Whether you’re building a brand, selling a product, or anything in between, having an online presence that encourages social media engagement is invaluable.
It may feel like a daunting task, but investing resources and time into this type of social media marketing is worthwhile. In fact, the 2017 State of the Creator Economy study found average U.S. consumer on social media interacts with 207 articles and visits 398 websites per month. This represents more than 20 different opportunities per day for marketers to encourage and foster online conversations and social media engagement.
For those wondering how you can start and what you should consider, fear not. We put together this list of a few things to weigh when sparking an open online dialogue.
Here are six factors that will boost your social media engagement:
Think about the news. Stations and publications pride themselves on being the first to report a story and provide pertinent information. The same goes for brands and social media. Not only do you want to ensure that the content you’re churning out is current, but also that it’s relevant to your brand. Follow hashtags. Browse Subreddits. Explore Instagram. Luckily, there are several apps on the market that will make the job easier.
Buffer, a post scheduler, and Quuu, a curator, work hand-in-hand to keep your social media feed current. Quuu offers more than 300 categories to follow. After selecting topics of interest, their community “of real people” finds relevant stories, images, and video that you can post to your online profiles. Buffer handles the rest by scheduling these posts and allowing you to tweak content if necessary.
A powerful, unique voice connects brands with influencers and encourages engagement. One company that sticks out is Wendy’s. Their Twitter feed often makes headlines for its levity, humor, and casual tone. From helping followers with their homework to going toe to toe with detractors, the fast food chain strives off of engagement.
Simply Measured found that @replies from Wendy’s made up 25 percent of their engagement in early January. Furthermore, retweets, likes, and replies totaled 98 percent of overall engagement during the same time period.
This doesn’t mean every company needs to adopt Wendy’s voice. But their case proves that there’s at least one right way to do it.
Having a healthy amount of content is important. However, marketers should prioritize quality over quantity. In Brain Rules, John Medina found that people retain 10 percent of the information they hear after three days — and 65 percent of details they see in images. This means marketers must also be creative in how they package data.
There are several applications out there that help add pizazz to your posts: Adobe Photoshop is available as a phone app; Canva allows you to create and edit photos using preset image sizes tailored for social media, and Piktochart makes it easy to create infographics.
User-generated content (UGC) is a gift that keeps on giving. Forging opportunities for users to participate in boosting your brand is invaluable.
Starbucks achieved this with their #WhiteCupContest. In 2014, the coffee behemoth asked their audience to draw designs on their signature white cups and post their creations on social media using the aforementioned hashtag. After several thousand entries later, Starbucks decided to run the contest a second time.
The lesson: Your audience is often your best marketer.
More and more marketers — 72 percent, to be exact — are increasing content output. Plus they say content marketing is one of the most effective tactics they have to boost engagement and sales. They understand the first or touchpoint or point of contact with content for many people is a company’s social media account. Specifically, Hootsuite found that one in three social media users would rather contact a company online over visiting a physical location. First impressions matter.
A user should go to a company’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., and take away a wealth of information. This means a company or brand should be regularly producing quality content and have contact information readily available.
Though it is related to volume and relevancy, timing refers to when you publicly publish your posts. While you may have the urge to post all your content at once, you want your audience checking in several times a day. This means you need to be strategic in when you post.
And because nothing can be simple, the ideal time to post to social media varies from platform to platform. For instance, it is best to post to Facebook between 1-4 pm on weekdays because almost half the user base (46 percent) is 45 and over. Typically, these users browse Facebook after lunch and before getting off of work.
However, determining the best time to post hinges on the makeup of your audience on each platform. Depending on your company, the average user on Facebook may not be reflected in your follower base. This is where leveraging your segments comes into play. Who you’re marketing to should influence how and what you produce.