Do you see results of your social media activities? Or is it just another thing to worry about as a marketer on your already full plate?
If your answer is closer to the second option, you are missing out on the benefits of an engaged community on social media. Unlike some other platforms, social media is great for two-way communication with people who support and buy from your brand.
Don’t forget: social media is supposed to be social.
However, when you’re struggling to get comments, approvals, likes, and click-throughs on your posts, engagement can feel like a catch-22. If no one is currently engaged in your posts, it will be harder to get engagement – and vice versa.
This guide introduces six main ways you can customize your social media content for engagement.
Tell a visual story with pictures, videos and emojis
The fact that people crave and engage with visuals is not new. People like, share, and respond to content that gets their attention on their social media feed. If not, scroll past it.
Sprout Social reported that consumers want to be engrossed with images and videos more than any other type of content:
If you want to make your content more engaging while you’re working on a new post, ask yourself:
- Could a picture communicate this in a way that gets noticed?
- Would a GIF or video share that story better in seconds than just text?
- If I were to use emojis, would it improve the tone of the story?
The best part about using graphics in your post is that there are no limits and the possibilities are endless.
Here’s a great option Shopify used an illustration advocate for their employees as well as small businesses:
On a platform like Twitter that doesn’t require adding a picture or video to post, emojis can add dynamism, clarity, and engagement. Here is an example of using emoji from Revolut::
When it comes to emojis, reports have shown that:
- Using emojis results in 25.4% more engagement on twitter
- Using emojis leads to 57% more likes, 33% more comments and 33% more shares on Facebook
- Almost 50% of all comments and captions on Instagram Emojis included
Images, videos, GIFs, and emojis are a great way to get creative and generate meaningful reactions on your social media posts.
Give your customers and your community a voice
Think about all of your company’s impact on the world. These could be the results your paying customers get, changes in your local community, online connections you enable, fundraising, and much more.
Make a note of these results and results and share them on your social media.
If you’re sharing a customer success story, direct offers are ideal. No one can talk about your customer’s experience better than the customer themselves. Here’s one Example of intercom::
In such a tweet, you can always experiment with tagging the person and / or company as it can spark a conversation.
Here’s another great example of Intercom that they shared on her conversation with Black Tech Unplugged about racial inequality:
When you give voice to others on your platforms, you feel seen and heard in your wider community. This will help you create a lasting foundation for engagement.
Talk about your topic in a way that brings value
As we’ve said many times before, content marketing isn’t about you, it’s about the people you serve. In other words, stop talking about yourself.
People come to social media to feel good: relaxed, entertaining, educated, empowered. You want to feel better than you did before you opened the app. For this reason, it’s important to create posts that focus on your target audience and how they can benefit from what you’re saying.
Which topics and posts will help you? Here are some examples:
- Answers to questions you often ask about your area of expertise
- Brief tips and tricks
- Demonstrations of processes or products on your topic
- List of steps to get a result (think recipes)
Here is a creative example from Diana Briceño, a social media strategist (she shares the tips in both her caption and the carousel images):
Of course, food recipes are the ultimate method: they teach someone how to cook a delicious dish in minutes. Here is how BuzzFeed Food shares their recipes (and gets great engagement for these posts):
Think of recipes as a great setting to share valuable tips and steps in a way that is easy to understand.
You can also answer this question to get inspiration: If you typically write lengthy, educational content for your blog, how can you reduce those topics to the main parts to share on your social media?
Share useful content from other people
Now, take the same approach as in the previous point and apply it to content you don’t own.
- How can content from other people contribute to topics that you normally talk about and that interest your community?
- Are there other, surrounding topics that would make sense for you to share that other experts are?
- Which companies would you like to develop a relationship with and share their content with as part of your efforts?
You can share content from other people and companies by curating them directly on your social media feeds or republishing the content they have posted (e.g. by quoting them or sharing an Instagram post with your stories).
Content maintenance has many benefits including being consistent on social media, building credibility, connecting with others in your field, and scaling your content production.
look at that Example of curated content from Buffer. They shared a study that shows how consumer behavior has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This topic isn’t specific to their focus on social media, but their audience is made up of marketers who will benefit from knowing about these changes:
Another good example is this one by Melanie Deziel, Content marketer and international speaker. She shared a podcast episode mentioning her book, but focused on sharing the actual episode and tagging the podcast and its guest first:
Scoop.it allows you to curate content for specific topics and content hubs and easily share it for your social media feeds. Not only that: you can schedule it to curate more content at once and publish on a staggered schedule, and you can add your own insights and thoughts to add even more value!
If you want more tips on how to curate content, see this guide on content curation strategy is for you.
Reply to customers and supporters
As mentioned earlier, social media is about being social. Even if you follow all of the tips listed so far but never proactively engage with and reach out to members of your community on social media, your results will suffer.
The best thing you can do as a brand is show that you are not just another faceless brand. Your company would not exist without the support of your employees. So take the time to build a two-way relationship through your social media channels.
This will help you keep the conversation going and keep track of things.
You can take the approach from people at Buffer who send supportive responses to people who mention them in their daily updates:
You can also search Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find posts to engage with. For example you can:
- Look for keywords related to your main topics
- Look for hashtags that your audience usually uses
- Find accounts of people and companies your audience is engaging with, and look for posts, comments, and discussions to participate in
What better way to encourage engagement than asking your followers to engage with you?
In other words, ask questions, conduct surveys, conduct surveys. People love to share their opinions, fights, and comments.
With a lot of native social media features, you can do this on the platform itself: Instagram story polls and Twitter polls are the best examples of this.
Here’s how Hootsuite made the most of Twitter polls when Instagram introduced hidden likes, a highly controversial shift in the social media world:
Hundreds of people replied (it just takes a click!) And a few dozen replied or shared a comment when they retweeted this poll. Good surveys make your engagement skyrocket.
Another, smarter, and more creative way to get your community involved is to ask how you can help them – and get very specific in the process.
For example, Jamie Oliver asked If someone needed inspiration for dinner on a Monday night:
This was a very successful post: it received hundreds of replies and many retweets with comments. Best of all, however, Jamie Oliver (or his team who manage the account) responded to many of the answers with a relevant recipe or tip. Win win!
It’s time for real community engagement on social media
That’s it – you now have the tips on how to get your audience on social media feeds in a way that makes them feel good and engage.
Remember: this is not as easy as posting X times a day or showing up at exactly the times you predicted your audience will be online. It’s about adding value to their life rather than adding noise.
It’s time to act. Start with a tip or two from this list to start building your next social media post. From there, expand and track your results so you can keep improving!
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