Most people are focused on increasing the number of followers on social media, without putting a big emphasis on growing engagement. Sure, it’s a great feeling when your account gets new followers, but without meaningful engagement, these new people following you won’t count for much.
Hootsuite came up with a wonderful analogy that sums up how to approach social media engagement. It goes like this: “You should be treating social media engagement like a dinner party, welcoming people and encouraging conversation between the host and the guests.” This is pretty spot on, and above all, it makes social engagement approachable, real and applicable. So, with that said, what are some actual strategies you can follow to boost engagement on social media?
Step 1: Measure what matters
Align your metrics to your goals! This is absolutely crucial to make sure you’re actually taking meaningful steps that will get you the results you’re after. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to a social media strategy because every company’s goals are different. Therefore, what you use to measure the success of your campaigns won’t be the same as another brand, and will also alter depending on your goals.
Depending on what you want to achieve, your social media engagement goals could look like this:
- Collecting feedback about your current products
- Developing brand awareness
- Increasing website leads
- Improving customer retention
Once you have highlighted what you want to achieve, focus on the metrics that will help you to get there.
Step 2: As obvious as it may be, BE SOCIAL!
Social media was invented as a way for people to socialize online. With time, brands capitalized on its power to increase sales. But unfortunately, many of them lost track of what their customers actually wanted and focused too heavily on constantly selling. When you do this, customers can see right through it. To be engaging, you have to actually socialize, which means interacting with the people around you.
Focus on having a two-way conversation with people on the platforms. Reply to comments, send your customers messages, comment on other brands’ pictures…engage in meaningful conversations with your audience and keep it consistent!
Step 3: Monitor your impact
You can’t tell how well your campaign is doing unless you track its performance. While it’s true that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer metrics such as likes and shares, it can be tricky as a business owner to actually understand how that impacts your business.
Being able to quantify the return on investment is generally the biggest thing that holds brands back from investing in social media engagement. It’s often not quite as straightforward as measuring website clicks on an ad campaign, or sales from an email promotion. That’s why it’s important to find out exactly how impactful your social media strategy is. The main metric that you should track is your overall engagement rate (the total number of interactions divided by the total number of followers). The higher this rate, the better. Social media marketers often look for an engagement rate close to three percent, although specific rates will vary depending on your industry and goals.
Step 4: Focus on quality content
It doesn’t really matter how frequently you post if your content isn’t high-quality and engaging. If your followers don’t like, save or share your posts, then all of the engagement efforts that you put into scheduling and promoting them will be worthless.
Basically, the goal is to always have high-quality and relevant content online. This can be achieved by finding out what people are interested in and then doing your best to deliver it to them. In terms of format, it’s helpful to understand which kind of content is best for each platform, as well as to know your customers like the back of your hand. Your goal should be to become e a content scientist. Experiment, observe the reaction, tweak and repeat!
While there is no one-size-fits all solution to an effective social media engagement campaign, following a few simple guidelines will help you boost engagement on social media and drive your business to success.