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13 Strategies to Increase Social Media Engagement in 2021

by | Sep 2, 2021

As social media algorithms reward authentic interactions with additional reach, engagement has become a vital aspect of any social media marketing strategy. Likes, comments, and shares aren’t just vanity metrics but a measure of how people are interacting with your brand and a sign of customer loyalty. Engagement is an opportunity to generate meaningful conversations and turn followers into customers. 

Yet, while engagement rate is a solid indication of whether the content you’re creating is resonating with your audience, it’s not the only thing engagement metrics are useful for. With organic reach declining across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, accounts with higher engagement rates are less likely to be affected. Even Facebook uses “meaningful engagement” as a sign that a post should be prioritized. 

Now is the time to ensure your organic posts aren’t lost in the shuffle. Discover 13 advanced strategies to increase your brand’s social media engagements from our experts at Bullseye Strategy.

Set Clear Goals Before Creating a Strategy

Before you can boast new and improved social media engagement metrics, set clear goals. These goals are the pillars of every social media engagement strategy, guiding the type of content you produce and how you quantify success. Additionally, they help guide the budget for your social media campaign, so you can decide what you need to spend to achieve your desired result. At Bullseye Strategy, the foundation of everything we do is based on SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Before creating a strategy, decide:

  1. What you want to accomplish
  2. What success will look like
  3. How you will measure it

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

With social media channels like Twitter and Instagram moving faster each day, it’s imperative to establish what you want to accomplish before you get swept away creating new content. To highlight the type of engagement metrics you want to monitor, you should first decide what you want to achieve week-to-week. 

Common social engagement goals include: 

  • Improve web traffic 
  • Grow overall audience 
  • Encourage brand loyalty
  • Enhance brand awareness
  • Increase sales/lead generation

What Will Success Look Like?

Once you establish what you need to accomplish with your social media strategy, determine what success will look like based on your goals. While higher engagement would be the typical answer, there needs to be a way to quantify your efforts. There are several indicators of social media engagement that can help you visualize success.

Possible engagement metrics to watch:

  • Email signups
  • Fan or follower count
  • Page and post impressions
  • Link clicks to your brand website
  • Website analytics for Facebook referrals
  • Reach for an individual social media post

How Will You Measure Success?

If you’re on a mission to increase social media engagement, you must track your engagement rate over time. Otherwise, there will be no way to judge whether or not your efforts have been successful. There are several techniques to measure success, particularly among social media analytics tools, where you can track active fans and view individual post insights. 

Brands can leverage analytics on their own social media account as well as tools such as:

  • Sprout Social
  • Buffer 
  • Hootsuite
  • Agorapulse
  • Kissmetrics
  • Google Analytics

Similarly, a trusted agency that offers social media marketing services can generate daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports to monitor success over time.

Implement Foundational Social Media Strategies 

Social media is not a “post and leave” type of platform. If you want your audience to engage with you, give them something to engage with — meaning you must hone in on what they value, answer their questions, and establish yourself as a reliable resource. To start building the foundation of your social media strategy, begin crafting content your audience wants to see.

Create Content Your Audience Values

As with any content marketing, social media marketing hinges on content that your audience values. Ask yourself what a social media user would value from your brand. It can be monetary, like a coupon code or news of a sale, or beneficial tips and tricks. Even a behind-the-scenes look at your brand can be valuable to your audience. 

To better understand what your audience wants from your social media profile, ensure you know who your target audience is in the first place. 

Do You Know Your Target Audience?

If you want to increase social media engagement, identify your ideal customer or target audience. Start by creating a buyer persona, considering their age, where they live, what they like to do for fun, and what problems they might have.

It’s also helpful to pinpoint why your target audience is using a specific social platform, such as Pinterest for inspiration and e-commerce, and Facebook for community.

Do You Know Your Target Audience Values? 

Once you can identify your target audience, it’s time to establish what they value, which is indicative of what they expect from a brand — such as transparency. Values guide the content pillars you will use for your social media strategy. For instance, if you’re a health and wellness brand, your audience might value healthy recipes, new trends in healthcare, and exercise routines. These three values can become content pillars for your social media campaign. 

Quickly Respond to User Posts and Questions

Aside from providing value with your social media posts, you can share knowledge and information with your target audience. A large portion of customer engagement stems from social media users asking questions on brand pages or posts. And if your business can quickly provide a solution to a social media user, they might become a potential customer.

However, it’s important to respond to all questions and concerns — even if the comment in question is negative. Recent studies have shown that 33% of customers who left a negative review turned it into a positive one after getting a response and 34% even opted to delete negative reviews.

How Valuable are Personalized Responses?

Beyond a fast response, brands should strive to provide personalized answers that provide additional value to an individual social media user. If you don’t believe personalized responses are important, consider that 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging and a massive 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Always refer to a customer by name, and inquire how you can better serve them.

Establish Yourself as a Knowledgeable Source

While answering customer queries is a fantastic method of establishing yourself as a knowledgeable source, there are other ways of showing your target audience that you are an expert in your field. Leverage your social media content to create thought-leadership pieces that link back to your website, where you can produce more in-depth blogs, articles, and white pages.

Types of content to establish yourself as a knowledgeable source include:

  • Tip sheets
  • Infographics
  • Training videos
  • Solution videos
  • Case studies 
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts 

Remember that long-form content can always be broken down and repurposed to include audiograms or video clips.

5 Ways to Create Engaging Content Across All Platforms

While all of the above strategies for increasing social media engagement are important, they speak to the foundation of a social media campaign, not the content itself. If you want to increase social media engagement, craft content that’s engaging in itself — which is no easy task.

There are several ways to ramp up engagement, including:

  1. Producing live content
  2. Partaking in social listening
  3. Asking and answering questions
  4. Leveraging influencer content 
  5. Hosting giveaways
  6. Produce Live Content

As previously mentioned, social media users are craving personalization now more than ever. Live content is about as personalized as it gets, and chats have some of the highest customer satisfaction rates at 83%. Aside from answering customer comments, be sure to hop into your Direct Messages to interact with social media users. Also, leverage live streams on Instagram and Facebook to speak directly to your audience.

Ask Me Anything Chats

“Ask me anything” chats (AMA) are Q&A sessions that can be produced live or pre-recorded and shared as an Instagram story or Facebook post. These chats engage your audience by sharing insight into your brand and answering frequently asked questions. Plus, AMA chats provide fresh content that’s directly inspired by your audience’s interests and values. 

Share Upcoming Events 

Will your brand be at an upcoming trade show or featured on a local news segment? Share it with your audience! Generate excitement for upcoming events by initiating a countdown widget across social media platforms. When the event happens, begin a live stream to keep your audience as close to the action as possible. 

  1. Partake in Social Listening

Social listening is the process of analyzing the conversations and trends surrounding your brand and industry as a whole, then leveraging these insights to make smarter social media marketing decisions. When you partake in social listening, you take a step back from answering comments or DMs and instead focus on what those around you are saying.

It’s helpful to think of social listening as a way to keep your finger on the pulse of your audience at all times. Social listening reveals crucial insights to help increase social media engagement, including: 

  • How your target audience feels about your organization
  • How your target audience views the topics related to your industry
  • Which topics or trends your target audience is comfortable discussing online
  • What content your audience truly wants and what they value
  • How you can navigate pain points to connect more efficiently 

Brand monitoring helps you decide whether your goals should be to increase brand awareness or improve perception. Similarly, you can receive untainted evidence of what your audience values to construct more specific content pillars.

  1. Ask and Answer Powerful Questions

We discussed why it’s so important to answer questions across your social media channels. For one, answering frequently asked questions is a way to provide value. Secondly, answering user

questions is a personalized approach to increase social media engagement. However, it’s also crucial to ask important questions. 

Asking questions can reveal where your current social media campaign is lacking when compared to your goals. For instance, asking your audience, “How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend?” can indicate your current level of customer loyalty. Even more, asking your followers what they would like to see from your brand is a simple way of ensuring your content provides value.

Set up a strategy for asking and answering questions by:

  • Leveraging captions to ask questions
  • Monitoring your comments and messages daily
  • Responding to user comments with follow-up inquiries 
  • Using previous posts as a jumping point for improvement
  • Establishing polls on Instagram and Twitter to gauge public opinion 
  1. Leverage Influencer Content

If you want to increase social media engagement in 2021, you do not want to overlook the power of influencers. When done correctly, influencer marketing services are a reputable third-party endorsement from an individual your audience likely already follows or trusts. Plus, your brand can benefit from the large following of an influencer to grow your fan base.

There are tons of ways to leverage influencer content beyond simple sponsored posts, including: 

  • Creating influencer-based Instagram and Facebook stories
  • Quoting the influencer for text-based testimonials
  • Editing an influencer’s video into bite-sized clips you can repurpose
  • Deploying influencer content on your website or product pages
  • Placing the influencer’s promo in the introduction to podcasts or web series
  • Developing a separate page on your website for influencer content 
  1. Host Giveaways

Everyone likes to receive something for free. Beyond this, any loyal follower or fan looks forward to being rewarded for their constant support. One way to increase social media engagement is by hosting a giveaway. It not only encourages likes, comments, and shares but also gives back to your audience. 

Giveaways are a fantastic way to spur brand loyalty and increase traction on your social channel. They can grow your following, generate brand awareness, boost your email list, and generally drive engagement. There are several ways to host a giveaway on social media, including:

  • Starting a branded hashtag challenge
  • Having audience members share a post to their story
  • Asking followers to comment and tag friends
  • Directing social media users to sign up for your email list
  • Creating a branded filter or lens for followers to use
  • Asking your followers to follow another brand account 

How to Help Your Audience Find You on Social Media

While it may seem obvious, it’s challenging to increase social media engagement if your audience can’t find you in the first place. Once you begin to craft relevant content that speaks to your audience’s needs, be sure to implement strategies that help others find your social media profile. Pinterest and Instagram function as social media search engines, so strive to have your profile appear for relevant search terms.

You can increase your visibility on social media in three ways:

  1. Optimize your social media profile
  2. Deploy relevant and trending hashtags
  3. Share timely and trending topics

Optimize Your Social Media Profile

The first element of your social media marketing strategy should be to optimize your social media profile. To be discoverable to a wider audience, you don’t want to be found via your brand name or branded hashtags only. Your brand should appear in search results and the Explore Pages of those involved in or interested in your industry.

For example, if you were a haircare brand, you want to appear in hair-related searches. This means, your social media profile must reflect that you’re a hair-orientated brand. Ways to Optimize your social media profile for followers to find you include:

  • A current profile picture and header image with your logo
  • A descriptive bio or About Me section that leverages keywords for your industry
  • An appropriate username and display name that uses industry keywords
  • An accurate address and contact options across accounts
  • A link to your website or proper landing page

Use Hashtags Strategically 

Hashtags are one of the most effective ways to get noticed on social media. On Instagram and Twitter, hashtags generate search results and populate relevant Explore Pages. Just like effective content marketing uses high-performing keywords, a social media strategy should leverage relevant hashtags to increase the reach of your profile.

To enhance your content’s discoverability and increase social media engagement, use relevant or branded hashtags to connect with those in your target audience who haven’t engaged with you before. Hashtags are used with the intent to discover new content, meaning your brand can land in front of new, potential customers when you leverage relevant search terms as hashtags.

Share Timely and Trending Topics

Though it’s tempting to bulk-produce social media content to schedule and auto-publish, the truth is, you won’t increase social media engagement that way. Your audience is looking for timely and trending topics — which can be hard to tackle when your content was created a month in advance. So, be sure to craft pillar posts that can run without a hitch and dedicate additional time each week to check on what’s trending in your industry.

By identifying timely and trending topics and crafting content around them specifically, you show your audience that you’re equally as invested in this industry, not just looking for a profit. Display a want to address their needs and values by staying updated with what’s happening in your sector. Plus, you position yourself as a source of knowledge to keep potential customers in the loop at all times. 

Conduct Routine Social Media Audits to Measure Performance

Last but not least, to increase social media engagement and keep those engagement metrics high, conduct a routine social media audit to measure performance. Like all online marketing services, social media engagement requires frequent fine-tuning to ensure you meet your goals. By auditing your social media, you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and adapt accordingly. 

Some basic tactics for social media audits that encourage audience engagement include: 

  • Monitoring competitor posts on social media
  • Conducting routine social listening to judge the perception of your brand
  • Refreshing your profiles with new content or seasonal images
  • Analyzing metrics related to your goals, such as a follower count or post impressions
  • Comparing current performance against previous weeks or months

Ideally, you should conduct an audit every few months to keep your finger on the pulse of your engagement efforts.

Increase Social Media Engagement Today 

We know it’s important to increase social media engagement, but we never said it would be easy. Fortunately, partnering with a social media agency in South Florida opens the door to a suite of tools — and professionals — who can identify your target audience, discover what’s relevant, and craft engaging content to execute on your goals. 

Don’t hesitate to call in reinforcement to increase your social media engagement in 2021. At Bullseye Strategy, our social media experts are ready to help lift your engagement efforts off the ground. Contact us today to get started. 

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