Maintaining active social media content is a great way to increase exposure for your organization. But getting your followers not only to look, but to share and engage with your content, requires strategically using each social platform’s strengths to its full capacity. Your effort will be rewarded with real conversations as well as a growing number of followers on your social media platforms.
Brian J. Solem [he/him/his], Director of Communications, AIDS Foundation of Chicago says – “We strive to listen to our followers and peer organizations on social platforms just as much as we take a role as an active speaker in digital conversations. We have grown engagement and followers by double-digit percentages in the last fiscal year by: creating original, compelling content on our blog – Inside Story; closely monitoring engagement — and using that data to develop and share content that reflects our audience’s tastes; creating compelling, shareable graphics to promote events like AIDS Run & Walk Chicago and awareness opportunities like National HIV Testing Day; and making sure our messages and content are resonating with our audiences.”
Here are seven specific tactics you can use to increase engagement with your followers across your social platforms.
- Directly engage with your followers: If you don’t “listen” and respond quickly to the comments people post on your social media, you suggest that you’re not active on your social media pages—or that you don’t care. When you do respond, make your answers informative and helpful. Be sure to respond in a personal and conversational manner since social media is, above all, social!
- Create or participate in relevant groups: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ allow you to provide informative advice or start relevant discussions that help generate interest in your organization. It’s important not just to promote your content or organization, but to actually participate.
- Conduct polls, ask for feedback : Social media networks thrive on people sharing their opinions. For this reason, conducting polls and surveys about your services, products, and organization are great ways to engage your followers and get valuable information about them and their opinions on those things. It also shows that you care about their opinions, which in turn helps build loyalty and trust. Keep polls and surveys quick and simple.
- Credit/tag commenters or sharers : Curated content is a great way to share content from other sources with your followers. It shows them that you want to provide them with interesting content, regardless of whether you created it. Make sure to tag the original writers when you use curated content to give them due credit and be visible to their followers.
- Use images : Social media posts that include images are much more likely to be liked and shared than text-based content alone. According to this article , “tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without.”
- Use emoticons: Emoticons are both playful and helpful in offering your organization a bit of personality. According to this article , they increase engagement by 33%!
- Use hashtags : Hashtags help users search social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. They make it easy to identify the subject of your content and they help those interested in that subject to find your content.
Social media offers valuable tools to help you engage directly with your audiences. The more effectively you engage with them, the more successful you will be at connecting with and learning about the community you serve.