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10 Tips to Boost Engagement on Social Media


These days all social media networks have enforced content algorithms, set to improve user experience. These algorithms prevent brands from targeting the masses, and instead favour content that a particular user will find interesting.

What does this mean for brands?Copy

At our latest event: Beyond pray & spray social media marketing, Danny Denhard, Marketing Director at JustGiving, opened our eyes to just how difficult it is to have our content seen by lots of people.

A few facts to help us understand the challenge we as marketing professionals face:

  • Every minute, 527k photos are shared on Snapchat, 695k giphys are sent and 350k tweets posted
  • The average person receives over 120 phone notifications a day
  • In the last 10 minutes 34% admitted to checking their facebook
  • People miss up to 70% of their feeds. This is because Instagram/Facebook’s algorithm filters out a lot of content.

People miss up to 70% of their feeds. This is because Instagram/Facebook’s algorithm filters out a lot of content.CLICK TO TWEET

Whilst people are spending more time online than ever, there’s also an overwhelming amount of content. Brands are having to compete for attention and find ways to stand out amongst the noise. This is made harder by social media sites algorithms which filter out content.

Aimlessly posting masses of content in the hope it’ll reach a large number of people is no longer a wise approach. Customers expect highly targeted, personalised and authentic content. We need to engage with our audience and create bonds.

So, onto Danny’s top tips!

1) Use more video

There has been a 53% increase in engagement on videos on Instagram. The trend is the same with Facebook. It was reported between January 2014 and January 2015, that the number of videos showing up in people’s news feeds had increased by 360%. Mark Zuckerburg, has said going forward, video (both live and pre-recorded) are going to be a big priority for Facebook.

If we want to attract our audience’s attention, as well as be prioritised by the algorithm, it’s looking like video is a good place to start.

2) Go live

Leading on from the previous tip, going live on social media is another online trend we need to hop on. Live video is currently getting the most engagement. According to Facebook, viewers comment 10x more on Facebook Live videos than regular ones.

Currently live video is the highest priority on Facebook’s algorithm

We can start by showing behind the scenes of our brand, whether that be showing off how we make our products or our teams. We can even live stream our events.

3) Go the extra mile for customers

After a child left their beloved stuffed toy at the Ritz Carlton, staff sent pictures to the family of a stuffed toy enjoying ‘an extra night of vacation’ before sending it back to the child.

Whether it’s going above and beyond to provide an amazing customer experience, or providing amusing replies to people’s tweets, these will help boost engagement.

In 2017, humour is one of the best ways to engage an audience. Just look at companies such as Innocent, Tesco and Oreo. They use humour in their social media accounts, and people like it. Many of Tesco’s sassy responses to customers have become infamous. Just because our brands haven’t got anything to do with humour, doesn’t mean we can’t use it as part of our brand persona.

media monitoring

4) Tell people what you want them to do

We all know the importance of a call to action in our campaigns. The same applies on social media. If we want people to tweet photos of an event we’re hosting, or have people send in photos of them using our products in a particular place, ask.

Encouraging people to share, is a great way to build communities and boost engagement. It also organically expands the reach of our brands because our audiences are sharing their posts to their networks.

5) Ask questions

Asking questions is the easiest way to create a conversation. This is such a simple, yet often forgotten method of engaging our audiences.

6) Look outside of your brand, industry and competitors

We should regularly benchmark ourselves against competitors, to understand how we’re performing in our industry. However, we need to go beyond this. We should look beyond our own industries to gain inspiration from other successful brands.

Just because we don’t sell smoothies, doesn’t mean we can’t take a leaf out of Innocent’s book when it comes to boosting engagement.

What is it that certain brands are doing differently which is leading to success? We want to be the market leaders in our fields. So whilst, looking at trends in our industry is great, we also need to be the trendsetters.

7) Use gifs & emojis

Using emoji’s may seem a bit juvenile- but everyone’s using them! According to scientists, when a person sees an emoji, their brain lights up in the same way as when they see a human face. Emoji’s have the power to change the mood of the reader.

Gifs are also a great way to bond with audiences and bring some humour to the conversation. Check out giphy for some inspiration

8) Embed your content

Lot’s of the algorithms don’t favour links. This is because by posting a link to video or article we’ve created, takes the user off their website. When possible embed videos into the Tweet or Facebook page, rather than sending users off the website. Whilst we may want to promote our blogs, create content that can be enjoyed on the particular social media site as well.

9) Analyse!

There’s so much data out there, utilise it. Looking at vanity metrics isn’t always enough. Having thousands of followers doesn’t mean thousands of people are engaged with our brands. Analyse how many people mention our brand or product, what sorts of posts are sparking engagement, and what isn’t.

It’s worth performing a brand health check every now and again to help inform strategy going forward. Meltwater’s PR Insights reports is a good place to start. We can provide digestible data about competitors, media exposure, reach and tonality. See how website traffic has been affected by brand mentions.

10) Think differently

‘Think outside the box’ it might be a cliche, but it’s true. Try lot’s of different social media platforms and see what sticks. Whilst we tend to stick to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, don’t rule out other sites such as Reddit, Tumblr and Giphy.

If you have a big personality in or associated with your brand, or a particular quirk in the office, consider utilising it. Our audience is more likely to relate to another human than they will a faceless brand, so start getting employees involved in social media campaigns.

Take #AskEddie for example. Southern rail let a 15 year old work experience teen, loose on their social media pages. This led to a huge boost in engagement, viral posts, and even people forgetting about their complaints against Southern Rail.

Trend jacking is another great way of thinking differently. Jump on a viral tweet or story and put a unique spin on it. We’ve seen loads of great examples of trendjacking such as Oreo’s superbowl tweet.

media monitoring

That’s about it for this week. Keep an eye out on future Meltwater events and if you would like to find out more about how Meltwater can be used to boost social media engagement get in

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