There’s nothing worse than sharing a piece of content you thought was awesome and hearing nothing but crickets in the comments section. Well, except for when the same post only gets a handful of likes. The thought alone is enough to send any social media manager into a cold sweat.
Despite how it may feel, a post with an empty comment section isn’t the end of the world. However, if your posts consistently perform poorly on engagement, they can lower the visibility of your entire account. Here’s how it works: the more engagement your posts receive, the more the Instagram algorithm will push your future content and populate it on potential client feeds. And of course, the more people who see your next post, the more people who might like, share, or comment on it. And so the cycle begins. As we all know, higher social media visibility and engagement rates often lead to higher website traffic, all of which leads to more money in our pockets.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to grow your followers or push more content to drive your engagement. In fact, many accounts with a comparatively low follower count receive higher-than-average engagement rates. What it really comes down to is quality over quantity, and your ability to genuinely engage your audience. Here are five of our favorite ways to profoundly connect with our audiences, earn higher engagement, and increase our clients’ sales.
While most people think of likes and comments when they hear the word “engagement,” those aren’t the only factors that comprise an account’s engagement rate. In fact, saves and shares are often a better measure of engagement—it reveals how useful your content is to your audience. It’s one thing for a follower to double tap or post a half-hearted “ooouuu” in the comments section, but when they save a post for later or share it with a friend, the ever-elusive algorithm knows that the post has weight and relevance.
So share your industry knowledge or your hard-earned experience with your audience to generate content they will want to hold on to for later. Sometimes it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what you audience connects to, especially if you’re newer to the social media scene. Luckily, you can always fall back on your Instagram insights and statistics if you’re not on an intuition-level with your audience yet.
If you’re honestly not sure what your audience really wants to see on your feed—and what they will be more inclined to save and share—it’s time to study your statistics and insights. While it takes time to really get to know your audience, what they care about, what they want to accomplish, and what they hope to gain from social media, your insights may clue you into all of these things faster. (See, social media isn’t so different from real life—relationships take time to build here, too!) Once you pinpoint the kind of posts that fare better on your feed, post more of them to boost your engagement rate!
You won’t get what you don’t ask for. This applies to social media engagement, too. If you want your audience to comment on your posts, ask them to! Pose a question for your followers to respond to, or ask them about their own relevant experiences. People love talking about themselves and sharing their own stories, and this is just as true—if not more so—online. One faux pas to avoid? Sounding like you’re asking for engagement for engagement’s sake. Even though you are (no shame, we totally get it!), ask questions that will actually generate an interesting or meaningful dialogue.
Pro tip: ask a follow-up question in the comment section to promote even more engagement
If you want your followers to react and engage with you, think of social media as a conversation. That’s why acknowledging your followers’ content is so important. User-generated content (UGC) is gold; you should treat it as such. Post any and all quality, positive UGC you can get your hands on. Not only does this provide social proof for your product, UGC humanizes your brand. Any company can say its product is great, but a testimonial is so much more powerful when it comes from a customer. When customers see their peers’ UGC on your feed, they become much more likely to share that of their own. Have we already mentioned that engagement is a cycle?
People are more likely to connect and engage with a brand they feel like they know. While it is important to keep it professional on social media, don’t lose touch with the human aspect of your business and why you started it. Your company’s story, which is inevitably your story, should be central to your branding. And it should be the centerpiece of your social feed as well.
Social media is about sharing the beautiful moments of your day, as well as the challenging ones. The same goes for businesses, too. Use social media to share your brand’s personality—both the defining aspects of it, as well as the light-hearted, entertaining moments of your day-to-day. Flaunt what—and who—makes your company stand out among the rest. The followers and engagement will follow. Your followers can sniff out an authentic brand from a superficial one, so don’t be scared to let your brand’s real personality shine.c
Pro tip: this approach works wonders beyond social media. Use this as a bastion for all of your marketing efforts.
No matter how much time or effort you invest, no one does social media better than the pros. Every professional—no matter the industry—should have polished, professional content to match. Because high-quality content directly correlates to high-quality service in most peoples’ minds. You only have a few seconds to make the right impression on your audience the very first time they click on your handle and see your feed. And while that’s not enough time for them to appreciate your witty captions or your information-loaded carousels, it is enough time for them to distinguish whether your content was taken by an iPhone from three generations ago or a professional photographer with a high-quality camera. If you’re ready for photos that pop, book a refresher session with us today. We’re even running a promo for this month only on half off branding minis- check it out here.
While we’ve been led to believe over and over that a high number of post likes and account followers equals a successful social media marketing strategy, it’s not that simple. Engagement is actually a far more telling insight into how memorable your content is for your audience. It’s also one of the best predictors of how it will fare with the algorithm. Post valuable, information-rich content, content that has done well on your page in the past, and user-generated content to up your engagement. In addition, ask for engagement with compelling calls to action and a feed that shows off your brand’s authentic personality and mission. But ultimately, don’t forget that building a conversation and a relationship with your audience takes time and consistency, so don’t get discouraged when you still hear a few cricket chirps in your comments. They will come.