7 Ways to Engage Your Social Media Audience
One of the most challenging parts of being a social media marketer is creating effective content that resonates with your audience each and every time. With 81% (and climbing) of small and medium businesses using social media for marketing, it’s hard to stand out and capture your audience’s attention enough to keep them coming back, especially when Facebook’s algorithm changes make it harder for branded content to be seen.
2018 Social Media Marketing Planning Guide
Here are seven ways to effectively use your social media platforms and craft content that engages your audience and gets them excited about following you.
1. Create Polls
People love to share their opinion when they know somebody is listening. They’re also intrigued by ways to fill downtime while scrolling through their own social media. Whether you use Twitter’s integrated poll feature, Instagram Stories’ poll feature, or host your own poll in your captions, polls present an immediate way for your audience to play an active role on your social media and interact with your brand—and for you to get feedback you can use moving forward.
Make sure to create a poll that’s relevant for you and your brand!
You can also encourage engagement by asking for feedback and opinions in your caption text, instead of using a specific poll feature on a social network. This is likely to generate longer and more nuanced answers. Include a chance to be featured in your weekly email or social roundup to solicit more responses.
With this method, you can test how posts asking incentivized questions perform vs. posts that don’t ask questions.
2. Encourage User-Generated Content
And speaking of weekly round-ups, people like to see their own work featured, especially by brands they admire. While some will gladly and proudly post without prompting, it’s always a great idea to encourage people to share their own content. You can even tempt people by offering a prize for anyone who posts during a certain time!
"Moving back to Colorado has helped me reconnect with my inner badass woman. I've hiked more miles, camped in more woods, and stood at the top of more peaks than I ever would've thought possible 10 years ago. Colorado is full of so many "staycations" that you can drive for 2 hours and see a completely different landscape." –Hipcamper of the Week, @chelseatyne_. 🤸♀️ Read more—link in bio. 📷 Photos by @mae.frances. 💪 Share your adventures with #Hipcamp to be our next #HipcamperOfTheWeek.
A post shared by Hipcamp (@hipcamp) on
Studies actually show that consumers trust user-generated content 50% more than they trust other media. Having comments, reviews, content, and testimonials from your audience is a unique way to showcase your authentic involvement with your customers.
3. Host a Live Q&A
Video marketing has gone mainstream: 63% of businesses are already using video as a marketing tool, and that number is rapidly rising. Some options for leveraging live video with Facebook Live can be found in the gallery below.
Ask your audience for questions beforehand, and request more questions during the live video. Live video allows you to instantly interact with viewers who are commenting, giving you an opportunity to generate quality engagement. After the live video is complete, it will live on your page, leaving more opportunity for post-live engagement.
4. Build on Current Events
Is there a big event happening that’s relevant to your industry, user, and/or product?
Use a listening solution to understand what the conversation around this event looks like, and fit your brand into the conversation in a creative way that makes sense.
5. Leverage Trending Topics
You should also be leveraging trending topics, as long as these topics are relevant to you and your brand.
Look at what’s trending across multiple social channels to understand how you can organically insert yourself in the conversation.
6. Host Contests
People love to win things, and will often do whatever they need to do to win. Create a contest that offers an alluring prize, with simple entry guidelines. Once your audience is hooked by the end goal, make sure they have plenty of opportunity to engage with your brand along the way.
Happy #RandomActsOfKindness Weekend! We want to help you create smiles! 😃😊❤️ • TAG A FRIEND & WRITE THEM a compliment 👇, it could be anything! YOU & YOUR FRIEND will be entered to win a prize pack that includes all of the above. FIVE PAIRS of WINNERS will be selected. Five entries/compliments allowed per persons. U.S. residents only. Ready, set, send smiles! 🤗 #OnaQuest #EatMoreCookies
A post shared by questnutrition (@questnutrition) on
By having a prize that is relevant to your brand, it’s a sure bet that those comments will start rolling in.
7. Be Yourself
This cannot be stressed enough. BE YOU! Be authentic. Be your brand. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something new, as long as it’s true to you and your core values.
I am so grateful this morning! It’s been a hard week, but have been so supported by so many women. Being a new mom is hard, and having a small buisness is hard too. Figuring out how to do both is mind blowing, and humbling. Women are amazing and thank you to all the women that inspire me! You guys are bad ass! 💓
A post shared by Gratitude Collaborative (@gratitudecollab) on
The moment you become too sales-focused, or you begin trying too hard, you will quickly lose the attention of your audience. Just have fun with it and indulge in the SOCIAL part of social media.
- When all else fails…don’t be afraid to ask your audience what THEY want to see! Your audience is not afraid to tell it like it is.
- If you have a post that is highly engaging…keep that engagement going by boosting the post! Even spending $5 will make an impact.
- Learn when, where, and how to post…by using a social media listening solution.
Your turn! Have you tried something new that brought on tons of engagement? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
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Amanda is the Digital Content Director at Ellipses PR. She hails from Las Vegas, and has a passion for all things social media and public relations. She first discovered her love for the travel and hospitality industry after graduating from the UNLV Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies.