Creating and posting content on social media is great for boosting your business’ presence, but without interaction from your audience, this becomes a pointless task. Thanks to the complicated algorithms, without any interactions your posts are unlikely to be widely seen by new potential customers. So, what are the tried and tested drivers of engagement that will ensure your efforts don’t fall flat? In this blog post, we’ll be delving into the top ten engagement drivers you need to know when creating marketing content for your brand.
In the last few years specifically, video has become the supreme king of content with Facebook users alone watching 100 million hours every single day! The ability to visually tell a story is one of the most effective drivers of engagement, almost guaranteed to provide you with results. Although it can be difficult to know where to start when creating video content, here are a few of our top tips to consider:
- What does your audience want to see? Consider how-tos, entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage, company culture, recruiting additions, shout-outs, events, promotional demonstrations, interviews and even customer testimonials.
- How long should your video be? The best length for Facebook engagement is between 1 minute and a half to 3 minutes, whilst Twitter’s direct upload maximum length is 2 minutes and 2o seconds. We suggest you record one video and share it across multiple platforms – although commonly overlooked, YouTube can be one of the key drivers for additional brand exposure.
- Who will record it? You can start simply by using a smartphone, and this is a great way to begin sharing video content. Or, opt for a more advanced set-up with a camera, microphone, stand and lights to professionally produce exceptional video content. Quality is essential!
- What’s in it for viewers? Use your social media copy to excite and encourage people to watch your video, detailing in the description what they’ll gain from it. Remember emotional response leads to action.
** TOP TIP: Whilst video is a popular choice, creating video content for the sake of it can actually damage your engagement ratings! Social media algorithms are all about the value offered to the user, so if your content adds little in the way of interest it’s likely to negatively affect your online presence.
Tag, Tag and Tag Some More!
Social networks are for exactly that, being social with your network! One of the most powerful drivers of engagement at your disposal is tagging. You can quickly build a strong community around your business by tagging your customers and other influencers that support your brand. Perhaps you create a post with a customer testimonial featuring or you use an image provided to you by one of your followers (user-generated content), tagging shows your recognition and appreciation. As a result, your engagement will grow as users will see you are actively interacting with others.
It’s important to understand that sharing content online is not just about selling. Whilst this may be your overall target, customers don’t want to see advertisements clogging up their newsfeed 24 hours a day. They want to see a business that listens and encourages followers to get involved. One very effective example of this marketing tactic is Coca Cola, with their #Shareacoke campaign that saw over 500,000 photos posted by consumers, and saw them gain 25 million followers in the first year alone!
Timing is Everything
Sharing a post at 3 am is unlikely to stir up much interaction unless your target audience is exclusively night owls! For every network, there is are certain times in the day in which users are most active and by scheduling your content to align with these peaks you are likely to boost your interaction rating.
Timings are one of the key drivers of engagement so we’ve figured out the best times for you to post:
- BEST DAYS: Thursday and Friday receive 18% more interaction than any other weekdays, whilst the weekend sees a 32% increase
- BEST TIMES: 9 am, 1 pm and 3 pm are all popular for users – 3 pm will tend to get you the most clicks, however, 1 pm will get you the most shares
- BEST DAYS: For B2B companies, Wednesday during business hours will see high engagement levels, whilst B2C again increases during the weekend
- BEST TIMES: 5-6 pm is the peak time for interactions, users are 181% more likely to actively log-on to Twitter during their evening commute
- BEST DAYS: Interestingly, Sunday sees very low rates on the visual platform, whilst Monday and Thursday are the most popular for posting
- BEST TIMES: Try posting between 8-9 am to ensure your content is seen by users throughout the day and avoid 3-4 pm, office hours are not popular for Instagram
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Write Emotive Headlines
It’s not just about posting visuals! Using emotive language in your posts, and generating content around these headlines can drive traffic towards your website – ultimately boosting your online sales. The three most effective formulas to follow when writing an article are:
- How To (Do Something) That Will (Help You Experience the Desired Result)
- (#) Ways To (Do Something) To (Produce Desired Result)
- What Is The Best (Topic) That Will (Do Something Desirable)?
It’s relatively easy to begin generating ideas when you follow these formulas. Once you have these written and banked you’ll be able to share these across your social media platforms too – sharing valuable expertise your audience will want to see and therefore engage with.
The Power of Hashtags
Hashtags have been around for a long time, used most commonly on Twitter and Instagram. However, many marketers now dismiss them when optimising and producing posts, yet this little symbol still acts as one of the main drivers of engagement when used correctly. We suggest one of two tactics, either creating your own personalised hashtag that your followers can use to tag their own photos or using just a few specific keywords (up to 2 on Twitter, or 8 on Instagram).
Recycle Your Evergreens
Do you create a fantastic piece of content, use it once and that’s it? When you spend time writing a post that isn’t specific to a time of year or event, you can recycle these again and again on your social media. Thereby ensuring you have valuable content readily available to share with your followers. This is known as ‘evergreen’ – with the information provided in the post appropriate year-round.
Of course, you don’t want to repetitively bombard your audience but by building a bank of evergreens at your disposal you’ll be able to schedule and share useful content without having to write a new blog every day! Furthermore, by recycling these year-round articles you’ll be able to boost the traffic to these pages of the sites, organically increasing your Google ranking.
Share Content You Know Your Audience Wants
There are a variety of free tools available online such as Facebook and Google Analytics that allow you to access and analyse data. This is perhaps the most important of the drivers of engagement, as you are able to monitor and fully understand how your marketing campaigns are received by your audience. Therefore, it is vital you dedicate time to this task as this can be the difference between successfully growing your online interaction and losing out to upcoming competitors.
Engage in Trending Topics
A quick solution is to understand what is currently trending and take advantage of these short-term trends. You’ll then be involved in conversations with thousands of other users, all focused on one topic of interest. However, this is not always the best option as trending subjects are rarely industry-specific but can allow you to inject personality into your brand. Perhaps a meme goes viral, how could you take a spin on it that’s appropriate for your business? Or it’s the holiday season? Take a leaf out of oreo’s book here (not only getting involved in a trend but also tagging other businesses!):
We’re *obviously* bringing this Thanksgiving classic ⬇️ and extending the invite to our friends @HVRanch @IHOP @MoonPie @Walmart and @Dunkaroos. ? https://t.co/xuNIjKBdyD pic.twitter.com/j0xnbzz6vb
— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) November 24, 2020
It’s not just about comments, likes or shares. To increase your brand awareness and as a result, drive engagement levels on your content, you should ensure you reply to users in comments and in your direct messages. Getting a response from a company encourages loyalty from the customer, they trust you will be available to answer any query at any time.
Personal touches can really make you stand out from your competitors and will help you gradually build your brand reputation up. If you become known as a company that ignores messages, be that on purpose or not, you are likely to lose followers and ultimately damage your engagement ratings.
Call To Action
Finally, provide a clear route for your audience to follow. Whatever your end target be, whether it’s a sign up to a newsletter, or a download or a purchase ensure this is an easy process. Customers don’t want to have to jump through hoops. So when taking the time to create content your followers want to engage with, you need to also provide them with a simple process to fulfil the end goal.
A call to action could come in the form of a button or link taking the user directly to a certain product, or perhaps automatically to checkout with the product already added to their cart. Think about how the customer will interact and cater your approach appropriately.
The Key Drivers of Engagement
We hope this blog post has shed a little light on how to effectively boost your online interactions with your audience, and how you can transfer these methods to your own business. Engagement is key when promoting online, ensuring your content is seen and not lost in the diluted sea of internet searches! If you need help growing your business, our team of dedicated experts are always happy to help. Get in touch with us today to discuss your digital marketing needs.