5 Social Media Tips to Supercharge Engagement

Greg Miles | 18 August 2015

Being active on social media is an essential part of any marketing plan. Almost all business owners will have come to this realisation by now, so how can you reach your audience more effectively and stay ahead of the competition?

Although having more Twitter followers or Facebook likes than your competitors might make you feel superior, this is not necessarily the case. In reality, number of social followers is a vanity metric. The real value of your social media efforts lies with engagement.

Higher social engagement means your audience is actually paying attention and receiving your brand message. It’s the metric that best measures the two-way conversation between brands and consumers. Higher engagement means better customer relationships.

Number of followers does matter, but it’s finding the right balance of quantity and quality that will help you reap the real rewards of social media marketing.

Below are 5 social media tips that are designed to supercharge engagement and crank your interaction, traffic and shares up a notch.

1. The Power of Images

It’s no secret that posts with an attractive image attached receive higher engagement on social media. A high quality and relevant image will stand out in people’s timelines, raising your content above the noise.

Buffer found that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets.

Tools such as Pablo by Buffer and Canva allow you to create your own branded social media images in a matter of minutes. This means you can combine text with your images to put your message across even more effectively.

2. Ask Questions

Asking questions on social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get people to respond to your posts. This probably won’t come as too much of a shock, but Kissmetrics found that Facebook posts with questions receive 100% more comments.

You could ask your audience which of your products is their favourite, what would they like to see from your brand in the future, or just general questions about something topical. It can also be a good idea to hold Q&A sessions on platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, or Google Hangouts. This would give fans the opportunity to ask key people within your organisation questions about your brand and your products.

Ask and you shall receive.

3. Harness the Hashtag

Taking advantage of trending hashtags can make a huge difference to engagement on Instagram and Twitter. Using a popular hashtag will simply put your brand in front of more people. You can add popular industry hashtags to your posts to make it easier for relevant people to find you, or publish your brand’s take on a trending topic.

You can even go all out and ‘hijack’ a hashtag, turning it on it’s head and using it to promote your business. Like these brands, who tried to steal Apple’s thunder by offering their satirical take on the Apple Watch release.

Just be careful not to cause outrage by making any of these big brand blunders.

4. Focus on the Right Platforms

Choosing the right platforms to reach your target audience is the vital first step to social media success. A fashion brand may find their audience is more active on Instagram and Pinterest, while a B2B company is more likely to find potential customers on LinkedIn.

In the end, it’s all about knowing your buyer persona – understanding who your target customers are and where they spend their time online. It might take a while to find out which channels yield the best engagement, but once you do you can sharpen your focus and concentrate on connecting with your audience where it is most effective.

5. Monitor Analytics

Frequently analysing your analytics is the key to fine-tuning your social media engagement. Every business is different, so different tactics will work better for some companies more than others. Nobody can tell you exactly which types of content resonate best with your target audience better than your analytics tools.

Use this data to figure out how well your posts are performing and which tactics are the most effective. You can use A/B testing to work out the language that resonates with your buyer personas, the kind of images that are the most engaging and the hashtags that drive the most traffic.

Key Takeaway

Increasing social media engagement is not rocket science. It just takes the right blend of understanding your audience, following best practices and using analytics to tweak your tactics. If you start work on these five tips alone, you will start to see an immediate improvement to your engagement.