Social media engagement is the measurement of the likes, comments and shares your social media posts get. However, it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about how engaged your audience is with your posts, videos etc. It’s about quality, not quantity.
For example, let’s say you hold a big BBQ at your home and invited loads of people – some you know and some you don’t. They all turned up, but all just sat around silently. Nobody spoke to each other, nobody danced, no fun and games. If you were just looking at the numbers game, your BBQ would be a huge success…after all, shed loads of people came. But was it really a success? Did your guests enjoy themselves? Did they like the BBQ food? You don’t know if you don’t speak to them and ask.
Social media is the same – engagement with your audience is crucial to build a rapport, to develop relationships with your followers and potential customers. It helps you to build customer loyalty and trust.
How do you engage on social media?
It’s all about interacting with the people who like and follow you. It’s about building those relationships, getting to know them, and showing a genuine interest in them and their business/family or whatever they talk to you about.
- When a person comments on your posts, ALWAYS reply.
- If they ask a question, answer it, and go that extra mile to give them the information they need – and more.
- Depending on your post or the question asked, you can answer jokingly and have a bit of backwards and forwards banter.
- Thank people for commenting; if you get a new follow-on Instagram, DM to say thank you and introduce yourself and ask about the person who has followed you. The same applies for Facebook – send a private message to say thank you and interact with that person – even if it’s just saying hi and asking them how their day has been.
- Try and avoid talking about your products or services in these first contact messages – just be friendly, show your personality and be genuinely interested in your new contact.
These points are basic, but they do work.
Grow your followers
So now, we need to look at how to grow your followers – the more followers you have, the more engagement you’re likely to get. But please, DON’T buy followers and don’t do ‘follow for follow’ or ‘like for like’. Only follow or like someone or their business, if you are genuinely interested in them, if you genuinely like their business or their page, or are interested in the content they put out.
- Be consistent – I know, I bang on about this all the time, but it really is important. You don’t have to post every day, but post regularly so that your audience know when you look for content from you.
- Create unique content – don’t just copy what other people do. You can use ideas from other peoples’ content but make it your own. You can use Canva to make posts – there is a free version, so you don’t have to pay to start on this site and it’s extremely useful, with lots of different templates to help you. It’s also super easy to use.
- If you share someone else’s post, make sure you always credit them with it, so people know who created it.
- Use a mixture of posts, such as quotes, gifs, memes, jokes, video, hints and tips, ‘how to’ posts, informational posts, educational posts – the list is endless.
- You can also do ads for your business/products/services as a post but keep these to a minimum. Apply the 80/20 rule – 80% of posts to engage, entertain, educate, or inspire and 20% selling.
- You can do paid ads to increase your followers, but you don’t have to do this.
- Have a consistent look and feel to your page posts – this comes down to your brand – what do you want your posts to look like? How do you want people to feel? What colours do you use? A theme could be the look of your content, the type of content your share (funny, educational, inspiring) – this will largely depend on what you do. For example, if you’re a mindset coach, you might post inspirational quotes or tips to improve mindset, so this is worth spending some time thinking about what you want to portray to your audience.
- Use images in your posts.
- You can also collaborate with other businesses to help grow your followers. It’s best to collaborate with other businesses who have a similar audience to you but sell or promote different types of products or services. For example, if you are a hairdresser and you do hair for weddings, you could collaborate with a make-up artist who also does weddings – you can recommend each other when you get a booking. You can put links on each other’s social media pages and websites.
- A collaboration could also include a contest or giveaway, a blog post promoting their products or a post on your social media pages…and vice versa.
- Set up a Facebook group. These are great for increasing social media engagement as they tend to be more social than pages as the members can post questions or comments at any time. It also means your customers can communicate with each other and get to know other like-minded people. It’s important that you are active in your group every day, several times a day – you need to keep an eye on things to make sure any disputes or differences of opinion don’t get out of hand…and moderate posts to avoid spam. And of course, engage with your group members by posting something of value every day.
As with everything, measurement is important. If you don’t measure what you do, how will you know if things have improved or if you are successful?
So, before you start any new engagement campaign, look at your insights on your various social media pages. Take a note of your followers, look at the type of posts that are popular. Then, when you embark on increasing your engagement, you’ll be able to see how you’ve done against what you did before. You’ll be able to see which posts people like and don’t like, what kind of posts get comments, which ones get shared, and which ones produce tumbleweed!
Most of all, enjoy your social media – there’s a clue in the name! It’s about being sociable with others, engaging with them, building relationships, gaining trust, and making new friendships and business contacts, as well as new customers.
If you have any more tips, please let me know in the comments.
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