By Daniel Brophy, Social Media Specialist
What does it mean when we talk about engagement on social media? If you are present and active on your profiles; regularly post and share content that is relevant to your business, industry, and audience; and promptly respond to all incoming messages, you’re off to a great start! However, that is really only half the battle.
How can you know that your efforts on social are making an impact and that people are truly interested in what you have to say? Furthermore, how can you avoid wasting time and resources creating and sharing content that no one really seems to care about?
Whereas reach and impressions refer to the number of people who see your content, engagement measures:
- (There are more platform-specific terms to define these same metrics: “retweets” on Twitter, “reactions” on Facebook, “repins” on Pinterest, etc.)
These metrics are the clearest indicators that people are actually enjoying what they see and read and are tuned in to your practice and message. There is of course the flip side of this — high levels of negative engagement mean that people are so put off by your practice and content, that they feel it necessary to take time out of their day to tell you and others (and they will). This is not likely to be the case unless you are posting overtly offensive or controversial content, or you have been providing poor service in general.
The overarching goal of a social media marketing strategy is to build relationships with your audience and prospective client base. Aim to provide meaningful, entertaining, and insightful content that educates and informs them, enriches their lives, endears them to your practice, and ultimately offers valuable solutions to their problems and pain points. I present to you the following 5 tips to get more engagement on your social media channels.
1. Get to Know Your Audience
Who are the people your products and services — and likewise your message and content — are most relevant to? If you have not taken the time to thoroughly identify and assess your target audience, what their needs, interests, and pain points are, you are essentially shooting in the dark.
Likewise, determine what writing style, tone of voice, and types of content will resonate with them the most. These are steps to take both at the outset of implementing a social media marketing strategy as well as on an ongoing basis. Get with your team and brainstorm buyer personas for your practice.
2. Take Full Advantage of Targeting
Once you have a clear understanding of who it is you are trying to reach and what types of content you will be utilizing to reach them, you must know how to use the targeting features native to each social media platform. This will help ensure that your content gets in front of the right people’s eyes.
Use targeting options on Facebook and other social platform to target your posts and promotions to the right people. This goes for both organic published content and paid promotions. If your content is being shown to people who simply aren’t interested in you, then you won’t see any engagement. The more niche your offerings are, the more important this becomes.
3. Create and Share a Variety of High-Quality Content
It is important to diversify the types of content you post and share to avoid monotony and keep your audience interested. Videos, photos, infographics, GIFs — these all can and should be used to convey information, provide value, entertain, and even give “behind-the-scenes” insights into your practice.
This form of content is especially effective because it showcases the genuine side of your practice, revealing that you are in fact more than just a business but real people. Over time, you might find that one content type performs better than another, and you can absolutely focus the bulk of your efforts on what works best for you and your audience.
No matter the type, it is of the utmost importance that any content you publish and promote is of the highest quality. Social media is fast-paced, noisy, and is essentially a sea of average and sub-par content. You must make sure your content quickly captures users’ attention or they will swipe right by it without a second thought. Weak and/or “sloppy” content can even be a strong deterrent.
There is an oft-repeated guideline in the social media and digital marketing space that emphasizes the need for a mix of promotional and educational content. Often referred to as the 80/20 rule, the idea is that only 20% of your content should be blatantly promotional and the bulk of it should be more interesting, educational, and entertaining (read: shareable). Pay attention to current events and trending topics, and don’t be afraid to “ride the wave,” so long as you stay genuine and true to your practice’s persona and your audience’s desires and expectations.
4. Keep a Close Eye on Your Insights and Analytics
You need to be checking your Insights and Analytics regularly to determine what content types resonate most with your audience, and what days and times they are most active on their social networks. You can use these tools to dive deep into demographic, geographic, and psychographic data about your audience to help judge content effectiveness. Any key inferences can then be reapplied to future content creation efforts and promotions.
Assess the best days and times to post, and the optimal posting frequency that keeps your brand and message top-of-mind without oversaturating your audience. As I said before, this ought to be done on an ongoing basis.
5. Boost the Best of the Best
Within the current social media marketing climate, “pay to play” is the name of the game. With so many people, brands, and businesses highly active on social media, all competing for a users' attention, it is inevitable that organic reach has fallen and will continue to fall. Add to that a number of changes to Facebook’s algorithm that determines what is shown in a user’s Newsfeed.
These changes have suppressed posts from businesses and prioritized posts from family and friends. For that reason, it is crucial to focus on creating highly engaging content. Remember, as soon as someone shares your post, suddenly it is coming from friends and family, not just directly from your practice.
When you are first starting out and your Page audience is small, it is more than likely that your posts and overall message is not reaching many people — even users who likely find it is relevant. The classic Facebook Boosted Post is still a highly viable strategy. By boosting a bost with all the aforementioned targeting parameters applied, you are maximizing the chance that it will be seen.
Engagement is engagement, regardless of whether it’s paid or organic, and there will always be value in forging that connection. Don’t be afraid to boost a post that is performing well organically. It is a clear reason that you just hit on something timely, relevant, and strong for your audience. It is also an indication that Facebook is seeing it as such, and it’s all the more reason to throw a paid boost on it.
Setting your practice apart on Facebook and other social media platforms is key for generating exposure. It can be difficult and time-consuming to maximize this exposure by handling social media marketing in-house, so why not partner with an experienced agency who can help you get the most from your social presence?
Find out how Page 1 Solutions can help. Call 800-368-9910 today for a free evaluation of your marketing needs and goals.