Two things make social media a difficult beast to conquer. First, it is evolving every day. What you know or learn about it today might no longer be relevant next month. Second, the kettle has to be kept on the boil continuously. A post which was widely liked and shared might drop off from memories in a week’s time. You need to keep on providing content that is engaging. Check out my previous post about the 20 most important marketing strategy tips for 2018.
The Evolution of Social Media
Table of Contents
- 1 The Evolution of Social Media
- 2 Easy Ways to Get More Engagement on Social Media
- 3 Conclusion:
We have indeed come a long way. Social media started off as a way friends could keep in touch. It then became a way for people to broadcast their information and opinions. Today it has evolved into a highly effective marketing tool used by all kinds of businesses. In its initial avatar, social media engagement was not at all necessary. It was fine as long as you stayed in touch with friends and pulled each other’s legs once in a while. But now, your business volumes are dependent on your social media posts. That is why they need to reach more people and also evoke responses from them.
Easy Ways to Get More Engagement on Social Media
Every business needs to harness social media for two reasons. The first is obviously to develop and grow its business. The second is that many consumers use social media for getting queries resolved. Or they use it for registering complaints. If a business is not engaging enough on social media, the bad publicity could prove harmful. Let us look at ten easy ways to get more engagement on social media.
1. Use Visuals:
A viewer would be keen to read all about your business. But a social media post with only long paragraphs would not cut it. You have to put in graphics, pictures, videos and even some memes once in a while. On Facebook itself, more than 100 million hours of videos are watched every day. A video and picture can be used effectively to describe your products and their usage.
But product descriptions might not be the only purpose. Many companies use gif images or memes just to engage their viewers better with some humor. These non-text additions could sometimes be also used to poke fun at competitors. But that is only if it suits your brand’s personality. In fact, according to a study done in 2016 by Quintly, it was found that Facebook videos won the race of interaction rates with 186% higher from YouTube videos.
2. Respond Actively:
The word engagement does not refer to one way flow of information only. Others would also have things to say on your social media posts. They could be your clients, partners or potential clients. Some of it might be complimentary, but some of it could be a complaint or query too. You need to ensure that you respond to all the comments and queries on your profiles.
You need to keep in mind that people can be very nasty sometimes. This is especially true if they have a problem with your product. Your response needs to be objective and polite at all times. Other potential clients would be watching the conversations. They would form opinions about your brand based on your responses.
3. Post as Per a Plan:
If you are depending on your social media platforms to generate business, you need to be consistent. You cannot post three updates in one week, and then stay silent for the next two weeks. To be consistent, it is best if you can create monthly or quarterly plans. Depending on what products or services you have, you could choose different things on which to base your plan on.
You might want to post around festivals and holidays or you might want to select political events. You might post before, during and after sporting events as well. If you have a calendar ready in advance, you can take time to create content in advance, instead of having to rush. You will find many content calendar creating tools on the internet.
4. Be Responsive:
Back in the day, advertisers used to create advertising based on what the brand wanted to convey. But social media is not one-way communication. If you use social listening well, you will understand what your followers or audience want to talk about. This will help you mold your content accordingly, instead of starting from ‘What do I want to tell you today?’. Also, it is a good idea to sometimes post content which doesn’t talk about your brands at all. A post on a general topic would initiate a conversation which could give you useful insights. Listening to stories can give you very useful customer insights.
5. Use Follower Content:
You can get two clear benefits if you use content that your followers or fans create. First, you come across as more approachable to your other fans. Second, as soon as you ask users to generate content for you, it improves your engagement levels.
Depending on what your products are, you have a variety of choices. You could ask users to design a logo, write a tagline, or post pictures of themselves using your products. This takes some load off your own shoulders, for sure. But the biggest benefit is that your users and followers feel a sense of ownership with your brand.
6. Short and Sweet:
A post can only hope to get engagement if the viewer goes through the post completely. But that is difficult if you upload a post of 10 long paragraphs or a video of 20 minutes. That is why you need to remember that less is more. Leave something for the conversation that will follow instead of laying it all out in your post. If your video or text is too long, the average watch time will reduce drastically. The viewer will not read through till the end. That makes it almost impossible to generate engagement. So you need to keep it short and sweet.
7. Be Consistent:
The consistency spoken about here is not what was referred to earlier in this article. The consistency here refers to a repeatable look and feel on all your social media profiles. How this helps you is that the look can be recognized very easily in any context. You can have a consistent color scheme, and you can also have similar types of posts everywhere. If you have a fun personality for your brand, you can align the colors and layout of your profiles. Things change if you have a more serious way of engaging with your followers or users. In that case, the social media profiles would have a corresponding look.
8. Look for Collaborations:
The marketplace need not always be about cutthroat competition. You can explore the scope of joining hands with other brands who are in the same space as you are. You might be in the flower delivery business. You can set up a joint promotional drive with a cake delivery company. This would help you to share and make the best use of each other’s resources. This could be of infrastructure, manpower, and database. The ideas you could use are joint contests, exchange of mutual giveaways, backlinks to each other’s websites, tagging each other’s social media profiles etc.
9. Use of Social Media Tools:
If you are unable to generate enough engagement on your own efforts, you can take a look at the different tools available on the internet. These tools would automate the engagement efforts without you having to spend time and effort. Mundane activities like adding hashtags or tagging people can be automatically taken care of by these tools. They would add relevant content like pictures and videos.
You don’t need to find the shortened link for your website. These tools would do it for you. Finally, one important activity is to find ways to measure how effective your social media engagement efforts were. These tools would provide analytics to help you assess the effectiveness and suggest corrective actions if any.
10. Time It Right:
Rather than your own business hours, you should be making more social media posts when the most number of people are likely to be found online. Because of the huge volume of posts on social media, this becomes very imperative. If you post at a time when there are fewer people online, your post will be pushed down below by the time people actually log on.
A quick search on the internet can provide you the results of several studies which tell you which are the time slots when the numbers of active users are the most and the least. If your likely customer set is in several countries, then you need to be mindful of regional preferences. For example, people in London might spend time on social media on days and times different from people in India.
All the above points were written in terms of a business which wishes to use social media to generate leads and create revenue. But they hold true even if you are an amateur who doesn’t have any commercial targets from your social media posts. A good social media profile and good quality posts deserve to get healthy engagement.
Without high quality of engagement, the best social media posts simply become a waste of time and effort and quickly get confined to the dustbin. That is why it is important to have both sides active. You should keep on creating great content for good posts. Side by side, you should do things to ensure that those good posts reach a large number of people and get them engaged.