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Social Media Marketing may be your area of expertise, but is it worth it if there’s no engagement? You post day in and day out on social media, with only a like or two here and there. It can be disheartening, but also costly. Your social media marketing won’t pay off if your audience isn’t engaging with what you post.

Social media is a fantastic way to use direct marketing. It allows you to connect one-on-one with your customer, speaking directly to the person who will hopefully buy from you.

Here are our 6 steps to help engage your audience:

  1. Know Why Your Audience is on Social Media

Do you know why your audience log into a social media platform? Maybe they like to use Twitter, for example, to browse news stories. If that’s the case – post more news content. Or, they might log into Instagram to look at their friend’s pictures. This means you could have a better chance of engaging your audience to stop scrolling when it comes to your post, by posting behind-the-scenes pictures from your business.

If someone sees a picture of what happens in the day-to-day running of your business, then they’re more likely to check out what’s happening in the picture. Once they read what you have to say, the audience is more likely to like or comment on your post!

  1. Spark Intrigue with your Audience

Social media engagement isn’t all about likes, shares and comments – clicks are another type of engagement. One way to encourage clicks is to spark intrigue among your audience.

For example, share some compelling data. People love to know facts, especially if it gives an insight into a topic in your industry. This is a great way to get people interested in clicking to your website to learn more.

But, don’t give absolutely everything away – offer a teaser and then encourage your audience to engage by clicking to your website.

  1. Discover the Best Time to Post on Social Media Platforms

Knowing the best time to post will depend on a number of factors; your location, the industry you operate in and the platform you are using to publish a post.

The best way to know when you should post, is by looking at your own analytics. This is going to give you the best data on when to post on each social network. You can compare your own activity to the audience by days of the week or hours of the day and this allows you to make sure you are active at the same time as your audience.

  1. Choose Your Channels Wisely

Do you need to be on every social networking site that’s out there? Not necessarily. You will want to be accessible to your audience which may mean being on more than one networking site. However, depending on which industry you operate in, all social media channels may not be right for you. For example, B2B companies will find a larger and more engaged audience on LinkedIn, than on Snapchat.

  1. Track Metrics for Continuous Improvement

Tracking efforts to see what is working and what isn’t is important. There may need to be an element of experimentation, and by keeping a careful eye on numbers you can stop what doesn’t seem to be working and repeat what is working.

The following metrics are some measurements to consider:

Followers: the people who will be exposed to your posts. The more you have, the further your reach will be.

Shares/RTs: How many times your posts are shared by others, which then increases the reach further.

Mentions: How many times your brand is mentioned in posts or tweets.

Comments: The number of comments posted in response to your post.

Likes: This is probably the least valuable metrics – People can easily hit the like button without actually reading the full post or really engaging with it.

Traffic: The engagement should drive people to your site. Your web analytics will be able to tell you how many people have got to your site via a social network site.

  1. Use Hashtags

Hashtags started on Twitter, and have now spread across to Facebook, Instagram and Google+. By using hashtags in your posts, your content is easy to search for and find by anybody – even if they aren’t following you.

Hashtags are only as valuable as the engagement they produce – just because you use a hashtag in a tweet or post, doesn’t mean your audience is engaged with your brand. Hashtags should be used less as a message and more as a call to action that will further lead to greater brand engagement.

By following these 6 steps, you are sure to increase your engagement on social media platforms!