Most businesses know that social media can be a powerful business tool but aren’t sure there is value in developing a strategy to increase social media engagement.

An engaged social media following can contribute to various business goals, whether you’re in e-commerce, selling services to consumers, or offering consulting services to other businesses.

Suppose you have had lackluster results with social media marketing strategies in the past. In that case, you could be one of the many brands that either underestimate the value of engagement or are stuck in the same old strategy.

Check out the tips below to increase social media engagement for your brand.

1. Spot an engaging post

Start by understanding each network is different based on what type of content they favor. Like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, each platform has its own algorithms and audience expectations. With that in mind, there are types of content that typically do well across social media platforms. In a social index conducted by Sprout Social, user preferences broke down as:

  • 60% wanted images on social
  • 50% desired to see more video
  • 30% favored text-based posts

Before retooling your social media strategy, check your own analytics to see your most popular posts and those that are gaining the most engagement across the board, as well as for specific platforms.

2. Analyze & set goals

First, you need to understand your current state of engagement. Then, you can set attainable and realistic goals and do some analysis. Once you have identified engaging posts from the previous tip, it’s time to dig into your results (impressions, engagements, link clicks) and how these vary by type of content as well as when you made the post. Getting to know your own audience’s preferences can go a long way to helping increase social media engagement for your brand.

Be on the lookout for your engagement dropping at certain times of the year. Also, watch for significant posts that received great traffic and engagement. After taking stock of your current social media analytics, build a plan and set goals for a data-driven content calendar.

3. Check your marketing personas 

Hopefully, you have a well-developed set of marketing personas that are informing your social media strategy. It pays to confirm your marketing personas are represented in your social media audience and followers to increase social media engagement.

Set aside some time to critically review your content and cross-reference it with your marketing personas to see how you can further align your social with your brand and voice. If you find discrepancies between your social media followers and your target marketing personas, assess if the social audience is a subset persona or if you’ve been targeting the wrong people through your social media channels.

Use marketing personas to understand your customers’ problems and their motivations to achieve your business goals. See how to create effective marketing personas

4. Deliver utility through your posts

Engagement and post utility go hand-in-hand when it comes to your content. Often, high engagement posts include interactive content where customers get something for themselves.

Helpful content to spark engagement include:

  • Tools and guides
  • Blog posts
  • Helpful videos
  • Infographics
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Mini-courses
  • Downloadable content

5. Include images in your posts

Research has shown that images lead to an 85% interaction rate on Facebook and even increase shares by 35%. High-resolution, custom photography is typically best, but free or paid stock photos tend to be better than no photos at all.

Stuck in a photo rut? It may be time for a company photoshoot to get some custom images for your brand. Steal these photoshoot planning tips to get the perfect shot

6. Try setting a weekly schedule

Keep your audience returning by giving them a reason to visit your account consistently. To improve social media engagement, post relevant or helpful content your audience wants to at the same time and day each week, so followers know when to check back.

7. Run a contest or giveaway

Take advantage of sparking your audiences’ attention by running a contest or giveaway on your account. Increase social media engagement by encouraging followers to like and share for a chance to win your products or services. These posts will catch eyes and have people interacting in no time.

8. Utilize user-generated content

Utilize the content your users generate and can supply you with. With all the social media influencers and bloggers in the spotlight, let your followers get their own 15 minutes of fame. This could be an account takeover, a series of stories on Facebook or Instagram, or featuring followers’ photos in your feed with their permission.

It takes a bit of extra management, but brands can see a lot of success with sharing user-generated content to increase social media engagement on their accounts.

9. Prompt your posts for the reactions you want to see

One of the most effective ways to engage with your followers is to make them feel part of your bigger brand story. Try increasing engagement by asking for it to increase social media engagement.

Ask your followers to comment, like, or share with a purpose. Try encouraging them to share their favorite part of working with you or even something as simple as their weekend plans.

10. Keep a pulse on current events

While you want to create quality content relevant to your brand and service, make sure you adjust for what’s happening in the headlines. For example, during a time of social injustice and civil unrest, it may not be the best time to promote your independence day sale, especially without addressing current events or tying them in.

When national or current events in your local area arise that are more than just a story that lasts a day, be sure to include content planning and strategy to address more significant issues with your followers.

Most importantly, continually engage on the platforms as your brand. Working to increase social media engagement is an ongoing task that needs to be addressed often. Check-in regularly and use analytics to see how your efforts are paying off.