Social media offers huge opportunity for you as a business person to grow your business and thus become successful. This will depend on how you interact with your specific audience. The purpose of this blog, “How To Boost Social media engagement,” is designed to provide you with strategies. These will help you to interact effectively with your customers on social media platforms.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement, is a measure of how customers are interacting with your social media account and content.
In the past, businesses used one- way model to communicate. There was no flow of communication or interaction between business and customer on a consistent basis.
Today however, Social media has allowed for the interaction or inter change between customer and business on a consistent basis.
And such engagement can take the form of “likes” “comments,” “shares,” “content,” “retweets,” “saved items,” “favorites,” etc.
Why Is Social Media Engagement Important?
The number of social media users globally is steadily growing. So you as a brand or business, must position your business, to take full advantage of such growth. To do so, you have to develop strategies, which will help you to not only reach this audience, but effectively interact with them.
Such engagement or interaction, can truly be of benefit to you and your brand for many reasons. It will help you to gauge or monitor how well your social media campaigns are doing. This is important won’t you agree? If you are not able to measure the effectiveness of a campaign, what do you thing that will lead to? You will become less effective, and the result is failure of your brand.
This also ties in neatly, with our next point. It is important also, because it alerts you as to how your audience and potential customers are reacting to your brand.
Such knowledge gives you the advantage and opportunity to make the necessary adjustment. If you notice that one of the metrics for measuring social engagement is low, you can modify your strategy.
Help The Image And Growth Of Brand
A good social media engagement, can also help the image and growth of your brand. How so? Well, how is social media engagement measured? In our previous discussion, we mentioned that it is measured by the number of likes, shares, comments etc.
The more of these you have from a numerical stand point, the more effective the level of interaction on social platform.
For example, if a new consumer discovers your social media brand account, but sees few likes, no comments or shares, will he be interested in following you, let alone be interested in your brand? Will he trust you and your brand? If others have not trusted or liked your brand, why must they do so?
Conversely, if they see lots of likes, shares, comments etc. what impact do you think this will have on them? They are more likely to stay on your page, more likely to follow your brand, more likely to share, more likely to buy. Bringing you much joy and happiness in the process.
Create A Positive Environment
Here is an interesting point to ponder over, dear reader. Most people like to jump on a band wagon. In view of this, you have to create an environment that will entice them to do just so. Establish a positive image of your brand by means of effective social media engagement. This in turn as mentioned, can lead to growth.
As a business person, or a brand, you have to cultivate the habit of creating for your audience,quality content. We will discuss this point in much detail as we progress in the course of this blog.
Creating content that is of value, that addresses the needs and problems of your audience, your audience will be willing, to engage with your brand, without you trying to manipulate them.
I strongly feel that any engagement or interaction, should be sincere, honest and mutually beneficial.
Sadly though, one of the main reason for the popularity of social media engagement is for the brands to make money. And believe me I have no problem with that.
It is a fact, that without such interactions, brands will not survive. Here is the point my dear reader I am trying to put across. Why do they crave such interactions? Is it solely for the purpose of satisfying their own desire? The desire to make money at the expense of the target audience.
Social Media Interaction Must be Mutually Beneficial
As mentioned, any social media interaction or engagement, must be mutually beneficial. Not only do you want them to buy your products, but you also must be obligated to provide them with helpful information.
Hence, when you as a brand adopt this new way of thinking, you will find an audience that will befriend you. They will trust you, be willing to help you by liking, sharing, following and rewarding you by buying your brand.
Your social media engagement, can also impact your SEO. For example the more likes or engaged you are on social media, the opportunity this provides. It gives you the possibility of being ranked in search engines, furnishing free organic traffic which leads to sales.
So clearly, social media engagement is important. Let us illustrate it this way. Assume for a moment, that you have 100,000 followers. If however, you never engage or interact with them in a meaningful and sincere way, what do you think will happen? They will not follow you is that not true? So then a large following becomes only meaningful and valuable, when there is a level of engagement on social media. Hence, the greatest measure of social media success, is an engaged audience.
How To Boost Your Social Media Engagement.
We have seen the importance of social media engagement, we are going to discuss, how we can boost it.
Some authors have suggested that the starting point, in boosting social media engagement, begins with improving the measuring metrics of engagement, such as “likes”, “shares” “comments” etc.
And all of these points are valid . But the question again is where do you start? I strongly feel that, to be able to engage socially with your audience, should start with you. First and foremost, you have to get to know yourself.
Yes , I mean you. You have to take the time to know who you are. By the way when I say you, this also includes your brand. Know your goals, mission statement, values, personality, strengths and weakness and what makes your brand unique.
So when you know who you really are, and especially if you have good values, when you interact with your specific audience, you will come across as trustworthy and kind.
As a result, your audience will be attracted to you and your brand. and they will be eager to follow you, share your brand. They will find it a pleasure to interact with you, because of your pleasant personality and the other positive qualities you display.
As mentioned, you have to know yourself. And also the knowing yourself gives you, the opportunity to adjust. How so? If for example, after making a self analysis of yourself, and you notice a flaw, this will allow you to make the necessary corrective changes. Again knowing yourself is vital, for it is a starting point for social media engagement.
Know Your Audience
The next important thing that must be done in order to increase your social media engagement, is to know your audience.
As we mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, building a good relationship, rewarding loyalty, writing content are all crucial for increasing engagement. But again, the first things must come first. We don’t want to put so to speak the cart before the horse.
When things are done in order, we derive much benefit won’t you agree? So I personally feel that, knowing your audience is the next important thing that will help boost social media engagement. Why so?
One of the measuring metrics for social media engagement is asking questions. So you could ask questions, but how do you know the right questions to ask, if you don’t know your audience?
You can offer reward for their loyalty. But how do you know the type of reward that they might like and appreciate, if you don’t know them?
You could write a content. But how can you write a quality content, that will address their needs and concerns, if you don’t know them?
So what is the point? The point I am trying to convey to you dear reader, is that besides knowing who you are, it is also vital that you get to know your audience. This will lead to effective social media engagement. It does make sense won’t you agree? Besides, your online existence is due to your online audience, without them, you won’t exist as a brand. How vital then that you know your audience.
Know Your Competitors
Human experiences teach us that people in general tend to like, follow and even imitate those who do things well. A case in point, athletes , actors and actresses. They have a large following.
Similarly, you want to be the best at what you do. There are so many things that you can do, that will help you be the best at what you do. But for this discussion, in order for you to be the best , you have to know your competitors. By this I mean, try to discern what they are doing, that is working well for them and making them successful.
I am not in no way suggesting that you steal what they are doing, but get an idea of what is working for them. And tailor or modify it to fit your own unique environment or situation.
As a result, your target audience will come to view you as “the one” out of the many. As a result, they will be eager to follow, like and engage with your brand. This in the final analysis, will translate into sales.
And some social media platforms have made it even easier, for you to monitor the activities of your competitors. How So? By providing tools that will help you do just that. So again what is the point? The point is simple and clear, know your competitors.
Identifying The Best Time To Post
To help us with this, we are again going to illustrate this point, by using human experience. And to do so, we are going to use fishing as an example. But maybe you are not a fisherman/woman, but still please allow me to ask you this question, and I will help you answer it. Is that a deal?
When do fishermen/women fish? They fish at a time when the fish are active. I told you I will help you and I did. But it makes sense does it not? If they fish at a time when the fish are not active, they will not make a catch and that is a fact. On the other hand, if they fish at a time when the fish are active, usually at night, they are bound to make lots of catch.
So what is the point am I trying to convey? That you, as best as possible try to identify the best time to post on social media. Why is this important? Just like the illustration given about the fishermen/women who fish when the fish are active, similarly, it is vital that you identify, the best time to post. You want to post when your audience is active on social media, as this will boost your social engagement.
So when is the best time to post?
Sprout’s Social data gives us the best times to post on each social media platform.
- 8-5 pm – Wednesdays
- You can also see great engagement any time Tuesday- Thursday
- Noon and 2pm – Wednesday
- 1 to 2pm – Thursday
- Also safe to post from 10 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays
- 9 to 10 am – Fridays
- You can also post from 10 am -12 noon daily
- 3 pm – Wednesday
- 5 am and 11 am and 3 to 4 pm – Thursday
- 5 am – Fridays
- Also you can post between 9 am and 6 pm – Tuesday-Friday.
But do you recall what we stated in the preceding paragraphs, about the need to know your audience? True, the best time to post has been identified for us by the experts, this makes your work a little bit easier. But I want you to remember also that you are an expert. Why? Because you know your audience, you have built personal relationship with them, and have no doubt interacted with them personally, because of that ,you might already know, a convenient time and day to post.
So really then, the above suggestion does not apply to you. This is for those who have not yet identified when the best time and day to post. If you already know the best time to post as it relates to your own audience, then by all means, stay with what is working for you.
Questions To Boost Social Media Engagement
Another great strategy that you can utilize to boost social media engagement is by way of asking questions. And even in our daily lives, this holds true. How do we get someone to converse with us? You can do so by asking a question. And most of the time, building a relationship might start with asking a simple question. Yes question leads to interaction.
But here is a caution, especially, if you are aiming to boost or improve your social engagement. You have to make sure that the question you ask, must not only be relevant to your own goals and objectives, but also relevant to your audience. Therefore, knowing your audience as suggested in previous discussion, will give you the opportunity to ask relevant questions, and your audience will readily respond, prompting an inter change of communication.
And some social media platforms have recognized the important of questions, as a result, they have features, that will allow you to not only ask questions but create polls.
Asking questions is therefore, one of the best social media engagement strategies. It is really a step to everything. A step to knowing your audience. A step to building trust and good relationship, and a step to customer loyalty.
Respond to all comments
Recall we mentioned, the need to build trust and maintain a good relationship with your audience? There are many ways you can do this. One of the ways you build such trust and foster a good relationship, is by committing yourself to respond in a timely manner, to messages and comments left on your post or website.
By responding in a timely manner, you build trust, the engagement level will increase and this will translate in sales in the near future. And here is another piece of advice for you dear reader, and this is a fact. It takes two to have a conversation, so you must spend time conversing with your audience. It does makes sense.
Failure to respond in a timely way, you risk losing their trust and you risk losing your credibility.
Encourage Your Audience To Comment And Share
I strongly feel that, people in general are good. And I also feel that if people have a good experience with your brand, they will respond to what is reasonably asked of them. Do you feel that way? For example, if they have come to like and trust you, If they have come to know you as a reliable and honest person, and have come to view your content as helpful, and of value to them, will they not be eager to like your post, leave you a positive comment and share your content? I am sure they will be eager to happily do so. All you have to do is to respectfully make the request.
So it really all depends on you. And dear reader, here is another piece of good advice. If you treat people the proper way, the right way, usually they will respond in kind.
User- Generated Content
You no doubt remember, “show and tell” when you were in kindergarten or in first grade. Well, if you did not experience it, it allowed the kids to bring their favorite toys or anything that they liked, and share with their class. This gave them the opportunity, to explain to their classmates, the functions of the toy and why they like it.
The students were delighted and eager to share in this activity. As I reflect on all of this, what stood out, is the level of interaction between student, classmates and teacher. Because the students were encouraged to share what belonged to them, this thus boosted the level of engagement or interaction.
And not only did the level of interaction increase, the classmates benefited, because they learned something valuable, and the sharer also benefited. How? Sharing helped not only with his communication skills, but also gave him a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
So what is the point? The point that I am trying to make with this illustration dear reader, is that content that is generated by your audience, or customer, can be an effective way to boost your your social media engagement.
Ask For A Review
So in line with what we have been discussing, if a customer buys your brand, especially if the customer journey was a pleasant one, that he or she is happy with your brand, you could leave them your link, so that they can leave a review, expressing their satisfaction with your brand. Alternatively, they could post or share a picture of themselves inside your brand or utilizing it.
And when others see a positive review from a fellow customer or someone joyfully using your brand, how do you think this is going to impact them? Especially, if they have been deciding whether to buy or not to buy. This will motivate them to engage with your brand, and further give them the confidence to purchase your product won’t you agree?
And your customer also receive other benefits, this time of course, is the inner benefit. It brings them inner joy, sense of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, which in turn will motivate them to identify with your brand, which will further lead to loyalty to your brand.
Use Of Images To Boost Social Media Engagement
We love images, do we not? Especially images that are stunningly beautiful and meaningful. We want visuals or images that grab or arrest our attention, causing us to pause and reflect.
And when we come across such images, what is the human tendency? What comes to mind? Our friends, relatives, work mates etc. Why? We want them to experience what we have experienced. So we are incline to share with them what we have just seen.
So again what is the point? The point that is being conveyed, is that at all cost make it a habit to utilize images in your social media posts, as this will boost or increase your social media engagement. However, you want to make sure that the images you use are relevant.
Build A Loyal Community.
As mentioned in previous paragraphs, we stressed the need for you as a brand, to treat your target audience, with the utmost respect. Prove to them that you are honest, reliable and that you sincerely care for them, and provide them with the highest quality of service. When you do these things, you will be creating or building, a community of loyal army of your brand, who will be at the forefront, sharing your brand by word of mouth to all they meet.
It reminds me of a traditional village in Africa. In such a village, there is no social media platform, let alone offline advertising media. But yet, how do they promote? How do they create awareness? They do so by word of mouth. And the level of engagement or interaction is truly remarkable and effective.
This example well illustrates, the need to create a community of loyal brand supporters, as this will help boost the level of social interaction, which will lead to greater brand awareness, which in turn will lead to sales.
Share Content To Boost Social Media Engagement.
I am sure you have heard of the expression content is king. And that can be true to a certain degree. Content can be king only, if it is the right content, if it is a content that provides value, if it is helpful, relevant and engaging.
With that said, you must create content that meets the above criteria. You want to create content that will build trust and good relationship with your audience, and use your content to show your audience, that it is their interest that matters the most to you, and that you want to help them and serve them. Write your content in a warm, kind, friendly and appealing tone and be conversational. Also ask questions, sincere ones, for the purpose of engaging them.
When people sense that you care for them, when they sense that you are sincere, when they sense your trustworthiness, and when they appreciate what you stand for, they will be more inclined, to identify with your brand, more eager to write you a positive review, and they will be more eager to like and share your content with others, on social media.
Other Necessary Things
Besides, the other things we discussed which can boost our social engagement, there are also other strategies if adopted can also help us increase our social media interaction, such as contest, games, videos and surveys
As mentioned, all of these strategies, will boost social media engagement for the short term, they will give you success, for the present. But you want to be looking ahead, into the distant future.
If your goal is for a long lasting engagement and success, which should be, then my advice to you is that, you should not let the above mentioned strategies or any other strategies for that matter, take the place of these beautiful and endearing qualities such as kindness, sincerity, genuineness, reliability, honesty and humility. Rather, when you utilize these strategies in combination with these endearing qualities just mentioned, your social media engagement will be on going, helping you to build an army of loyal brand supporters, thus guarantying your success way into the distant future.
So dear reader, we have come to the end of our long journey. I hope it was a pleasant and enlightening journey.
We discussed , “How To Boost Social Media Engagement.” We began with a definition of what social media engagement is and why it is important?
Then we discussed how we can boost our social media engagement. We stated that , in order to boost your social engagement you have to:
- Know yourself
- Know your audience
- Know your competitors
- Identify the best time to post
- Use of questions
- Respond to all comments
- Encourage your audience to comment and share
- Encourage your customers to generate their own content
- Use images
- Write quality content
- Build a loyal community.
Finally, we mentioned that your goal or objective should be to strive for a long term social media engagement, and the need to build an army of brand supporters.
To do so, we indicated, that any strategy or strategies you employ, must be in combination with such beautiful qualities such as, kindness, sincerity, genuineness, reliability, honesty and humility.
Not only dear reader, will this strategy and all the others discussed in this blog, enable you to have a social media engagement that is effective and ongoing, but it will guarantee your success now, and way into the distant future.
Again, I want to take this opportunity, to express my heartfelt appreciation to you, for taking the time to read this blog, ” How To Boost Social Media Engagement.” It is my hope that you found this blog to be of value to you, and it is my hope that you will employ some of the strategies discussed in this blog. And I have the utmost confidence, that if you do, you will be able to boost your social media engagement now and into the distant future.
And I would like to request of you two small favors. If you found this blog to be of value, and helpful, please I will appreciate it if you can share it with, friends, relatives and co-workers. And I want you to help me also to improve. If you find for example areas that you feel I need to make improvement, please do let me be aware of it, or just leave me a comment.