Social media has completely changed the way businesses and brands engage and reach new audiences in the world today. Never has it been so effective and easy to reach more than two-billion users, while using just a handful of websites and social platforms.
With all of this in mind, it’s not just about getting on social media and building a following, it’s also about knowing how to provide content to your audience and getting them to engage in the process. We all know that every person and brand is already on social media, but why are so many of them failing to grow their follower counts, find branding success, and also show a positive ROI in the process?
The best answer is simply that some brands and marketers will put in the time and effort to understand their audience, and then create new and custom content, while others won’t.
The title of this post is “5 Ways to Increase Engagement on Social Media,” but actually it includes some subtypes within these, which will provide you with some additional ways to utilize each of the five top social media outlets to benefit your business and increase your interaction.
Of all the social platforms out there in the world today, Facebook is definitely by far the most famous and popular. What started out a way to meet girls while Mark Zuckerberg was in college, turned into one of the most powerful online brands and advertising platforms in the world today. Not only is the social network quickly approaching the 2-billion user mark, they are also hitting new revenue and ad stream numbers in the process.
Even with all of the attention lately on Facebook in reference to data leaks and how customer data might be used, the social platform is still seeing massive growth and also providing advertisers with amazing demographic targeting options as well.
Outside of using Facebook Ads, the following methods are recommended for finding success on the world’s biggest social platform.
- Visual content is key
Facebook is all about quick user engagement and grabbing the attention of your audience as they scroll through their feed. For this to work, you are going to need to use some attractive headlines and visuals. Remember, only a small percentage of organic updates are actually being seen. The more engagement, clicks, and sharing your posts get, the more likely they are to go viral.
- Run a poll or quiz
Sticking with the concept of getting your social audience to engage and take action, few things work better than a good old fashion poll, quiz, or survey. This is actually how sites like BuzzFeed have added millions of subscribers to their social accounts and fan pages. What’s even more exciting, is that setting up a poll or quiz through social media is really quite simple and affordable. Be sure to check out this reference guide to learn more about creating a Buzzfeed like quiz for your brand.
Just like Facebook changed the way we all market and connect with users around the world, Instagram did the same thing, but through mobile devices and applications. Something else that should be mentioned here, is that Facebook actually owns the Instagram platform, so don’t be too surprised at the massive success and branding of the platform — it didn’t happen by accident.
With all the success that Facebook has had with their own self-serve advertising, they made sure to run ads through Instagram the same way. However, since Instagram is all about visual content with images and video, it’s not easy to convert viewers into leads. There is actually a lot of work and testing that goes into this process. Some brands do it extremely well, while others just flat out fail.
Here are some things to remember when trying to market and grow a following through Instagram.
- It’s all about the visuals (images and video)
Attention spans are a lower rate than ever before, which is perfect for Instagram. At the same time, you need to make sure your visual content is working for you. To see the best results on Instagram, make sure your content is extremely high quality and relates to your audience. To learn more about the various metrics and data points that you can improve your Instagram efforts on, be sure to check out this reference guide.
- Hashtags are a must
Just like SEO and keywords are ideal for ranking in Google, hashtags are the best way to reach audiences on Instagram. Take a look at any of the top celebrities on Instagram and you will see them using 10-15 hashtags per post. Why? Because it works!
Twitter is one of the most active and powerful social networking platforms in the world today, however, it simply doesn’t get the love and advertiser attention that Facebook and Instagram have. Twitter, however, is mainstream. Nearly all celebrities, tv shows, products, and media outlets have accounts on Twitter and actively promote their usernames for others to follow.
Twitter is all about the posting of content, updates, and is perfect for online marketing as well. Be sure to implement the following Twitter tips to find the most success.
- Schedule your social tweets
While there have been a lot of changes lately over at Twitter in reference to their scheduling and apps allowed to access the platform, automation, and scheduling is going to play a huge role in your Twitter success. With so many tweets being sent non-stop, and all of them being seen by users, a tweet that just went live a minute can instantly be buried. This is why you need to set up your social accounts to post new content all the time — sometimes hourly!
- Use Twitter video ads
As mentioned earlier, most social platforms do have some form of paid advertising to generate revenue for the site. Twitter has their own promoted tweets and video ads that can be set up on their self-serve platform. It’s not the best platform out there for setting up ads, and many advertisers aren’t seeing the same type of success they would with the likes of Facebook, however, millions of dollars are still spent on the social platform daily. Run a small test campaign and see if it’s worth your time and money.
Everyone seems to have their own favorite social platform, for Pinterest is definitely one that targeted towards niche markets. For example, anything relating to crafts, shopping, women, or visual content does extremely well on Pinterest. The social platform is also great for redirecting traffic back to your website or blog as well. Once you have a nice board in place with followers, you may soon find your content going viral and being pinned around by other users.
However, as great as Pinterest is, there is definitely a learning curve if you are used to sharing and promoting content through the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to try the recommendations below to improve your Pinterest efforts and ROI.
- Paid Pin Promotion
Paid advertising is always going to give your social account and views a nice boost. With so many active accounts already on the platform, this might also be one of your only options when first starting out. One of the best ways to accomplish this, is to create pinned ad campaigns, which will start sending paid traffic to some of your best content. Pinterest has the traffic, you just need to get in front of the right audience.
- Create custom images for Pinterest
Just like all content creation, you should be going with original images when posting to Pinterest. With each social platform having their own specifications for image sizes, it’s extremely important and effective to follow these tech specs for the best results. At the same time, create unique images for Pinterest to gain more attention, increase click-throughs, and your chances of getting re-pinned.
Its hard to imagine what YouTube was like 15+ years ago, but it was here! Video on the internet was slow and clunky… but Google knew what they were doing when they acquired the company. Today it’s one of the largest video platforms and search engines in the world today.
Just like Facebook owns Instagram and is doing very well with paid advertising on the mobile platform, Google does extremely well with paid advertising on YouTube through Google Adwords as well.
If you want to find success with YouTube, be sure to consider the following options.
- Create custom thumbnails
As you can imagine, one of the recurring themes in this article is the importance of visual content. When adding videos to YouTube, don’t just throw up a video and let the screenshot be its image. You actually need to create custom images for YouTube, otherwise, people won’t click. Just take a look at any of the current videos on the right side menu when you are on YouTube and you will start to get an idea of what methods work best. Also, don’t forget that there are ways to rank videos on YouTube, just like there are with Google. Many of the same SEO methods that work with Google apply here, but there are many others you should be aware of as well.
- Run Paid YouTube Ad Campaigns
Advertising on YouTube is actually pretty cheap, but you are going to need to have a solid ad campaign, demographic targeting in place and also a call to action that works. You can start running video or text ad campaigns across videos on YouTube, and see ad costs in the .01 to .02 range per view. However, don’t get too excited yet, as YouTube can send millions of views your way in a very short period of time — so make sure you have daily budget caps in place!
Understanding Different Social Media Audiences and Metrics Around the World
When it comes to targeting different audiences around the world, language barriers and payment processing aren’t the only things brands need to consider. Just because a social platform is popular in the United States, there might be a completely different one that everyone is using in another country.
A perfect example of this can be seen below in the “World Map of Social Networks” from WeForum. While Facebook does dominate most of the world, there are some clear indications on where other social platforms like QZone, V Kontakte, and Odnoklassniki have their own following — even if some of these names you never heard of.
It’s also important to not just know what social networks are popular in different countries around the world, but also how to approach that social audience and what they might be interested in. This is something Leadbit recently discussed in their Asia Internet Usage report, which shows how affiliate marketers and brands should approach different countries and how they promote offers or their businesses through social media.
While many marketers and brands are focusing their efforts on tier-1 countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and others, it would be a huge mistake to simply ignore the eight geographic locations and countries in their report.
Social Media is Your Gateway to Massive Users and Traffic
These are just some ideas that you can use to get started brainstorming about other things that you can include to increase your level of engagement on social media platforms. Whether you use site content, free eBooks or videos, questions, polls, or photos, it’s important to do something and get it moving through as many social media outlets as possible. Just letting your social media account sit there dormant without new content and user engagement can be detrimental to your brand and your business goals.
The key is to never stop learning and to experiment with various techniques until you find what works the best for your brand. Best of luck to you!