Generating engagement from your fans and followers is an important part of any social media program. Not only does this build the community of your fans and identify which customers and prospects are regularly participating with your brand, it also helps spread your message to new audiences and boost awareness of your brand. For example, on Facebook, an algorithm called “EdgeRank” factors in how much and how frequently fans are engaging with your content there to determine how often your messages show up in their News Feed. There are many benefits to building engagement, so here are a few quick and easy tips to keep in mind.
1) Request One Simple Action
There are a number ways someone can interact with your content, depending on where they see it. So many, in fact, that often, people will simply read the content and move on to what’s next on their screen. But, if you ask the reader to perform one simple action with your content, you’re more likely to see a boost in that type of engagement because you’re helping the reader narrow down their engagement options and letting them know exactly what you’d like to do. Here are a few examples:
Facebook: “Like this post if…!”
Asking readers to “like” a post on Facebook is a great way to generate engagements. You can also consider asking them to leave a comment or share a post. Try sticking to one action request per post; in other words, ask the reader to like, comment, or share, rather than all three. And vary what you ask for so you don’t appear redundant or spammy.
Twitter: “Please retweet!”
Some reports have indicated that including the word “retweet” or the abbreviation “RT” in a Twitter message can improve click-throughs, indicating that making a specific request can spur followers to take action. Also, using the word “Please” can boost click-throughs to your content, plus it’s nice etiquette.
Blog: “Leave us a comment!”
If you want to generate more comments on your blog posts, don’t forget to ask for them! If you do receive comments, make sure to respond to any questions and thank readers for positive comments.
2) Ask Questions
Questions are a great way to generate engagement via social media. You can use questions in a variety of ways and ask various types of questions. Here are a few examples:
Facebook: “What’s your take on…?”
When sharing an article or link on Facebook, write a compelling question related to the article rather than just sharing a summary. This encourages people to join a conversation around the topic. Try asking different types of questions, just like you would if having a face-to-face conversation and switching them up to keep your page fresh.
Twitter: “Did you know that…?”
Instead of always posting the headline or a summary of an article you post on Twitter, try rephrasing your content into a question that may entice the reader to click to read more.
Blog Headline: “Are You Making These Most Common Mistakes…?”
Writing compelling blog post headlines is a critical part of making your social media and content marketing engaging. To mix things up, phrase your title in the form of a question every once in a while.
Blog Closing: “What Do You Think? Share with us in a comment!”
You can also use questions to help generate comments and engagements at the end of your blog post. Specifically ask the reader questions related to the content to spark their thought process.
Learn more about asking questions that get people talking online.
3) Keep it Short & Simple
Make your blog post headlines succinct. Ideally, these should be under 160 characters for optimal SEO performance. When posting content to your social outposts like Facebook and Twitter, keep your messages short, simple, and to-the-point. Focus on one message and one activity in each post. Opt for shorter messages rather than long ones, even on Facebook. Keep in mind that your content is part of a larger ecosystem of content that your reader is seeing and that attention spans in this environment are typically very short!
4) Include Images
Images are becoming a cornerstone in creating engaging content. Not only does including great images boost the chances of your content being seen by your fans and followers, but they are also a very popular type of content for engagement.
Sharing images with your Facebook fans is a simple way to boost brand visibility because it showcases the life of your brand. Images are great content to pin to the top of your timeline. Plus, you can upload images directly to your timeline or add them to an album – both types of shares will show up on the Facebook timeline for fans to engage with.
You can directly upload images to your Tweets, a relatively new feature that affiliates an image directly with a message and displays it to viewers and associates it to your account.
Images are a critical part of your blog posting strategy. Not only will the image be associated with the content via social shares on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, but they also help your content look more interesting to the reader, helping boost engagement.
5) Make it Relevant
Another important factor in generating engaging content is to make sure it’s relevant to your brand. In fact, in an analysis of major brands, Facebook found that content relevance was one of the most important factors in content engagement. While it’s important to share a variety of content rather than only posting about your business and its products or services, it’s also important to make sure what you’re sharing is on-message for your brand.
Keep your personality intact, but make sure what you’re sharing makes sense for your audience. Remember, your business Facebook page is not your personal Facebook page, so post accordingly. For example, a local auto shop could share related information like auto care tips, automotive trends, and auto enthusiast info, but should probably avoid sharing health and beauty tips because fans would not expect that type of content from an automotive business.
Have you tried any of these tricks for boosting engagement? What kinds of social media and blog posts do you engage with the most? Let us know in a comment!