIn: 20 times per month.
And if you just can’t post this much? No problem. Having a consistent posting schedule – even if that means only posting a couple of times a week – is far better than posting a ton one week and nothing the next.
Now Go…Start Engaging!
The social media engagement strategies above aren’t exactly rocket science; however, you’d be amazed at how many small business owners forget to use them…and suffer the consequences!
Want even more tips on how to boost your social media engagement? Check out my post, 7 Ways to Engage With Your Audience on Social Media.
Which of the social media engagement strategies above are you going to try this week? Let me know in the comments below!