It’s a social media marketer’s worst nightmare to spend weeks on an amazing cross-platform social campaign only for it to receive a surprisingly low number of likes and shares. And yet, this problem is incredibly common. In fact, Hubspot research indicates that the biggest challenge that marketers face on social media is to create engaging content.
The thing is, building strong engagement with your followers is about more than just the social media content you create. It’s its own multifaceted discipline, consisting of factors such as the times you post, how you interact with your followers, and your ability to integrate your brand’s messages with the latest online trends.
With that in mind, I’ll give you the must-know ideas to boost your follower engagement across your social media platforms.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
First things first, let’s cover exactly what we mean when we say social media engagement.
Essentially, social media engagement is a calculation of how people interact with your online accounts and content. “Engagement” is a broad term referring to a number of actions users can take, including likes, comments, shares, saves, and clicks.
Understanding your social media engagement is crucial to effective social media marketing. This measurement gives you an excellent indicator of how well your content is performing and whether it resonates with your target audience.
Having a strong organic engagement on social channels also prevents spending of a lot of money on social media advertising.
It’s also important to note that not all social media platforms are made equal—some are more text-based (Twitter), while others are more image-based (Instagram). By having a clear goal of what platform you’ll be focusing on, creating content like social media videos or text will be much easier when it comes to deciding where to post.
The Importance of Strong Social Media Engagement
If you can achieve high engagement rates on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, your brand will surely reap the benefits. When customers and prospects are engaged with your profile and the content you post, they’re more likely to feel an affinity with your brand and become loyal customers.
If you think about it, social media is like a one-of-a-kind direct line to your target audience. Engage with these people correctly, and you’ll build meaningful connections and create brand advocates. In the long term, this can help you boost sales, grow your business and increase your customer base.
So, how exactly do you achieve strong engagement online? Let’s dive in!
Top Ideas For Social Media Engagement (Social Media Content Ideas)
1. Harness the Potential of Live Streams and Specialist Platforms
Live streams are one of the most effective ways for brands to appeal to their target audiences and market their product or services. Research indicates that over a third of marketers use live streaming as part of their social strategy at present. At the same time, 82% of consumers enjoy watching brand live streams over regular video.
There’s clearly a huge opportunity here. Live streams can create a sense of intimacy and immediacy between your brand and your customers. They offer a unique way to connect that is sure to boost online engagement—if you get it right.
You see, for a live stream’s sake, a live video stream won’t cut it in today’s highly saturated online world. After all, 90% of consumers say they’re looking for authenticity when deciding what brands they’ll support. So a self-serving, product-focused live stream might not be the way to go.
Instead, think about how you can provide value to your audience: who could you interview, or what could you share that your audience will find genuinely captivating? You can also look beyond Instagram and Facebook’s inbuilt live stream features and take advantage of different platforms, which offer a ton of features you can utilize to make your streams as interactive and engaging as possible for your audience.
In addition to thinking about what you’ll promote in your live stream, you also need to be really clear with your audience about when you’ll stream. Make sure you use analytics to gain a deeper understanding of where your primary audience is based and then ensure that you deliver the live stream in their timezone.
Remember, too, that a live stream shouldn’t be a one-off. For maximum impact, you should employ this tactic regularly. You can even create a live streaming schedule so that you can strategically plan for the upcoming months and share planned streams with your followers well ahead of time.
2. Be Deliberate About When You Post
A lot of the time, it might not be your content that’s the problem—low engagement could be happening because of the timing of when you post. Luckily, this is a simple fix. As discussed by Cloudwards, by using social media analytics tools, you can analyze when your followers are most active and adjust your posting schedule so that it will achieve maximum visibility.
If you’re concerned about remembering when to post or need to post on multiple platforms at different times, use a third-party social media tool to schedule and automate the posting process.
3. Consider Games and Giveaways
Did you know that Instagram accounts that hold contests like games and giveaways grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don’t? These tactics are a surefire way to boost your online engagement. After all, almost everyone loves a freebie or the chance to win an amazing prize.
There are lots of different ways to host social media games and giveaways. You could, for example, embed your giveaway into a live stream or learn how to give away free content on Facebook reels.
Other options include comment-based giveaways, where you instruct your followers to comment on your social media post to enter a raffle. You can combine this with asking your followers to tag multiple friends to increase engagement on every post further.
Additionally, you could ask users to get creative and design their own piece of content or ask them to share your post to their stories. Both mechanisms are sure to drive engagement, as they’ll expose your brand to your followers’ followers, which is a great way to boost engagement and gain new followers.
4. Stay on Top of Trends
With the rise of TikTok, social media trends have become the biggest thing. Whether it’s a song, a catchphrase, or a look, trends are certainly here to stay—at least for now.
While not every trend will be relevant or suitable for your brand to amplify, there will definitely be opportunities for you to piggyback on trends. This can be a great way to boost engagement.
For example, you can reach new audiences by using the right hashtag or even trending hashtags. Moreover, your current followers will appreciate new, fresh content. You can experiment with the type of content that appeals to your audience the most, like using mainstream music in your video content to attract younger followers.
Trends can also be a great way to find inspiration for future posts. So, even if the latest trend doesn’t seem directly relevant to your brand, still keep an eye on the different tactics other creators are using.
And if you need to study other creators’ visuals for post ideas, you may use social video downloaders to help you download their videos and find content.
Pro tip: You can use Google Trends or Semrush Trends to check the popularity of a trending topic and to gauge whether it has staying power or if it has already peaked and is now on a decline. This could save you a lot of time and allow you to focus on rising trends with more benefits to your business.
5. Be Consistent in Tone
Your brand’s tone of voice sets the vibe for how people will identify with your brand online. You must really get it right. Inconsistencies or an unfriendly tone can be off-putting to your followers, leading to low engagement levels.
Time and time again, research shows the brands that perform best online are those with strong human voices. It’s easy to see why these companies do well. Audiences find it easier to engage with a relatable, consistent, and authentic tone of voice. Moreover, consistency can improve trust between a brand and its customers.
To achieve a consistent tone of voice, it’s best to create brand guidelines, which your writers and contractors can then refer to.
Beyond just words, don’t forget the power of emojis and GIFs. These are excellent ways to add personality to your content in just a few characters.
6. Make Use of User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a superb way to boost social media engagement. It is content created by your audience on social media sites. According to Nosto:
- Millennials find that UGC is 35% more memorable than content that comes from mainstream sources.
- UGC-based ads get 5x greater click-through rates than typical and a 50% lower cost-per-click.
- UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than websites or campaigns without it.
UGC involves consumers talking directly to other consumers—and people are more likely to trust other customers rather than believe a brand’s marketing messages.
Be it unboxing videos, testimonies, or how-to videos, UGC is definitely something you should incorporate into your content strategy.
7. Run a Social Media Takeover
A social media takeover is where someone else takes over your company’s social media accounts for a day. This is a great way to get engagement with some fresh content and show off a different perspective.
Much like influencer marketing, a social media takeover also drives engagement and can be a fun way to create more engaging posts about your brand.
You might find that the influencer may have unique ideas that will help you boost your social media account. Besides, they’ll even share content to their own channels, allowing you to reach a wider audience.
8. Be Bold, Eye-Catching, and Unique
Social media platforms are highly visual, and research shows that posts with an image get 120% more engagement than those without.
Visual content doesn’t have to mean a photo, either. It could be a graphic, meme, GIF, painting—whatever you want! Just make sure that the image reflects your brand guidelines. As I’ve already covered, consistency is key.
If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer and are worried about budget, you can use an online photo editing tool like Canva, which makes it easy for anyone to create fantastic visuals—no experience needed!
Thinking of the best social media content ideas to increase your overall engagement is not that hard. You just need to have a bit of imagination.
A creative social media marketing strategy with relevant content your followers will resonate with is the culprit of a great social media campaign.
9. Publish Diverse Content
If your social media feed only features the same product images on repeat, your audience will get bored. Keeping things fresh, varied, and exciting is crucial for high levels of engagement on social media. That’s why content curation is important when planning your content marketing strategy.
I’ve already noted that live streams and UGC are must-have tools in your arsenal. Alongside these strategies, a good rule of thumb is to have as much fun with your social media strategy as possible.
Within your content schedule, you can incorporate different kinds of content: polls, quizzes, reels, account takeovers, stories, and bespoke Instagram and Snapchat filters. The opportunities are endless.
You can peek at your competitors’ social channels to gather content ideas to increase engagement in your own channel. By having more social media ideas, you’ll have more content to share in your social feed.
Using a host of different content types makes you much more likely to capture your audience’s attention and attract new followers into your brand’s world.
10. Use Social Media Management Software
A social media management tool can be a great time saver. It allows you to manage your social accounts in one place and get insights into how your online marketing is performing. This can help you to save time on tasks like scheduling posts, analyzing data, and responding to comments and messages.
By allowing you to post content automatically on social media, it lets you focus on what matters the most—your creative ideas.
These tools also allow you to share your content on various social media channels and engage your audience easily. By leveraging social media management tools and creating social media content related to your business, you’ll be on your way to having a positive social media campaign.
11. Leverage Reels
Facebook and Instagram Reels are one of the hottest trends in social media today and are also fantastic for engaging and entertaining your audience.
Here are some basic ideas on how to make the most out of Reels:
I. Keep it short and sweet
Reels are all about being quick, attention-grabbing, and to the point. Aim for around 15-30 seconds per reel, and make sure that each one has a clear purpose or message.
II. Be creative
Have fun with your Reels and experiment with different creative techniques to make them stand out. Think outside the box – you could use stop motion, animation, or even just simple text overlays to add interest.
III. Use hashtags
Hashtags are a fantastic way to promote your Reels and help them reach a wider audience. Choose relevant, popular hashtags that will help people discover your content.
IV. Engage with other users
Reels are all about community and engagement, so make sure to comment on and like other peoples’ Reels as well as your own. This will help you build up a following and get your Reels seen by more people.
12. Be Social on Social Media
Social media is very much a two-way street. Your followers don’t want just to be communicated to. They want a two-way dialogue. You can achieve this by staying responsive.
It’s always good to have a “customer-obsessed” approach on social media. Engage with your followers as often and as quickly as you can in the comments section and direct messages tab.
At the same time, make sure to incorporate your brand’s tone of voice into all customer communications. Otherwise, your followers could feel irked if your brand responds to them in an unfamiliar voice, which could hurt brand affinity.
13. Cross Promote Your Social Profiles
If you have a blog, include links to your social profiles at the end of each post. You can also encourage your readers to connect with you on social media by adding social sharing buttons to each post.
If you don’t have a blog, include links to your social media profiles in your email signature and on any other online properties (like YouTube channels) where people might be interested in connecting with you.
Make it easy for everyone visiting your website or blog to connect with you on social media by including social sharing buttons next to each content on your blog post or video.
Promote your social profiles everywhere! Include them in email signatures, business cards, presentations, and anywhere else people might see them. The more places people see links to your social profiles, the more likely they will follow you!
14. Repurpose Your Social Media Content
Once you’ve created content, don’t just post it and forget it. You can repurpose your old content into several forms to get the most out of each article or post you create. Here are some effective ways you can repurpose content to share with your audience:
- Break up your blog articles into smaller, more manageable pieces. This makes it easier for readers to digest and easier for you to write. Then post these articles on social media as individual posts, linking back to your original blog article for more information (and more clicks!).
- Create a video from the content of an existing blog article. This is especially useful if the topic is controversial or complex. Videos are great because they give people an alternative way to consume content and break down concepts in a format other than written text. Just be sure that the video has good visuals and captions so that viewers can understand what’s going on even if they have their sound off.
- Create infographics from your blog articles. Infographics allow you to take complex topics and make them visually appealing so that viewers will want to learn about them without getting overwhelmed by too much information all at once. Plus, infographics tend to go viral quite easily since they’re easy for viewers to share with others using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can use a free tool like Canva to start creating highly-shareable infographics.
15. Make Social Media a Team Sport
You and every other brand out there are looking to improve online engagement, so partner up with a complementary brand on a joint content campaign to double your exposure. By having a social team, you’ll reach new audiences and grow your followers.
Alongside brand partnerships, you could also consider working with influencers, charitable organizations, or celebrities, depending on your budget.
By following these ideas for social media engagement, you’ll start to see your engagement levels soar over the next few months.
As a challenge, why not take your first step by trying your hand at live streaming?