Nowadays, social media is playing an all-important role in marketing strategy, and it has evolved as an essential communication platform for every business and brand.
Engagement activity is crucial for every social media platform to establish a positive experience and develop meaningful relationships with existing and potential customers.
Now know this, social media engagement isn’t about interacting with a single customer; rather, it’s a process of building relationships with all your customers over time.
Social media engagement is measured by the metrics of likes, comments, shares, followers, mentions, and audience growth.
There are many strategies you can implement to boost social media engagement across all social media channels. In the course of this article, I will roll out some of the best practical strategies you should follow to increase audience engagement.
It’s hard to get people engaged if you don’t know whom you are talking to, and knowing your audience will help you determine when and what marketing message to post and whatnot as this helps improve brand engagement.
What is Brand Engagement?
Brand engagement is a crucial part of brand management, it is about creating an emotional bond between the brand and its audience, these bonds may be emotional or rational, and they produce brand loyalty over a period. This solidifies the brand and helps to boost the customer experience.
Two Types of Brand Engagement Include:
#1. Internal brand engagement happens between employees or other close stakeholders and a brand.
Have you ever taken part in a company event, received corporate swag, or done team-building exercises?
Those were all workings of internal brand engagement.
As already mentioned, internal brand engagement refers to the attachment that employees, investors, suppliers, partners, intermediaries, or other stakeholders have with a brand.
It goes hand in hand with the development of a brand’s culture and helps keep all parties in line with the stated mission or business goals.
When your brand is well-developed, it manifests throughout your company and offers many benefits such as:
#1. Boosts employee performance
#2. Produces a cohesive brand culture
#3. Keeps the company focused on goals or values
#4. Builds community
#5. Develops the brand`s narrative
#2. External brand engagement happens between public consumers and a brand, this is also known as brand awareness. It involves the interactions that your customers have with your brand which encourages emotional attachment and loyalty.
As prospects come into contact with your brand, they engage with it in places called “touchpoints.” These are simply chances for interaction. Some popular touchpoints include your brand’s:
#2. Social media presence
#3. Physical store
#4. Advertisements in public
#5. Online reviews
#6. Word-of-mouth from friends and even strangers
You can often identify these by creating a user journey map or sales funnel. Brand engagement happens when you configure touchpoints to improve your customers’ interaction with your brand.
Ways to Improve Brand Engagement?
#1. Make your content interactive and always leave a question for your audience
Marketers need to realize that if you aren’t interacting with your audience the right way, you are getting behind in the social media race tracks.
You should start to create interactive content for your target market on social media as soon as possible.
Let’s face it, social media isn’t your business’s pulpit, I mean your brand`s preaching stand.
Promoting your business on social media needs more than just talking about your brand. Those 5.5 billion active users are not spending their time online going through undifferentiated content that rarely talks to them.
And if you are just making one-sided ads, there are high chances of you getting lost in the thick of the scrolling.
With the ever-shrinking attention span of humans, the competition for marketers is aggressively increasing where only interactive content can stand a chance to nail its way to the ideal audience’s eye.
Content that tells a story, and speaks to the target audience whilst inviting them to interact is a need of the present in the social media marketing space.
Flipping through the pages of the social media history of businesses, it is quite obvious for interactive content engages better with the audience.
Well, there are also some remarkable reasons for businesses to start believing in crafting engaging content.
Let’s go through them one after the other:
#1. Better engagement rates
#2. Enhanced user experience
#3. Better shareability
#4. Beneficial metrics
With enough reasons to offer a unique value to your users, I am sure you must be looking forward to getting started with engaging content.
Make use of tools and apps like Buffer, Pixabay, Swift, all-hashtags, Hootsuite, instavast, and Canva, and always involve your content with games, contests, surveys, quizzes, and polls.
Storytelling is also a powerful way of making incredible engagement. It may be in any format video, image, or other forms that have an emotive appeal.
At the heart of all effective social media marketing is one powerful thing – great storytelling.
Social media marketers are storytellers that help create narratives for brands. Stories aren’t just for books, movies, or podcasts – they are interlaced in everything we come across daily. And that includes storytelling on social media.
Good and powerful storytelling whether it’s for a book, a website, an article, or on social media, must start with a moment of unexpected change.
I learned that from Will Storr in his book “The Science of Storytelling”. He cites beautiful instances, like E.B White’s Charlottes Web, which begins, “Where is papa going with that ax?” When our brains detect a change, they become alert, engaged, and interested in knowing what`s coming next.
In any situation where you are given the privilege of telling your story, bring people in as quickly as you can,” said a Strategy Director of Red Antler, a performance marketing agency.
#3. Offer quality content
Always keep this in mind: quality content is king, and will forever be king. Improving your brand engagement on social media depends on how you captivate your audience.
And captivating your audience depends on the shoulders of the quality of your content. Give them the best possible Facebook status updates, Instagram, Pinterest images, and blog posts.
Keep offering your audience great content; they never get tired of it.
#4. Update social media pages around the clock
Always “oil” your social media handles for an engaging a smooth user experience. Don’t allow a dull, quiet moment to dominate your pages.
Be consistent with the updates on all your page. Constantly communicate with your audience and make your online community grow.
#5. Display User Generated Content on Your Social media timeline
If you want to maximize results and boost engagement in your social media campaigns, the most important thing you can do is display the UGC from the campaign on your page.
Tools like TINT help you to create and moderate streams of UGC that you can place anywhere on your social account, which you can leverage to feature the campaign and all the content that’s come from it.
Not only will this improve brand engagement, but it will also boost revenue. Ann Romney recommends having a “story wall where people can continue to share their stories.” Specifically, regarding non-profits, she says that leveraging “call-to-actions and turning your campaign into a revenue generation stream” can be profitable for brands of all sizes.
#6. Build a social media team
Once you have got a strategy for delving into social media marketing, you need to have resources to bring the plans to life.
Once your social presence begins to grow, It will grow above the reach of lone management, You have a business to run, right? That means you will need extra hands, the hands of a social media team to continue to engage with your teeming audience and keep them engaged around the clock.
Build a team of creative social media think tanks and you will be glad you did as the team will take care of a whole lot.
Try to build a dream team of people who all bring different strengths to the marketing table. Have a content writer who can write compelling social content, as well as graphics and video people who can take you into the multimedia sphere smoothly.
You will also want an analytics person who can track your campaigns and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your efforts.
Most small businesses may not have a rich budget for adding these positions to the payroll on a full-time basis but don’t worry – there are an amazing number of passionate and affordable freelancers available to you, for almost any budget.
You can check Upwork to get an idea of who and what is available to you to hire.
#7. Create a schedule, but show flexibility
Once you have figured out how many times to post on your social media channels, the next question is when.
Timing your social posts is part science and part art of marketing online. On one hand, there are specific optimal time slots, people love to browse social media during their lunch breaks and in the evenings after work.
But if you stick to a rigid schedule just to hit those sweet spots, you will start to seem too automatic, robot-like. You will want to mix it up for variety’s sake.
#8. Be authentic and personable
Interacting with people on Twitter isn’t that different from doing so at a social gathering. In both cases, you make friends by being yourself and being authentic and cordial.
Keep this in mind as you are posting online. People don’t want to cozy up to a brand whose social presence sounds rigid and corporate or worse yet, unpleasant. Show a human side, mingle with people kindly, and develop a personality. People will be thankful, and the following will come.
#9. Leverage Videos to communicate
Videos are known to be the most engaging content on social media and their usage is rising every single day.
Videos are the most demanded content which talks about the potential that it carries for businesses on social media.
Few statistics are to inspire you into creating video content, i.e., users are 1.5 times more likely to watch videos on their Smartphones. This information requires you to create videos more mobile-friendly to reach the mobile-using audience potentially.
#10. Leverage gamification
Talking of light-hearted fun, games are a powerful way to entertain your audience. Games tap into our instinct to compete and be rewarded, offering up an excellent brand engagement platform and powerful tool to support a range of other marketing goals.
Games work particularly well when yoked with a competition or prize giveaway which you can then use in numerous scenarios such as promoting products, creating a buzz at trade shows, driving website traffic, generating leads and mailing list sign-ups, or simply having some fun.
What Are The Social Media Marketing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Brand Engagement?
#1. Not having a clearly defined strategy: It’s important to have a clearly defined tactic in place for your social media marketing efforts. Without a defined strategy, it can be difficult to effectively reach and engage with your target audience hence poor brand engagement.
#2. Abandoning customer service: Social media is a great way for brands to interact with customers and prospects to address any issues they may have. Ignoring customer service on social media can lead to negative sentiment and harm your brand reputation and that will lead to ruined brand engagement.
#3. Posting inappropriate content: It’s necessary to be mindful of the types of content you post on social media. Posting offensive content can harm your brand’s reputation and alienate prospects from engaging with your brand
#4. Not being authentic: Brands need to be authentic and transparent on social media. Customers can tell when a brand is being inauthentic or trying too hard to sell something, and this can turn them off.
#5. Not engaging with followers: Social media is a two-way communication lane. Brands need to interact with their followers by responding to comments and messages and also asking for their feedback. Ignoring your followers can make your brand appear uninterested, uninvolved, and too proud for its audience.
#5. Posting too much or too little: Brands need to find a balance when it comes to posting on social media. Posting too much can be overwhelming for followers while posting too little can make your brand appear inactive.
As social media channels evolve to reward authentic social interactions, brand engagement has become a vital part of any marketing strategy on social media.
Without brand engagement, social media is just another media outlet with a one-way communication system.
People don’t use social networks for a one-way communication experience. They are seeking connections with people and with brands.
So when a brand understands this, there is a tendency for a company to work out strategies to improve brand engagement.