As we get started in the new year, it’s critical to take a step back and evaluate your social media efforts. You don’t want to be wasting your time on dead-end tactics. What better time than the start of the year to take stock and consider new social media engagement ideas. Similar to doing a content audit of your website, inventorying your social media is just as important. Research shows that consumers are shying away from Twitter. It’s currently the least active social media network among adults in the U.S. But, there are still people using the platform, and your buyer could be there. As in any efforts, be tactical about your time investments on social media and do the research.
Here are four important statistics to consider when strategizing social media for your business:
- Facebook reports there are 1.37 billion daily active users on average.
- According to Pew Research Center, 68% of U.S. adults are using Facebook; Twitter is the least active with only 21% of adults using it.
- 78% of college grads use at least one social media site, while just 59% of those with a high school education or less are using social media (Pew Research Center).
- Individuals making $75,000 plus per year are more active on social media (78%) than those making less than $30,000 per year (60%) (Pew Research Center).
Build a Foundation for Social Media Engagement
If you’re not having one-to-one conversations or directly engaging with other users on social media, you may be wasting your time. Yes, you want to share your blog posts and other content, but that cannot be all that you do. Social media isn’t your megaphone. Very few people will read your post about a new article if you’re not actually engaging. Before we move on to the ideas for social media engagement, let’s review these seven best practices that apply to all social media networks.
- Humanize it. People are more likely to interact with a face than a brand.
- Tag pages/people. Whenever possible, you should be tagging people and brands you want to partner or work with. It puts you on their radar and helps them out by introducing your followers to their brand.
- Use hashtags. Do your research and identify tags relevant to your industry and location. Finding hashtags is simpler when you consider your buyer persona and listen to what they’re talking about and hashtagging. You may also consider creating a branded hashtag.
- Include visuals. Video (with captions for viewers who watch on silent) and images are easier to consume than text. Use a graph to show research if possible since it’s easier to comprehend. Also, share fewer stock photos and include more from your office or warehouse and at company events.
- Be consistent. Post regularly to avoid being unfollowed or unliked by your audience.
- Listen. Pay attention to what your target audience is talking about and look for ways to jump into their conversations.
- Involve others. Encourage employees or clients to comment on posts and tag themselves in your photos.
Social Media Engagement Ideas for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Posting OPC (other people’s content), liking posts, and the occasional comments are not sustainable actions to illicit engagement anymore. Your actions need to be authentic and help to build a sense of community, a community that people want to be a part of. Now that we’ve reviewed some best practices let’s take a look at a few ideas on how to boost your engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Start a Group and connect it to your Page. Unlike Pages, the default notification setting on Groups is to send out a notice every time someone posts in the group. You can use your Page advertise the Group and vice versa.
- Create events for Facebook Live and invite people (employees and even clients/prospects) to attend. Even if they only click “interested,” it will get the event into others’ newsfeeds.
- Create a weekly post with a standard image that’s tweaked slightly. Share insight AND ask a question to encourage engagement.
- Share more video (live and pre-recorded) and during the video invite users to interact in the comments section.
- Search LinkedIn posts for opportunities to interact with other users.
- Be active within relevant Groups to show expertise. You’ll need to interact using your personal account so make sure your company is listed in your profile for visibility reasons.
- Research prospects and then build the relationship. Going back to number two, you can engage with users inside of groups if you’re both members of the same group.
- Create lists and use them to identify posts you can engage with and leave meaningful responses that further establish your brand’s expertise in your industry.
- Use Twitter Advanced Search to find relevant questions that you can answer. Being helpful and sharing your insights can get your brand in front of users who typically may not have known about your company.
- Take advantage of the extra characters introduced this past fall. Research shows that longer tweets are getting twice as many retweets and more likes.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Pinterest and Instagram. These are both excellent platforms for companies with a visual aspect, and you can find tips all over the web about boosting interactions and likes there.
Best Practices for Advertising on Social Media
Social media is becoming more and more of pay-to-play arena every year. While the recommendations above are free, it’s important to note paid opportunities are available too. We’re not going into too much detail here on the different ad types across different networks, but, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
- Include a clear call-to-action.
- Tailor the message.
- Use high-quality images or videos.
- Consider your organic posts (What types of posts performed well in the past?).
- Incorporate conversion tracking.
You’ll get the most value from your ads by incorporating conversion tracking and delivering messages tailored to where users are in the buyer’s journey. Tailoring your messaging and presenting it at the right time is key to getting results and creating engagement.