Reaching new audiences on various social media platforms requires a great deal of content strategizing. In order to cultivate a strong social media presence, it’s important to make audience engagement a top priority.
From likes and comments to click-through rates, your engagement analytics reveal how your followers interact with your content on a regular basis. You can isolate which social media posts are top-performing and which ones have fallen by the wayside.
In doing so, you can address any issues with your current social media marketing plan and implement new strategies to boost engagement rates. Here are some actionable tips for improving social media engagement across various platforms so that you can better connect with your target audience:
1. Understand Your Current Audience Engagement
Although there’s always the possibility for audience overlap, different social media platforms appeal to different audience groups. Before you can really begin to improve engagement, it’s crucial to develop a baseline by understanding how your audience currently interacts with your content. This is one of the biggest things your business should be doing on social media.
Engagement analytics provide an overview of your platform’s performance but can also help you understand your audience’s preferences. If you notice that engagement has plateaued, it may be time to reimagine how you share social media content.
Video Tends to be Engaging Content
Video content — on Facebook and Instagram especially — generates higher engagement rates than photos and other types of content. Facebook videos receive 59% more engagement while Instagram videos receive 21.2% more engagement than single photos.
Instagram Reels are an entertaining way to creatively express your brand through short videos. They also can help educate your audience about your brand or service. Instagram Stories allow you to post video (as well as photographic) content, however, they disappear after 24 hours. When it comes to Reels vs Stories, the type of content you’re sharing and how long you want it to last can help you determine which to use.
This is to say that integrating more video content is one way that you can adapt your approach to better target your audience going forward. Getting music for your videos can be a challenge. Soundstripe, a royalty-free music company that provides creators and businesses with radio-quality music for videos, can be a good resource to get you started.
When you know your baseline engagement rates, you can also diagnose any issues and start implementing new strategies. If you invest time in curating content for each social channel, your different audience personas will feel more enticed to engage with your content.
2. Make Your Social Media Presence Memorable
Social media content is in high supply — which, unfortunately, means that your content runs the risk of getting lost in the algorithm or overlooked by prospective followers.
By optimizing your social media presence, you create more demand for your content and ensure that engagement rates continue to rise.
Herein lies the value of social media marketing. You can drive follower growth and engagement by improving your account’s visibility and prioritizing quality in each post.
Investing in branded content and paid content can make your content more visible to the public. While it’s possible to expand audience outreach with organic content, branded and paid content expedite this growth by enabling you to reach more users at one time.
But, even if your content becomes more accessible, prospective followers might not feel incentivized to learn more if the content quality is poor. Your audience factors in quality when deciding whether or not to engage with your content, so it’s necessary to make a positive and memorable first impression.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Good Conversation
Engagement analytics are crucial, but you should also get to know your audience beyond the statistics. Conversation-driven content leads to higher engagement and a stronger personal connection with your followers.
Simple and thoughtful actions are at the core of conversation-driven content.
By asking a question at the end of your posts, you give followers an incentive to leave comments and share their thoughts. When you respond to comments and share posts that your account is tagged in, you show your audience that you care about their perspective.
On certain platforms, you also have the ability to create polls and schedule livestreams. If your social media accounts represent a business, you can direct your followers to your website by including calls-to-action in your posts.
4. Increase Engagement With Hashtags
Hashtags make your content searchable. With a single hashtag search, social media users can find and follow accounts with content that appeals to their interests.
For this reason, an effective way to target prospective followers — with or without paid content — is to integrate the right hashtags into your social media marketing strategy.
Let’s say you run social media accounts for a royalty-free music service. If Instagram users search the hashtag #RoyaltyFreeMusic, they find upwards of 52,000 posts. The high volume of searches reflects a high level of interest, but this also means that your content will be competing against thousands of other posts.
The more distinctive and searchable your hashtags are the better equipped you are for reaching new followers. To make your content more visible to the masses, it’s important to create a branded hashtag for your business.
Why branded hashtags? Well, 7 out of 10 Instagram hashtags are branded.
This type of hashtag is most effective when repeatedly included in your content and promotional content posted by others. Branded hashtags are successful because over time you build up a collection of curated posts that directly connect new followers to your business’s account.
5. Create A Content Calendar And Stick To It
To build a more successful social media presence — and generate more traffic to your brand’s website — it’s best to develop a consistent posting schedule and share various types of social media content.
As you optimize your social media platforms to attract new followers, make sure you aren’t neglecting your current follower-base. Your followers pay attention to how active you are on social media and take their cues from you when deciding how to interact with your content.
If you share new content on a daily basis, your followers will match these efforts and interact more consistently. If your posting schedule is irregular and the quality of content isn’t always guaranteed, you’ll likely see a decline in engagement and followers.
Creating a content calendar helps you plan and organize content across various social channels. To simplify the process of planning and publishing content, you can invest in a social media management software like:
6. Learn From Your Competitors
Your engagement analytics reveal where your social media accounts currently stand, which helps you make informed and strategic decisions going forward. To develop a stronger and more engaging presence, you should also keep tabs on your competitors.
By conducting regular competitive audits, you can see which marketing tactics have been successful and unsuccessful for your competitors. In doing so, you can discover new ways to implement social media marketing and avoid tactics that don’t yield positive results.
An Optimized Social Media Marketing Strategy
Approximately 50% of the world’s population — which is more than three billion users — are active on social media. As you optimize your social media presence to improve audience engagement, you can increase audience outreach at the same time.
It’s important to determine which social media platform is right for your business, understand your niche audiences, and regularly review how they interact with your content. With consistent attention and targeted efforts, you can improve social media engagement by appealing to your target audience’s interests and preferences.