In marketing, social media engagement involves making connections with current and future customers. The more engagement you have online, the greater impact you may have on your sales and overall brand. When followers become involved and interact with your content, it can help boost your company’s reputation both on and offline. In this guide, we discuss what you need to know in order to increase and measure your social media engagement successfully, including helpful tips and tools.
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Social media engagement is the measure of interactions you have with your audience. It can be platform-specific or span your entire social portfolio. Metrics that help track engagement include:
Engagement with your company’s social content shows that people like what you’re doing. When engaging on social media, consumers often express interest or want to know more about what you do. Creating connections with customers builds a positive brand image. On average, 66% percent of people say they have a better perception of a company that responds to customer service requests online. When you use similar tactics, you may learn more about the user experience. This can help you better customize your interactions with customers.
You may understand that it’s a good idea to increase engagement on social media, but you might not know how to do it. Consider using these steps to make simple changes to your content and up your engagement numbers:
Review your current engagement statistics. Look at numbers like your followers, comments, and shares per post. Decide which metrics you’d like to increase. Recording your current numbers can give you a baseline to track as you make changes, which can help you evaluate your strategies’ effectiveness in the long run.
When you understand your audience, you can create content that’s more likely to engage them consistently. Think about what your audience likes, dislikes, and values. Additionally, how do they talk and converse with each other?
Language and tone often change depending on who you’re talking to. For example, you likely speak with your work supervisor differently than you do with your best friend. This is also true of how different brands interact with their audience and create a brand voice. Consider researching your audience’s preferences through surveys or polls. Then think about the products and services you offer. This can help you decide the tone and information your audience will find appropriate and valuable.
Your social media strategies depend on your company’s business goals and target audience. When choosing an engagement strategy, look at your current numbers and decide which ones to improve. Depending on your goals, you might consider strategies like:
Not all social media platforms calculate engagement in the same way. Learning the mechanics of each channel you use can be helpful as you prepare to gather information. Read about the metrics each channel tracks and how they quantify their data to best understand how to review engagement on each platform.
Social media is more than a billboard to advertise how great your company is. While there are plenty of opportunities for promotion on social media, that’s not its only purpose. Instead, try to use social media as a conversational tool that gets people talking about your topics and generates value for your audience. The value of your content depends on your brand, audience, and social platform. Creative posts ideas that can generate value may include:
Many platforms now offer story features that make it easy to share this kind of interactive content and glean measurable data from any interactions.
Creating social media content around current events or trends can be engaging because audiences often seek content regarding these topics. This strategy works well if the trend relates to a national or global fad or a subject that directly affects your audience. Consider theming content around:
When something is popular, people like to contribute and appear relevant or knowledgeable about the subject. Theming your content around these topics may encourage that social behavior, driving up engagement with your posts.
In social media marketing, conversations often result from two types of engagement:
A reactive conversation may be easier to conduct than a proactive one. When a follower asks something of you, you’ll likely develop a customized response. This can increase customer satisfaction and put the brand in a favorable position. Proactive conversations may take more time and effort, but they can reach a wider audience. To increase proactive conversations, consider asking questions in your posts to start a traditional dialogue.
Your social media represents your brand and also the people running the accounts. Letting the human side show from time to time can make your brand feel more approachable. Consider letting members of your social media team appear in photo and video content. You may also encourage them to sign their posts with their name, a nickname, or another handle. Other ways to appear more personal on social media include:
Attention-grabbing words can create a sense of urgency that makes people stop and engage with your material. Using these words in both headlines and post content can help you allude to how the reader can benefit from the content. Words like “alert,” “bonus,” “now,” and “exclusive” are common social media attention words. Using this language as a teaser can make people curious and give them an incentive to click, read more, comment on, or like the content.
Having a stash of pre-written responses for frequently asked questions (FAQs) can save you time when responding to followers. Writing these responses in advance can help you strike the right tone and include all the important information for each topic. By saving time responding to common questions, you can dedicate more time to providing good content. You can also put more effort into solving more specialized follower requests.
Frequent posting to your social media channels can encourage engagement. Uploading a post one to three times per day is ideal. Posting content at the right times is also important. This helps you get maximum exposure, which can lead to better engagement. Make a scheduling calendar to plan your posts ahead of time. Learning when your target audience is online can help you pick the right times to share content as well.
Most social media sites have native scheduling platforms, but you can also use a third-party service that allows you to schedule posts across channels from one dashboard. Many of these third-party programs also offer analytics to help you learn more about your content reach.
Public interactions aren’t the only way to engage your audience. Answering private messages, interacting with stories, or using chat features may be other options for connection. These features can be especially helpful for answering customer questions.
Measuring social engagement is easier if you understand which metrics to track. Each platform uses similar measuring tools with slightly different names to provide analytics. Below, we summarize the common analytics for popular platforms:
As of July 1, 2021, Facebook Analytics no longer exists. However, Page Insights and Facebook Business Suite still provide insights about content, audience, and trends. To access these features, you need a Facebook business page. The existing tools currently offer metrics for:
All Twitter users have access to their analytics, both per tweet and an account overview. Notable Twitter metrics include:
Instagram business and creator profiles allow you to access Instagram Insights and track your engagement. Some of their metrics include:
Instagram stories also have their own metrics for reach, impressions, and audience insights. Two specific categories tied to stories include:
TikTok Pro accounts allow users to access their analytics. Some common metrics for this platform include:
LinkedIn business accounts have a specific set of features to allow you to check engagement, while personal accounts have different options. Some of the business metrics include:
Verified influencers, brands, and accounts with large followings can access their Snapchat analytics. Some metrics include:
Pinterest business accounts let creators measure their analytics. Pinterest metrics are:
All YouTube creators can access their analytics through YouTube Studio. Common metrics include:
Having many followers doesn’t guarantee an engaged audience. However, the more people who see your content, the higher your chances are for engagement. Try using these tips to attract a larger social media following:
Consider buying ad space on social media platforms to increase your exposure and reach. You can customize paid ads to certain audience demographics. Additionally, you can specify to have them appear in sponsored feeds. This increases your chance of impressions, which can lead to more engagement and followers.
Using a theme for your content may attract more followers and help you build your brand. If people know they can expect things like humor or inspirational content from you, they may be more likely to follow your account. Additionally, on platforms like Instagram, having a certain visual style across posts can attract followers.
Working with other brands that share your target audience can also result in more followers due to heightened exposure. This strategy is most beneficial when two companies share a demographic but aren’t in direct competition with one another. For example, a teen clothing brand and a shoe store may be ideal social media collaboration partners. Collaborating for content and events may allow both organizations to increase follower counts.
Using certain third-party programs and tools for your content and strategies may help you boost your social media engagement. Some tool topics include:
Understanding your starting and fluctuating engagement levels is key to developing and maintaining social media strategies. Many social media platforms provide their own analytics, but scheduling platforms and other analytics programs may provide these tools too. Choosing one that meets your needs can streamline the analysis process.
Automation tools can make social media engagement easier. They can help you stick to a posting schedule and share content across platforms. They may also help you converse with customers, find relevant hashtags, and choose graphics. Look for automation tools that can:
Sharing content from other accounts and creators can increase your engagement. Like creating collaborations, sharing content across accounts and then linking back to the original posts can help you access new audiences. You also increase the chances of the other account linking back to your content. This can raise your brand profile without you increasing your content production.
GIFs are visuals that combine emotions with pop culture topics. They also move, which makes them visually engaging for social media scrollers. A 2017 article from Time magazine says millennials prefer using GIFs and emojis rather than actual words when communicating digitally. There are many GIF websites available that let you search for clips related to your content or create your own GIFs. Depending on the platforms you utilize, you can use GIFs in your posts or in your responses to followers.
According to HubSpot, when you pair information with a relevant image, people retain 65% of the information up to three days later. A high quality image may be especially impactful. Using a photo editor tool to combine elements, fix a mistake, or add text can encourage users to click your content. Photo editing software may be free, paid, web-based, or cloud-based, and some run on both mobile and desktop devices. Alternatively, you can use a service like CopyPress’ custom illustrations to add images created specifically for your unique content.
Video may increase your post shares by 1,200% compared to shares generated for posts that contain just text or images. Similar to photo editing apps, you can find a variety of video editing programs for all skills levels. The type and sophistication of your video editing software may depend on your social platforms. For example, you may use more advanced video editing programs for YouTube videos than for an Instagram reel.
Each social platform calculates its engagement rates differently. Though they might have different names or categories, the typical formula for engagement rate is:
Engagement rate = Total engagement / Total followers * 100
The total engagement is the sum of all your interactions, such as shares, comments, and likes. The total followers are the number of people who follow your account. Your answer to this formula will be in the form of the percentage. For example, if you have 1,000 followers and got 250 reactions this month, then your engagement rate for that period is 25%.
Learning the average engagement expectations for each platform can help you set a benchmark for your own statistics. Engagement rates between 1% and 5% typically pass as “good” for accounts with many followers. However, Instagram’s rate per post may be slightly higher than other platforms. Your rates may also differ based on audience, demographic, and industry. This means that it may be more beneficial to rank your average engagement against your own past data rather than against the platform average.
People use social media to make connections, and these tools can benefit marketing professionals through strategic use. If you leverage your audience’s desire to make a connection by becoming an engaging online company, you can build your brand, increase your following, and gain revenue.
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