Creating content to drive social media engagement is a tricky business, requiring a balance between purely promotional content and content that will engage and provide ongoing value to your audience (aka – the stuff that makes you money). Social media engagement can be a cornerstone of successful businesses, with a majority of sales coming either directly through social or through customer recommendations, which are made on various platforms. Different type of content works on different platforms, but a general rule is to keep your words short, pictures impactful, and your call to action direct.
Being active on social media is necessary to stay competitive and edge out your competitors. And monitoring what your customers are saying may make the difference between understanding the needs of your customer and adding value, or just adding to the digital clutter with insincere or invalid messaging. Today, we will discuss how to increase social media engagement so you can see more conversions from your efforts.
How To Increase Social Media Engagement
Use Visuals to Increase Social Media Engagement
Social media experts agree that visual media is more engaging for people on social networks. Just think of your preferences — if you had a choice, would you rather see a text-based post that requires you to stop, read, and think, or a visually engaging image that tells a story at a glance? Take a look at the example above, which post are you most likely to skip past? Which grabs your attention? Keep these things in mind as you either pick from metadata when scheduling social media posts or when you are creating images for your blogs and social media posts.
Visual content doesn’t have to be expensive to produce, something as simple as a lifestyle shot of someone using your product or even stock photography overlaid with a powerful message is all you need to capture the imagination of your audience.
If you are able to grab a quick video from a behind-the-scenes shoot, even better! Most social networks prioritize video content, to begin with, so publishing videos directly to your social media accounts will already increase your organic reach putting your post in front of more people with potential to engage your post.
Photo contests and asking your customers to interact with your brand in visual ways can also be great engagement-drivers.
Ask Questions, Add Value
It may seem obvious, but people love to give opinions and talk about themselves. Why not use your brand’s platform to give their stories a voice? Asking people questions that get your audience involved are super powerful. They will increase your reach, and you will hear what your audience likes (or dislikes) about your particular brand or industry. Staying in sync with your customers allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your buyers and potentially even see shifts in the market before they become an avalanche. Social Media Examiner shares timely, relevant news while asking their audience to get involved. As you can see, it works.
Including games, contests or giveaways also give your audience the feeling that you have their best interests at heart — offering discounts and driving people to customized landing pages can support your brand by creating content that others will want to share. Be sure to jump into the conversation instead of just posting and ghosting — your customers will be glad to know that there is a human being behind the screen and will engage more willingly with an individual than they will with a brand. Social media is meant to be shared, and that implies a two-way street.
Maintain Solid Content Type Ratios
A good rule of the road for generating engaging social media content is to share 80% helpful information and only about 20% promotional content. In other words, you need to show your audience that you value them enough to give them something interesting to read other than yet another call for them to purchase your latest and greatest gadget. Repurposed content is fine as long as you are sharing information that is still valued by your audience.
There are few if any reasons not to repost content that resonated with your audience in the past, mostly because it is a good bet that your audience even a week ago looks completely different than it does today. Because of the fluid nature of social media, people drift into and out of conversations and brand engagements on a daily, weekly and sometimes even hourly basis.
One of the top challenges most marketers face is creating truly engaging content. In order to achieve this, your content must be exceptionally focused. Only through this strategy can you accurately target and address the individual reader, rather than addressing a mass pool of people on a general level.
The essential techniques and skills outlined in this guide will help you create focused content from blog posts and websites, to white papers and case studies. While people new to content marketing may choose to work through each step from start to finish, those who are well-versed in content marketing may discover new ideas by dipping into individual chapters.
Schedule Your Social Media Content Ahead of Time
Posting randomly is probably not going to get you the results you want and need. Sit, plan out your content and your strategy with the tips above, then use a social media scheduling tool like Socialdraft to schedule out your posts. This will keep you consistent in posting and free up time that you would have spent publishing to engage your audience. With Socialdraft you can:
- Schedule posts to Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages, Pinterest boards, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
- Schedule single or recurring posts.
- Duplicate posts.
- Schedule reposts from Instagram to your other social networks.
- Schedule in bulk via CSV.
- Pull reports for Facebook and Twitter
- Engage your Audience.
- And much more…
Our goal is to help you with Social Media Management. That’s why Socialdraft is right here and we have a free trial available to everyone. Feel free to sign up! Take Socialdraft for a risk-free trial today.
You have made a commitment to yourself that this year you will create content for your website to provide value to and to attract more customers. But you already know that just creating the content doesn’t mean they will see it. That means that you also need to come up with ways to expand reach from social media to all that content. Today, we will discuss ways you can use Social Media to get eyeballs on new content, get more exposure, and in turn get links to your site.
How To Expand Reach From Social Media
The first thing you need to consider is that not all social media is the same. Before you start sharing your content willy-nilly, you need to conduct a deep dive into who your customers are in order to figure out what “neighborhood” – that is which social networks – they frequent most. For example, if your customers are brides, you will probably get the most return on investment from time spent on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Makes sense, right? Once you have done that, take a few minutes to read through this post. We’ve dedicated a section to each of the major social networks so you can devise a social media strategy, come up with a social media content distribution calendar, and get that all scheduled out on a social media tool so you can set it and forget it. Let’s get to it!
Follow these steps on what to do as soon as you post new content on your website or blog
On Facebook, you should share the content while it is fresh. Ideally, the same day the content comes out. Check your Facebook insights so that you schedule the content to publish at the time the majority of your users are active. Then:
- Try not to post this new content more than two or three times in the first week after it goes live (gets boring and your reach will decrease)
- Within these posts, vary the types of Facebook updates. For example, your first post might be a link post, but your second and third updates might be image posts or video posts, if applicable. This helps you appeal to different audience members, as well as generate data on what types of Facebook posts engage your audience best.
- Each time you post, use different copy and preview images. The different link preview elements on Facebook are editable from the image to the headline to the description. Mix and match to test out different scenarios.
- Create a video to accompany your content and upload this manually (do not schedule it on a platform) to get the most reach from the video.
- To occasionally amp up your visibility, ask your team members and friends to share your business page updates to their personal accounts. Then, ask them to comment and to have conversations with each other on the posts. This helps broaden your reach and get your updates in front of people who aren’t already following the company Facebook page.
Share the content three or four times on Twitter on the first day – make sure to vary the post write up and images.
- Don’t schedule your “first 24 hours” messages back to back. Instead, break them up with additional updates or retweet content from others.
- Use different copy, hashtags, and mentions in each update. Don’t just repeat the same message. Change it to see what engages your Twitter followers most.
- It is okay to retweet other people who share your posts, but don’t just leave it at that. Take these opportunities to try to get a conversation going. Also, be aware that you don’t completely fill up your feed with retweets and replies.
- Although you have the flexibility to post more Twitter updates, you still want to adjust the tweet frequency, so it’s in line with the average number of tweets you send in a typical day.
For example, if you average around 10 tweets a day, peppering your stream with three or four messages about a new piece of content won’t overwhelm your followers. However, if you only average a few tweets a day, scale back this frequency. That way, your feed doesn’t become too self-promotional.
PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM
- First 24 hours: Pin/share all blog post images to Pinterest or Instagram.
- When you publish a blog post, share the visual elements to a relevant pinboard on Pinterest or in your Instagram feed after the post goes live. This will help drive viral interest in your content.
- Schedule weekly/monthly recurring posts on Socialdraft.
Keep the following rules of thumb in mind for Pinterest & Instagram:
- Post to Pinterest if your audience tends to be female, middle-aged, or older.
- Post to Instagram if your audience is younger.
- Keep an eye on your traffic referral and engagement rates to see if these general trends hold true for your followers.
- Use hashtags on Instagram and comment on similar posts.
Post a number of notable images from a behind-the-scenes, how-to or regular article with your audience. Other options: Turn inspirational quotes from the article into images or share content in other formats to Pinterest and Instagram.
- First 24 hours: Post content link to a profile or long-form blog post.
- LinkedIn offers the opportunity to share either short updates in the form of links to content (that you can also tweet) or long-form blog posts in their entirety through LinkedIn Publisher.
- Decide how to post on LinkedIn on a case-by-case basis and determine who will post it. Rotating posting duties among senior staff members help keep things fresh for your readers and lets you reach a wider audience.
- When appropriate, post to your company page or in relevant LinkedIn groups.
Use a Social Media Scheduling Tool
As you can see, this is a lot of work. Socialdraft is a social media scheduling tool you can use to schedule social media posts ahead of time so you can work smart and maximize the reach of your content.
What exactly can you do with Socialdraft?
- Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest)
- Have multiple people create and post content (and you can give them different permissions and restrictions)
- Pull reports to measure your performance
- Schedule posts in bulk (great for evergreen content)
- Engage your audience
- Schedule recurring posts
- Duplicate posts
- Download your calendars as PDFs
- and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. We look forward to having you become a part of the Socialdraft community.
There are plenty of ways to kill your social media reach. One sure way to do this is to have your accounts go into dormancy. What is dormancy? Dormancy is when a social media account that has not posted within a given set of time. Dormancy has immediate negative effects on your social accounts including but not limited to decreased reach, decreased influence, and loss of market share. When you stop (or take a break from) posting, you’re basically taking all the hard (smart) work you’ve done the whole year and letting the results slip through your fingers. Let’s go through the effects of inactivity on social media reach, influence, and SEO.
How to Kill Your Social Media Reach
In our experience, larger brands should post on a daily basis for all networks. Social networks reward activity – that’s a no brainer. ALL brands should do this – but it is even more important with larger brands. When we say “larger brands”, we mean pages with a following and or market share greater than 10,000 people.
Social Activity Standards for an Active Brand
While every brand is different, we’ve found that as a rule, most large brands should:
- Post once daily to Facebook
- Post a minimum of 2 to 3 times a day on Twitter
- Post to LinkedIn at least 3 times per week
- Post to Pinterest (at least) once daily
- Post to Instagram a minimum of once daily (some smart brands can be more active – but not all can execute this effectively)
- Answer all interactions
- Create and search for interactions
- POST VIDEO NATIVELY TO EACH SOCIAL PLATFORM
Keep in mind this is the minimum and will be slightly different according to your goals and audience. This guide could change to include Tumblr, Snapchat, reddit, and others for brands with a younger demographic. The above is the absolute core when it comes to a social media program.
Results of Social Media Inactivity
Dormancy sets in some somewhere around the time that brands are outside of their normal publishing schedule. When dormancy happens; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter algorithms kick in and you begin to see the negative effects of Social Media Dormancy:
*Social algorithms kick in to drop your account’s reach. This is especially true on Facebook and Instagram. We’ve seen large brands with over 10,000 fans not posting within a couple of weeks time see their reach drop down from an average of 10x.
*Your social connections will slowly forget about your brand since you’re off their radar. This means they won’t reach out to engage and in turn, exacerbate the issue.
*Your links will not be shared to social media which will result in fewer signals being sent to Google’s algorithm and increase the chances that your keywords will drop in ranking in Google search.
This dormancy in social media posting and activity negatively affects reach once brands get back to posting. In order to get things back to normal, it takes usually around 3 to 5 times the amount of dormancy time in order for engagement and reach to get back to their former levels. This means that if you’re inactive for a week, it will take anywhere from 3-5 weeks to get back to your original reach number. This also means spending more time focusing on interactions – elbow grease, manpower, and a higher dollar spend. This also does not include other factors such as the constant updates that are made to social media which brands may miss in analytics while they are dormant.
When Does Dormancy Happen?
Brands make the mistake of going into dormancy:
-End of Blitz Campaigns
-End of Ad Buys
-End of Fiscal Cycle (year-end)
-Loss of Team Members
These periods create great opportunities for competitors to steal your brand’s market share. Savvy brands become more active during the typical dormancy periods. This means they get lower ad rates, higher CPA’s and the attention of the social audience which is seeing less content and is becoming more receptive to the content being pushed out by active brands.
How Do You Combat Social Media Dormancy?
There needs to be a plan in place for (at least) a passive posting schedule. The creation of a passive post calendar should always be in place.
What are Passive Posts?
Content such as memes, quotes, branding statements, photos, etc. If you don’t have the resources for this type of content creation, you can always work on amplifying the content that is being created by the community about your brand. Never underestimate the power of a re-tweet or a cross-shared post. You can also duplicate older posts by using a platform like ours.
Ideally, your brand should never go into either full or partial dormancy. When you are creating your social media calendar, speak to your community manager and have a plan in place.
But I Don’t Have The Time For This!
If you don’t have the time for this, then you should consider Socialdraft Managed Services. This division of Socialdraft mixes technology with a personal touch to help your brand shine (not merely maintain on social media). Our team of experts will work to get to know your brand as well as you do, analyze your goals, your current social media standing, and work on a custom plan to help you to achieve your business goals with the use of Social Media. If you have questions about Socialdraft’s managed services, open up a chat and ask to schedule a discovery call.