“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.”
— Kevin Stirtz, strategy manager (Practical Law) at Thomson Reuters
One of the single most frustrating and disheartening aspects of social media marketing is failing to drive engagement.
Day in and day out, you create tons of social posts seeking to pique your followers’ interest and spark a conversation.
You might get a few comments here and there but, more times than not, the silence is deafening.
Since the Internet offers an endless array of distractions and interruptions, how can you possibly hope to keep an audience’s attention long enough to read your post and converse about it afterward?
No matter how many followers your page has, you should be seeking more intimate engagements over increased followers.
Here are seven ways to achieve that goal and build a captivated and committed audience that looks forward to your next update.
1. Test Their Knowledge
Interactive content is one of the most effective ways of driving audience engagement; and few of these types of materials are more beloved than quizzes.
Quizzes disrupt the familiar and repetitive exercise of reading and scrolling by presenting them with a way to be a part of the content.
A simple yet useful way to develop a quiz is by digging through your previous blogs and articles searching for interesting statistics and data that can be fleshed out.
Quizzes not only feel more custom than just reading another status update or blog post, but they also reveal insights to business owners on how interesting their content really is and how people are interacting with it.
As an added bonus, you can increase your quiz’s shareability by providing an incentive to share at the end.
Simply present participants with their results and an additional form that will allow them to access downloadable content, be entered into a contest, receive a free gift card, or similar perks after they have shared the quiz with their followers.
2. Incentivize Your Audience
Taking the free offering incentive from the last section, you can also apply this to basically any post you wish.
Simply ask your followers to share your post in order to receive a freebie of some sort; this could be one of the aforementioned perks or something entirely different.
Additionally, you can connect with other brands in your niche to cross promote each other in a similar manner, thereby effectively furthering each brand’s engagement and exposure.
3. Deliver Episodic Content
Facebook Live is an incredible tool for generating engagement. This, however, can be taken to the next level by creating a series of Live broadcasts spread out over weeks or months that relate to the same or connected topics.
One of the best ways to ensure the series’ engagement is by taking suggestions from your audience on issues that they need help with. From there, you can build out in-depth episodes on Facebook Live to cater to your audience’s needs.
Creating a series of shorter videos as opposed to one long one helps to build more awareness, engagement and followers over time.
4. Tell Authentic and Exclusive Stories
Instagram is one of the most engaged social communities available today.
Instagram Stories provides a perfect forum for generating unpolished, authentic, and exclusive content that doesn’t appear in normal feeds.
While much of Instagram’s content is carefully crafted, taking an “off the cuff” approach with Stories allows you to give your audience a genuine peak at spontaneous, behind-the-scenes happenings. Take this as an opportunity to let your personality shine and show people what a day in the life of your brand really looks like.
5. Host an Account Takeover
Social media takeovers are a hot button item these days. Every network, from Instagram to Snapchat, is seeing collaboration occur through this form of cross-promotion.
Last year, DJ Khaled helped launch the Las Vegas Snapchat account with a 48-hour takeover consisting of a variety of Vegas-based excitement. After the two days had ended, the account had received more than 400,000 views and 25,000 engagements.
These types of takeovers help to infuse a fresh and seemingly spontaneous batch of content into a channel while driving tons of engagement and expanding a brand’s reach.
Influencers like Khaled are perfect for this type of event, but takeovers can also be hosted by community ambassadors, employees or even a highly-entertaining super fan.
Speaking of fans. . .
6. Let Your Audience in on the Action
User generated content (UGC) is some of the most engaging types of content out there due to the fact that followers recognize one of their peers has been featured by a brand and they have that same opportunity; anything that pulls your audience into the fold is more likely to generate higher engagement rates.
Start highlighting user success stories in shared blogs, ask your audience daily questions (people love to talk about themselves), ask them to share images that relate to your post, or better yet, create an image that they can easily add their photo and a message to.
This not only heightens the level of personalization in your content but inspires engagement by making the story about your users, not your brand.
7. Build a Community
Community is massively important in both the physical and digital worlds.
Fortunately, building an active community has never been easier thanks to Facebook Groups and similar social offerings.
By creating and promoting a group, you not only build a dedicated place for your audience to interact with your posts, but you are giving them a greater opportunity to interact with one another as well.
And since Facebook now allows you to live stream to Group pages, the potential for audience engagement has increased exponentially.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 million followers; if your audience isn’t engaged, your strategy is failing.
To get your audience liking, commenting and sharing your content, your materials need to be creative, inspiring, interactive and entertaining. The more innovative ways you experiment with to achieve this goal, the more likely you are to hit the target.
What tactics are you employing to drive engagement? What methods have you found to be most prosperous?