With billions of brands fighting to get noticed on social platforms, it can be difficult to boost those all-important engagement figures. Paid advertising is one way in which brands can stand out from the competition, but improving engagement naturally tends to be more effective in terms of overall brand reputation and ultimate sales figures.
Naturally improving engagement on social media isn’t as simple as it sounds, though. Almost all brands with a social presence have a similar goal in mind, but we bet you can count the number of brands that you engage with regularly on one hand. In order to pique users’ interest and grab their attention, brands have to work really hard. They need to create content that sings, and presents it in a friendly, welcoming manner that users can’t ignore. That’s not an easy task.
However, there are plenty of changes that brands can make to improve engagement. Just take a look at the following five tips, which you can use to help tweak your content and maximise user engagement.
Be The Expert
Consumers are bored of being sold to. With smartphones in hand, they’re bombarded with sales-focused content every minute of every day. In order to stand out from the competition, brands need to publish content that users actually want to see. Useful content is now considered far more engaging that promotional material. The key to finding this useful content lies in knowing the target audience, which should help in focussing efforts around the most appropriate topics. Once you understand who your followers are, the content created should be tailored towards them. Simply put, offering up material that is both relatable and helpful will work in attracting more people.
That said, the type of content produced is up to you. Variety is, after all, a great way of attracting follower attention. Posts can be informative, or entertaining (or both!) but remember, it needs to include expert tips and knowledge that users can really benefit from. If you create content that ticks these boxes and you’ll soon find yourself with a more engaged following.
Create Video Content
If you’re looking to maximise your exposure and boost engagement, you can’t ignore the power of video. After all, research by Hubspot found that “social media posts with video have 48% more views.” The fact is, there’s so much you can do with video these days. For instance, utilising video clips to share intriguing behind the scenes action at your company, showing off your personal side with interviews from your team, or even putting key figures from your brand in the spotlight to undertake Q&A’s with your audience, are all invaluable tools to aid in growing your following – not only is this type of video content hugely engaging, it can really improve brand awareness as well.
Start A Conversation
If you want to improve engagement, you need to start a conversation- this is a basic principle for growing a following. Publishing interesting content is one thing, but nothing will benefit engagement quite as much as content that allows, and also invites, interaction. To do this well, you need to make sure users know you want to hear from them. For example, you could prompt them to share their videos by asking questions when you publish stories, or even talk to them directly via live streaming on Instagram. Asking for opinions using polls or finding out what they really want to know with Q&As are a couple of great ways to reach out to an audience and invite them to engage more with your content. Social networks offer huge opportunities for brands to interact with users, and doing so can be incredibly beneficial.
Be Part Of The Community
In order to attract a loyal following on any social network, it’s a great idea to present your company as an expert in its field. However, it’s called social networking for a reason. So, when selling yourself, remember there’s a fine line between talking exclusively about you, and effectively encouraging users to engage with your brand.
Ultimately, it’s important to make your followers feel included, and not alienated, by your community through what you post on your social channels. As part of this strategy, it might be a useful exercise to share content by similar brands you admire, or republish users’ content (only with their consent, of course). By showing off your inspiration you will be able to position your brand as a thought leader, whilst sharing followers’ content featuring your products will help in further improving that crucial trust factor for when new users come across your channels online.
Focus On Responsiveness
It doesn’t matter how many followers you’ve got on your social platforms, it can all come crashing down far too quickly if you don’t engage with your customers effectively. As mentioned before, social networking provides a unique opportunity to have an actual conversation with your customers, so make sure you always have a team in place who are ready to respond to their comments, queries and complaints quickly and efficiently – no matter how far your business expands. One of the most important elements of growing an online presence is forging and nurturing a strong bond with your followers and responsiveness is a big part of that.
More and more users are now using social media to interact with brands. Tweeting, commenting and direct messaging are fast becoming the choice methods of consumer feedback, quickly surpassing phone calls and emails. So, with all this in mind, make sure you keep on top of customers’ messages to protect that all-important reputation.
Social channels are hugely powerful in terms of driving engagement, improving exposure and boosting brands’ reputations. To ensure your company is enjoying the full potential of its social channels, follow our five simple tips and make sure your content is as engaging as can be. Before long you’ll see increased follower numbers, improvements in interactivity and ultimately enhanced profitability. That’s the power of social media.
This article was contributed by Billion Dollar Boy, an influencer marketing agency based in London and New York.