The elusive “improving engagement” monster. Previous clients I’ve worked with, people in Facebook groups I’m in, heck people all across the Internet want to know:
“How can I improve engagement on my social media posts?!”
It’s a far too common question and there are many answers that have been given.
Respond to commenters!
Ask your audience a question!
Share a quote!
While the above suggestions are great and have their place, there are ways to engage your audience that go deeper than sharing a graphic with an Albert Einstein quote. Below are four tried and true ways I have found that have increased engagement on social media posts for the long run.
And no, just posting a title of an article and tagging a person on Twitter is not going cut it.
Truly interact with other people on social media. Participate in Twitter chats, join a Facebook group and offer real advice, leave thoughtful comments on Instagram…it all matters.
People won’t genuinely comment on your profiles if you never comment on others. When commenting, share why you love their newest blog post/product/whatever it may be. When leaving advice, share from your personal experience what does or doesn’t work.
Also known as, pulling a Taylor Swift. Whether or not you like the previous-country-ballad-turned-pop-singer-sensation or not, she knows how to treat her fans.
In case you haven’t heard, last year T. Swift sent Christmas gifts to a few of her biggest fans on Tumblr. These gifts were personalized, with a hand-written note from Taylor. These fans were obviously surprised and so appreciative that Taylor took the time to not only send these gifts, but to write directly to them.
This created a storm across social media, as these girls who were sent gifts shared on their social networks their surprise gift from Taylor.
You don’t need to be Taylor Swift to pull this off. Send your top five best customers a gift card with a personalized message, offer access to your next online e-course a week before it launches, send flowers to your most interactive Twitter follower…the options are endless.
Brainstorm ideas of what your specific customers/clients would appreciate and make the gift heartfelt. They will pay you back ten-fold by sharing on social media and interacting with your social platforms.
Posting on social media as a business can sometimes be soul-sucking. Not to get grim, but it’s the truth. So many businesses think they must stick to what is “business appropriate” at all times. And while I agree with that most of the time, sometimes you need to let some personality shine.
People like interacting with other people, and if your business seems more like a human rather than a robot, more people will interact with you on social media.
Share a personal side of your brand, like Pat Flynn:
Give a mini-update on your life, like solopreneur Kayla Hollatz:
Let your employees take over for your social media for a day, like Yelp cleverly does:
Wait, don’t you mean ask questions?
Nope, I mean answer questions. Give advice for free. This can be hosted on various different platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for starters. Sarah Morgan of XOSarah does this on her blog every other Friday and I think it is pure genius.
Tell your audience in advance that you will be answering questions on this date and this time about whatever you specialize in. Let your email subscribers know, (obviously) share on your social networks, perhaps even ask others in your same industry (other bloggers, friends, small businesses) to share your free Q&A.
Spending a small amount of time answering questions from your audience will go a long way. Your audience will be forever grateful that you took the time to answer their question, and it also shows your expertise in the field.
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