Many marketers are focused on growing their following and email list, and on getting more sales.
These are all good things to prioritize. But in an attempt to justify the business value of social media, there is one largely overlooked aspect of social media marketing: engagement.
At first, you might wonder what difference a few likes or retweets is going to make.
As it turns out, the impact can be significant. Engagement is a valuable amplifier of the effort you’re already putting into social media, and prioritizing it will maximize your results.
Here are five ways to effectively engage your audience on social.
1. Determine Where Your Audience Is Hanging Out
It seems obvious. If you’re marketing on the wrong platform, it doesn’t matter how often you post or how valuable the content is. You aren’t going to get the kind of engagement you’re looking for.
If your business has been up and running for a while, and you have Google Analytics installed on your site, it shouldn’t be hard to determine which social channel most of your traffic has been coming from.
Unsurprisingly, many businesses discover that Facebook and Twitter are among their best performing sites. But if you want to do a deep dive into other platforms, planned experiments are a good way to uncover other opportunities.
Bottom line – you have to go where your target audience is to drive up engagement.
2. Deliver Content Your Audience Wants
Having determined where your target audience is hanging out online, you need to strategically share content that answers their questions or offers insights into things that interest them.
Capturing and holding attention can be a daunting task, which is why starting in a niche can be beneficial.
Focus on creating content that educates, entertains, enlightens, or does all of the above. Create in-depth articles and behind-the-scenes footage that your followers can’t find anywhere else.
Immerse yourself in your industry and stay current with trends and relevant questions.
3. Measure & Improve
If you’re posting consistently and reliably, you should have some data around what kinds of posts are performing well. Facebook Insights, for example, offers fairly comprehensive data around post reach and engagement numbers.
Stop shooting in the dark, and start analyzing data. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to see what kind of content is appealing to your audience and getting shares, and create more content like it.
You can greatly increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing by keeping tabs on what’s working.
4. Leverage Different Content Mediums
Social media sites are constantly adjusting their algorithms for what is shown in news feeds. One day, video is performing extremely well on Facebook, and next thing you know they start giving less weight to it.
But if you do a good job of leveraging different content types, you can continue to increase your reach and visibility while mitigating the dangers of relying on one type of content. By using text, images, videos, and other forms of content, you can maximize engagement.
5. Make Strategic Use Of Hashtags
Stop guessing what hashtags are working. Hashtagging effectively can have a significant impact on engagement, but many marketers don’t put any thought or strategy behind which tags they’re using.
Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to discover underutilized opportunities. Use tags that are easy to spell and remember. If you’re running a specific promotion or campaign, make sure someone else isn’t already using the hashtag you’re planning on using.
Then use a tool like Sprout Social to keep track of conversations related to your hashtag.
Engagement is the fastest path to added exposure as well as new leads and customers. You can show up in more places more effectively by getting your audience to interact with and share your posts.
If you want to get the most from your social media campaigns, it’s time to start figuring out how you can consistently drive up engagement.
By the way, if you’re looking for help with your social media strategy, make sure to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.