Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Social media marketing is a must – but getting organic engagement is becoming increasingly difficult. With sites like Facebook and Twitter tweaking their algorithms constantly, local businesses need proven strategies to ensure that their customers see and engage with their posts.
Engagement isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, but it’s undeniable that some strategies to increase engagement work better than others.
So, instead of wasting your time with a bunch of ideas that may not work, let’s focus on the ones that do. Here are some of the most reliable ways to get the social media engagement your business deserves.
The thing about static social media posts is that they’re, well… static. People may engage with them or they may not – but there’s no real incentive to jump in and get involved.
The same cannot be said of live video. Live video is of the moment – and it requires audience participation.
Instead of filming a video, editing it, and then sharing it, try using live video instead. Live video is ideal for:
Answering questions from your followers
Giving a “behind the scenes” look at your business
Streaming events as they happen
Unboxing or demoing products
One of the biggest benefits of live video is that it doesn’t need the same production value as a professional video. All you need are a good microphone and decent lighting – and you’re good to go!
If you’re posting content that doesn’t specifically ask for your followers’ opinions and responses, then you’re missing an opportunity to engage with them in a meaningful way. The best questions to ask are often open-ended questions because longer, more detailed responses are more likely to positively impact your visibility on social media.
Here are a few suggestions of the kinds of questions you can ask:
What do you think about X, and why?
What’s one thing you would change about X?
What are the qualities you look for in a [product or service]?
What’s your daily [fill in the blank] routine?
How do you use our product?
What these questions have in common is that they encourage detailed responses. And because they also stimulate curiosity, they may encourage your followers to reply to each other’s responses and check back in to read responses later.
Go for Laughs
Whatever kind of business you own, there’s some humor to be found in promoting it. And social media is the perfect place to share frustrations and odd events. Let’s face it, people love to laugh!
The things you post can be lists, images, or even questions. The key is to find the humor and make it irresistible for your audience to chime in. Here are some ideas:
Post a picture of a wardrobe malfunction (a G-rated one, of course) and ask your followers to tell you about their most embarrassing wardrobe mishap.
Post a list of bad advice related to your business and ask people to tell you about the worst advice they ever received.
Tell a story about a humorous but frustrating event you experienced at work.
Keep in mind that posts with images get more engagement than text-only posts – and have fun!
Stop Them in Their Tracks
One of the trickiest things in social media marketing is finding ways to make your content stand out. After all, you’re competing with your followers’ friends and family (whose posts are prioritized on Facebook and other sites) and with our ever-dwindling attention spans.
An option that works is to find eye-catching, surprising, and irresistible images to include in your social media posts. The kind of thing that will grab your audience’s attention and hold it – making it impossible for them to resist clicking, reading, and watching.
Some ideas include:
Surprising or funny images
Unique graphics and illustrations
Intriguing video thumbnails
The thing to remember is that standard stock photos and images aren’t going to do the trick. You need something that’ll take your audience by surprise and give them a reason to stop scrolling. Think original images, candid photographs, and creative designs.
Take a Poll
A well-designed social media poll can get the people in your target audience to engage with you in a whole new way. Polls on Facebook and Twitter – and other sites – are easy to design and post. They take very little effort and no money.
You can use a social media poll to:
Learn about the kind of content your followers want to see
Collect demographic information about your followers
Find out which offers your followers are likely to take advantage of
Polling options are somewhat limited so you may need to give responders the option of expanding on their answers in the comments.
Add a Messenger Chatbot to Make Connections
Chatbots are here to stay and you can use a Messenger chatbot to make new connections and increase your engagement.
One option is to run a promotion (with a lead magnet, for example) on Facebook and let people know that if they comment, they’ll get a freebie via Messenger. It’s a good way to open a dialogue without spending a ton of money.
If you’re looking to attract new leads or build a list, this is a good option to try.
Put Your Emoji Game to Work
There’s plenty of evidence that adding emojis to your social media posts can increase your engagement on social media. That being the case, why not experiment with including them and see what it does for your engagement?
Here are some pointers for adding emojis to boost engagement:
According to HubSpot, novelty emojis tend to get more engagement than faces
Choose emojis that are easy to understand and relevant to your post
Stay away from emojis that don’t fit in with your brand’s message and personality
Ask your followers to answer a question using only emojis
You should use emojis sparingly in your posts. You don’t need to do it every time or replace every other word with an emoji. If you try this method, make sure to track your results and adjust according to what your analytics tell you.
Increasing your social engagement may be a bit of a crap shoot, but it’s possible to do it without spending a ton of money promoting posts and running ads. The ideas here are proven to help companies get the attention they deserve on social media.
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