This is a guest post about social media engagement in partnership with Typeform.
Social media is becoming a trickier world to navigate as it evolves and diversifies.
Platforms are constantly changing, trends come and go as quickly as the English weather, and brands are forever battling algorithms. Yet, all is not lost.
I’ve been working in social media for close to a decade, for a variety of different brands. Engagement has always been a core metric to chase. In this article, I’ll share six ways you can increase social media engagement and get more people talking about your brand.
Let’s dive in! 🏊♂️
What does social media engagement actually mean?
Engagement can be clicks, likes, comments, shares, views – any form of interaction someone makes with your post. It’s a solid indicator of whether your content is resonating with your audience.
Picture it like this: Let’s say you’re hosting an event, and you’ve got immersive experiences, talks, and roundtables going on – but no-one’s watching them, joining in, or listening.
Kind of awkward, right?
It’s the same with your social channels. If people aren’t interested in what you’re putting out there, they won’t pay attention, and your hard-earned followers won’t be worth a thing if you’re invisible to them.
Which engagement metrics should I be chasing?
With engagement now identified as a core success metric for your social media efforts, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of social media engagement. There are different types of engagement, and they mean different things when determining how engaged your followers are with your brand.
What I want to quell now is an emphasis on shooting for vanity metrics. Instagram has tested taking away “likes” and for a good reason.
‘Likes’ are surface-level. Sure, it’s nice to receive a like, and they do count towards the algorithm, but why not strive for something a little deeper?
You should be aiming for in-depth and meaningful engagement metrics.
Track social media comments
Comments mean that someone has taken the time to tap out a reply to your content:it’s moved them in some way. Aside from emojis and bot responses, how many real comments are you receiving?
Track retweets & shares
This is a great engagement metric to track. It means someone has found your content so valuable that they want to share it with someone else. It’s a real compliment towards the quality of your content.
Track direct messages
This is a point we’ll explore more later. If you can inspire someone enough that they reach out to you privately and positively, then you’re doing a fantastic job at building engagement. Just because it’s in the DM doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
6 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement
- Stay on top of platform updates
Social media platforms are ever-evolving. They’re always trying to outperform each other, attract new users, and maintain their current base. This means that they’ll get updates more regularly than most products. One week Instagram will be cutting likes, the next Twitter will be testing stories; it’s non-stop. This has its pros and its cons.
On the downside, it means that just because your content strategy is working now, that doesn’t mean it always will. Perhaps you’ll be doing really well for a few months but will then see your engagement rate drop. It’s an algorithm update or a platform update that has changed the way people interact with the platform and, therefore, your brand.
On the upside, this means that your brand continuously has new opportunities to succeed. Just because you’re struggling now doesn’t mean you always will be.
When platforms launch new features, they typically reward usage of the feature (e.g Facebook video) and bump those posts up in people’s newsfeeds. More eyeballs, more engagement.
Stay on top of platform and algorithm updates, be agile and proactive with how you encompass them into your social media content strategy and keep your engagement rate high.
- Don’t be afraid to be funny
Comedy is a tricky thing to master. However, if you manage to get it right, it can help your engagement rates soar. Look at brands like Chipotle, Casper, and Innocent Drinks. Each has vastly different products, yet each manages to bring a comical element into their content –– and it works.
If your style allows it, think of humorous ways to respond to global trends and topics, or just in general with your product and tone of voice
Use memes, GIFs, or just be sharp and witty with the copy you write. You’ll begin to see your followers engaging more, and creating UGC that you can repurpose that’s just as comical ––maybe even better.
- Create innovative content
This is not necessarily how you use each social media platform, but the content you chose to put onto it. Keep in mind how your content will be displayed. For example, there’s no point in creating horizontal, stunning images and posting them on TikTok. However, if you know the channel can accommodate your content and showcase it well, then be innovative with what you create.
Quizzes are a fantastic form of content that helps to build brand awareness by being shareable as well as adding towards your engagement metrics. The average Facebook advertising click-through rate for all industries is 0.9%. However, Typeform found a 12% engagement rate when they introduced quizzes to their ad strategy.
Firstly, create a quiz that’s relevant to your follower base, or desired follower base.
Secondly, write some catchy copy to accompany your quiz on social media, manage expectations, and encourage people to share their results with you in the comments.
Thirdly, publish your quiz on channels that work best.
Psst. They perform well on Facebook and LinkedIn, but the choice is yours.
Lastly, consider giving your quiz content a bump with a small ad spend. When you generate leads via Facebook Ads, connect it to your Gmail & add your leads to a drip campaign.
- Don’t be afraid of the DMs
Direct messages are the email marketing tool of the social media world. We place so much effort into our email marketing initiatives, and we should be doing the same with our direct messaging content strategy.
There’s no way you would sit and reply to 100s of emails at a time. There’s also no way you would send out hundreds of cold emails one by one. This is why we invest in an email marketing tool and the reason you should be investing in a social inbox tool as well.
Don’t let your efforts stop there. Your content marketing strategy needs to be just as in-depth for your DMs as it is for your email marketing. Create content that’s engaging and useful to people. Build templates for FAQs to make your reply processes easier and build out responses that are unique to DMs.
Social media sites still manage to recognize this interaction you have with someone, and it will positively affect your algorithm when appearing on that person’s feed. Ever wondered why you start seeing a friend’s content on Instagram more after you’ve been talking via direct messages? The same happens for your business. Just because the interaction is private, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
- Explore new channels
Let’s blast through some of the most popular social media platforms out there today.
Are there any of these social platforms that you’re not already trying for your brand?
Now let’s dig a little deeper:
- Whatsapp Business
Social media platforms perform differently depending on geographic location or age demographic. Get resourceful and do your research on some lesser-known social media platforms to see if you think you can have an impact there.
Each social platform has a wealth of users that you could potentially only reach on that particular channel, so consider new options – if you have the resources.
- Partner up with brands & influencers
Paid or unpaid, there’s plenty of power in more people. Get on the search for those people and businesses that align best with your company, product, mission, and vision.
Don’t shy away from paid partnerships, but it’s great to find a campaign or purpose to work together which doesn’t require a paid relationship.
Content partnerships are an awesome way for you to reach new audiences and give a fresh breath of life to your content. By handing over the reins to a content creator, another brand’s aesthetic, or co-creating content with an influencer, your content can take on a whole new appeal yet remain true to your mission and vision.
Plus, if you manage to find a partnership in which the partner is just as socially responsible for the success of the campaign, you’ll see your brand presented to their audience on social media a lot more than you expected.
Partnering up is a great way for you to gain unique content, and find a fresh reason for connecting with your current follower base while reaching a new one.
Wrapping it all up
That’s a wrap on increasing social media engagement and ways to reach more people with your brand’s social content.
Remember, if something is not working on social media, there’s no shame in changing it. Just because you thought it was going to work and had a team of creative minds behind you, doesn’t mean it actually will. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea; it just means it needs to be done differently.
Stay on your toes, adapt to social media platform updates and changes, and keep creating unique and innovative content.
Engagement does not come naturally, lead the way in how you want fans to engage with your brand, and they’ll eventually begin to learn from each other. But, it has to start from you.
About the Author
Ray Slater Berry has been working in social media and content marketing for eight years. He specializes in the tech, innovation and travel sectors. He is a writer for Typeform and is a published novelist with his first book, Golden Boy.