We all know that engagement is key on social media. It’s far more important to get good engagement on your social media posts than it is to grow the number of followers you have.
What is social media engagement?
On Instagram engagement includes likes, comments, shares and saves on feed posts. Then you also have things like profile visits and people searching for you on the platform. While on Stories engagement includes back taps and holds as well as responses to stickers and even direct messages are classed as engagement.
You may be aware that Instagram is hiding the number of likes a post gets for many accounts, but it’s still important you get likes on your posts.
On Facebook engagement includes reactions, comments and shares on your Page or group posts. Other types of engagement on the platform include how long people watch your videos, and whether they click through to your links.
Finally on Twitter likes, replies and retweets are all classed as engagement as well as link clicks, video views, profile visits and mentions.
It’s worth noting that on all platforms comments and replies are likely weighted higher than likes as they take more time and effort. Plus shares, retweets and on Instagram saves are even more important.
But how do you get more engagement on your small business social media accounts? We share seven tips to help you create engaging social media content.
1. Really understand your target audience
By really understanding your target audience it will help you to create content that they are going to find valuable and want to engage with. If you’re visualising them when creating your content, thinking about what makes them tick, what problems you can solve for them, what’s important to them, then you’re not only going to get more engagement but more importantly it will be engagement from the right people.
We recommend every business, no matter how small creates user personas. A user persona is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. When coming up with your user persona you need to go into lots of detail. Think abut how old they are? What are their hobbies and interest? What is their daily routine? What do they prioritise in life?
Within the Social Mums’ Member Community we have a whole unit dedicated to ‘Nailing your idea customer’, with examples of user personas and a downloadable template so you can create your own.
2. Ask questions or for opinions
People love to share their opinion. If you have two designs for a product or two different ideas for your business and you’re not sure which one to go with then ask your followers in your post. It’s a great way to get some more engagement and feedback from your audience.
You can also ask specific questions in your captions or posts or ask people to share their own knowledge on a particular topic. Things like; ‘Tell me what you think?’, ‘Do you agree?’ or ‘What’s your opinion?’ can work well and encourage more of your followers to leave a comment or reply to your post.
In an interview Adam Mosseri, the former Vice President of Facebook stated that on the platform they will be weighing “…long comments more than short comments, because we find regularly that if you take the time to actually write a more thoughtful perspective on something that correlates positively with a comment that someone actually would respond to or Like.”
So, if your followers are taking the time and thought to write a longer comment that is only going to help your posts.
3. Write about timely or relevant topics
Another great way to increase engagement on your social media posts is to write about timely or relevant topics. Anything that your followers are likely to have an opinion on that is currently in the news or trending on Twitter. At the moment, it’s probably the coronavirus crisis.
But it could also be a popular TV programme, a celebrity baby, even things like awareness days or weeks, anything that people are already thinking about is more likely to get some engagement. However, you don’t want to jump onto every trending news story, it needs to be relevant to your target audience.
4. Be authentic and honest in your posts
It’s important to be honest and real in your social media posts. Show that you are human and even show your vulnerabilities. It makes you more relatable and real as a person and your audience will feel more of a connection to you and your business. Sometimes it’s good to post about the struggles you might be facing and the not so great things that are happening rather than thinking you have to show this perfect, happy person, especially as a small business owner.
You obviously don’t want to cast doubt over your abilities to do your job or run your business but showing that you are human and sharing posts that are honest and real tend to get a great amount of engagement.
5. Create sharable or saveable content
A great way to increase engagement on your social media posts is to create content that people want to share. On the Social Mums’ Instagram account this tends to be funny or inspirational quotes but obviously yours will depend on your target audience. The same kinds of posts also do well on our Facebook Page too.
People tend to share content that reflects themselves as a person, so they are more likely to share things that are funny or inspiring. Others types of content that might be shared includes breaking news, heartwarming stories and helpful tips and advice. Anything that you do create that you want to be shared, make sure it includes your business name or logo on there somewhere.
On Instagram it’s a good idea to also create posts that people will save because they want to come back and refer to at a later date. For example on the Social Mums account our Instagram challenge posts get saved hundreds of times. But we also find that helpful checklists and even funny or inspirational quotes get saved a lot too.
6. Use polls that people can vote on
Sharing polls to your social media platforms makes it really easy for your audience to engage with your content. On Facebook you can share Polls to your Page with two possible answers that people can vote on. You can add images or GIFS to make your poll stand out in people’s newsfeeds.
On Twitter you can also share polls where you ask a question and include up to 4 answers. To vote all people need to do is tap their chosen answer.
On Instagram you can use stickers in your Stories that encourage engagement, these include the Poll, Question, Countdown, Emoji slider and Quiz stickers. Using these stickers make it really quick and easy for your followers to engage with your Stories.
7. Check your platform Insights and Analytics
Finally we recommend you check your Insights or Analytics on any social media platform you use. You need to be checking in regularly to see which content your audience is engaging with most. You can then share more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
If you’d like to learn how to access your Insights and Analytics and pick up more tips on increasing your social media engagement, you’ll find all of our training in the Social Mums’ Members Community.