Before going to discuss ways to increase user engagement on social media let us first talk about social media engagement. Social media engagement means customer interaction with your brand on social media or in other words we can say that it is the response you get from customers related to what you share on social media.
At Facebook, things such as likes, Comments, tags and shares are considered as engagement. As far as Twitter is concerned, it considers retweets, mentions and replies as engagement. At LinkedIn, things such as number of interaction on a post, number of clicks, numbers of followers and numbers of impression help to understand user engagement. However, Google+ defines engagement as +1s, comments, shares and people making you part of their circles.
It is to be noted that user engagement on social media is directly linked to sales/ revenue. Low user engagement on social media means people have liked your Facebook or followed you on Twitter or added you to their circles on LinkedIn but they are not listening to or appreciating what you are telling them or they are not responding to your questions. If they are not engaging with you it means they will not contact you to buy something from you and no customers means no sales.
In order to build direct and strong connection with customers on social media, many marketers are asking for ways to increase user engagement on social media. Following ways are helpful to increase user engagement on social media.
Listen to your audience
If you want your potential customers to listen you then first you should listen to your customers. Know what they are saying about your brand. Tools such as Google Alerts, Topsy, Social Mention and others will help you monitor where your brand is being mentioned and what people feel about your products or services.
Share valuable & relevant content
You should understand that every social media has different features and has its own unique audience .If you want people to appreciate your content then share type of content that your customers will love to read and that is appropriate for the selected social network. Share interesting, beautifully written and well researched blogs on trending topics. Sharing viral content on social media helps increase user engagement. Try to share content that solves customers’ problems such as how to increase website traffic? Sharing this sort of content increases engagement.
Use story telling format to present content
One of the most important things is presenting content in form of a story. Whether it is an image, video or text try to present content in story telling format. This style is really popular these days.
Share posts that can engage audience
Include question in posts
In your posts ask questions from your target audience related to issues that they care. It is quite evident that people like to discuss about themselves with others. If you only talk about your brand through your posts people will stop listening to you. If you also discuss with them what they care about then they will surely respond to your questions and this will help boost engagement. You can ask them questions such as their weekend plans, what they expect from your brand and much more.
Include call to action in posts
In your posts always suggest your audience what to do after reading the post such as retweet, check out a link, buy now, leave a comment, share a post, etc. When you do so, your audience is more likely to follow your advice.
Length of your posts should be optimal
Keeping post to optimal length increases chances of user interaction with that post. Have a look at optimal length of post for each social network as presented by BufferSocial:
Twitter tweets – 71 to 100 Characters
Facebook posts – 40 Characters
Google + posts – 60 Characters
LinkedIn posts – 25 Words
Arrange contests & offer giveaways
It is a fact that people like to win and love to get anything free. That is why holding contests and offering giveaways are one of the best tactics to increase user engagement on social media. For example, you can ask your customers to retweet your posts and win a product as a reward. Let’s take another example. Dental Extreme offered Amazon Gift card for answering question on their Facebook page.
Share engaging images and videos
Today, the most engaging content online is images and videos.
Text having images gets more attention on social media as compared to text alone. According to a research conducted in 2014, 87 percent of most shared posts on Facebook had some sort of photo with it. If you want your audience to notice your posts, include interesting , amazing and beautiful images with your post that compel your audience to stop by and like what you have shared with them. Images that boost engagement include photo of product you are selling, photos of your team, photos of your fans, pictures of how your products are built, infographics, selfies and collages.
It is a great idea to ask your audience to caption a picture. This type of activity makes audience quite active. You should also share visual quotes because they get more likes and share.
As videos increase engagement on social media therefore use informative, entertaining and amazing videos related to your product or company or something that your audience finds interesting to get attention of customers.
Participate in forums and Q&A sessions on Google Hangout & Twitter
It is evident that participating in forums such as Quora and LinkedIn groups helps increase user engagement. When you answer questions on these forums related to your industry, you get an opportunity to connect with people you like to engage with. Hold frequent Q&A sessions on Google Hangout & Twitter so that people can ask you related to your brand.
Show human side of company
Share information about employees of the company to show your followers human side of your company.
Establish relationship with industry influencers
If you want to take your social media engagement to another level then try to establish connection with key influencers in your industry. View, share and comment on their content on social platforms. When you will share content of industry influencers on social media, their followers will notice it and they may follow you because followers of industry influencers and your brand have common interests. If you frequently share content of industry followers they may take interest in promoting you in return. Your promotion by industry influencers will boost your credibility and we cannot ignore the fact people like to have connection with credible brands.
Follow the 80-20 Rule
If you want to boost engagement on social media then you should avoid doing self promotion all the time. What you should do is to present yourself as a credible and useful source of information related to your industry. According to 80-20 rule, 80 percent of your posts should be about thrird party news, events you are attending, and industry related news. However, only 20 percent of your posts should be promotional, highlighting your products and services.
Finally, we must understand that there are no hard and fast rules to boost user engagement on social media. Try everything that can work and have patience to see the results.