How to Engage With Your Online Audience

Making Social Media "Social" 

How to Engage With Your Online Audience

There's a reason why "social" is the first word in the phrase social media. I mean, that's just it, isn't it? Social media is social! Its purpose is to create and foster a community of like-minded individuals who can bond over topics they love online. With that in mind, social media platforms thrive off of user interaction. And it makes sense why! It is in human nature to want to connect with others. The user experience is what makes these platforms so special, entertaining, and successful. That's why engagement on social media is one of the biggest keys to winning the war against competitors online.

What Is Engagement?

You've probably heard a lot about this term, but you may be cloudy about what engagement is. Engagement is the term that summarizes any kind of social media interaction. This includes likes, comments, shares, mentions, and saves. Engagement even takes the number of clicks on a post into effect when analyzing post performance! Every bit counts towards getting you to your end goal and without engagement, social media is just media.

Engagement plays such a vital role in post-performance because a high engagement rate tells platforms that your post is popular. In fact, your post is so popular that people aren't just scrolling by your post but stopping to learn more. If someone likes your content so much that they share it to their own feed, post it to their story, or leave a comment to start a conversation, this post must be of value. Algorithms prioritize content of value, because they want to keep entertaining their users and keep them on their site.

While most platforms calculate your engagement rate for you in your analytics, we have included a formula below to give you a better sense of what your engagement rate consists of. That way, you can strategize new ways to increase this number!

How Do You Get Engagement?

You can ask people to engage with your content all you want. But, if the content isn't very good or is too sales-y, you'll find a harder time getting a genuine reaction out of your audience. Strong content is the key to generating both engagement and business overall. Your posts should be personal to your business, meaningful to your followers, and support your branding story as a whole.

There are a couple of key actions you can make a mental note of to remember when posting. When trying to increase your engagement, think of the 3 "Be's" below:

1. Be Social: To get engagement, you have to give engagement. It's important to meet your audience in the middle by socializing if you want to get more comments, mentions, and shares. A great place to start is to initiate the conversation by commenting on your followers' posts! When you're playing an active role in the community, you will find it easier to get a reaction out of others. It's the golden rule after all!

2. Be Consistent: Getting started on social media can be scary. What do you post? What do you say? Are you following brand guidelines? These questions can have you second-guessing your posts and can put you in perfection paralysis. At the end of the day, people follow business accounts for a reliable content source. But, they can't interact with you if you don't post anything! Make sure that you are following a strict content schedule and that you prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to posting.

3. Be Strategic: The best place to start is to find out what time is best to post. When does your engagement happen the most? It's also important to know that posts that receive engagement within the first 60 minutes of posting have greater reach. There isn't a "best time" to post for every business, so it's best to figure out what works well for your specific account! You can check this by looking at your analytics and if you need help determining this, we'd be happy to point you in the right direction.

What Type of Engagement Matters Most on Social Media?

The reason engagement is so important on social media is because our platforms have determined that it is the #1 factor in increasing your reach. Organic reach has dropped significantly for businesses, but accounts with higher social media engagement are the least affected.

Below is a breakdown of the different aspects that make up your engagement rate:

· Likes

· Comments

· Saves

· Shares

· Reactions

Other engagement metrics people often forget are:

· DMs (Direct Messages)

· Link Clicks

· Mentions

· Reactions to stories

· When others use your hashtag

How Will I Know If My Engagement Is Successful?

1. Customer/Client Response: You'll know that your engagement tactics are working when you start receiving more feedback from your followers, both online and in person. Are you getting more messages? More sales about that thing you posted? Social media isn't always easy to measure, but if you see an increase in interaction, you are one step closer to closing business.

2. Brand Awareness: Similarly, measuring brand power isn't easy, as there are a lot of factors that play into what makes up your reputation. Perceptions are built up after many touches through various channels. But you can measure your impressions on both your posts and profile. The more engagement you receive, the more people will see your posts - as the algorithm will promote your content more. You'll also increase the likelihood that you will receive more shares, getting you more eyeballs on the content.

How Do I Improve Social Media Engagement?

You can't improve your results without knowing where you're starting from. It's important to take benchmark numbers of what kind of reaction you are currently receiving and then measure new tactics against the responses you receive next.

For content, ensure that you are consistently sharing posts that are of value to your audience. When you do this, you won't have to ask followers to engage. They will do this on their own!

It is also a good idea to "pay-to-play" on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This means to back your post with a small budget to increase how many people see your post. These platforms will display your post to your target audience and get you in front of new candidates for customers.

Want to increase your engagement rate on social media? We'd love to help you engage with your online audience! You can click the button below to schedule a consultation with one of our social media experts.


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