Why do people get involved in social media
Social Media Marketing: The most important factor is engagement
8 out of 10 small and medium-sized businesses use social media to drive their growth.
Still, not all companies active on social media achieve the same results.
Some companies are seeing remarkable results, while others are getting poor results, if any.
So what separates the successful from the unsuccessful companies?
It's the commitment.
If you can't convince people to connect with you through social media, you won't be able to take full advantage of these platforms.
However, you can't be pushy when trying to increase engagement on social media. Otherwise, all your efforts will be of no avail and may even lead to negative results.
In this article, we'll look at how to improve social media engagement without being intrusive.
We analyze a variety of strategies and discuss how you can use them.
In the end, you will know exactly how to get more engagement and grow your company with the help of social media.
Should you post little on social media ... or often?
If you know at least a little bit about the world of social media, you will be aware that a lot of people are talking about post frequency.
How often should you write something, and is it really possible to publish too often or too seldom?
Let's first look at Facebook. The problem here is that the news feed is becoming more and more competitive.
If you keep up with the latest trends in social media, you might have joined the mass corporations that are posting 31% more this year than they were a year ago.
It is estimated that around 1,500 articles per day vie for a position in a Facebook user's news feed.
So do six daily posts more than one help you to be successful?
Hubspot collected data from over 13,500 Facebook customers and created the table below.
Remember, our goal is to improve engagement. This graph describes engagement as “Clicks Executed per Post,” which is how many people clicked on each individual post.
You may notice that one to five posts per month get an average of up to 100 clicks per post, regardless of whether you have 1 - 200 or over 10,000 followers.
But if you suddenly publish more, something suddenly changes ...
Only companies with more than 10,000 followers will benefit from more frequent posts.
Let's take a look at the possible reasons.
One reason for this is that these companies have a larger readership and more frequent posts offer more opportunities to target a specific segment of that readership.
In addition, the content of such companies saturates (and annoys) their readership less. It would be different if there were fewer followers.
So what really counts if you want more engagement? It can't really be a larger readership.
According to the diagram above, there is no direct link between fans and engagement. Otherwise the results would continue to increase even after the 61+ mark.
And if you think about it, the big corporations' profits are disproportionate to their readership.
So what really matters when it comes to increasing engagement in posts on Facebook?
That's exactly it - If you want to increase engagement in your posts on Facebook, quality is more important than the composition of numerous posts.
You are competing with a huge amount of other content on the platform.
So if you do something really great, it will get adequate engagement from your main followers as well.
And if it's really good, your post will trigger an avalanche and appear on other news feeds.
A greater reach = a higher chance to get more engagement for your contribution.
What about Twitter - does it help to post more often here too?
Twitter engagement can drop if you post more than three times a day.
One reason for this may be that your followers can't keep up with reading if you post a lot of content. To be honest, it can be annoying too.
This diagram shows a similar pattern.
You can see that the same rule applies to LinkedIn and Facebook as well. Regardless of the platform, people can only consume a certain amount of content per day.
The amount of this content that you should post also depends on your industry.
If you stick to what I have shown you here, then you play it safe.
Finally, we can see from the graphic below that the audience doesn't want to see too much content per day.
Understand what content will resonate with your target audience
We briefly mentioned the importance of interesting content earlier.
Although there are numerous posts on social media every day, there is still demand for quality content.
Therefore, if you publish quality content, you can improve your engagement.
But what is valuable, qualitative content?
Important note: Whether or not a piece of content is valuable depends on the type of followers and fans you have.
And here's the kicker - you can have different followers / fans on different platforms and you should also watch this closely.
Let's delve deeper into this topic.
Check out some of Asos' posts on Facebook.
They're pretty casual and humorous. And they don't have a lot to do with clothes either - what Asos actually sells.
And yet they have a lot of commitment.
Why is that?
Because the contributions are tailored to the target group and the respective platform.
If you take a look at their fansite, you can see that Asos publishes a post about clothing every now and then - but that doesn't happen often.
Fans don't like excessive self-promotion, and Asos knows it.
When it comes to writing humorous posts, you'll notice that the Twitter page follows a similar scheme.
Well, this is how Asos handles the profiles on Facebook and Twitter - but how does the LinkedIn page look to me?
Here's a post from the company on LinkedIn.
And another one.
If you look at it that way, you might be wondering whether these profiles really belong to the same company!
Yes, they do.
And yet the contributions are successful and receive a lot of commitment.
Because the target group on LinkedIn has different interests than the target group on Facebook and Twitter.
Asos recognizes this and adapts its strategy accordingly.
This style may carry over from one platform to the next, but nothing more.
Your content must take into account the interests and personalities of your target group and the various social media platforms.
People like content that suits their personality and interests.
You may find that 46% of people follow this need when they follow a brand.
Many companies are also doing well with the Asos style on Twitter and Facebook. Because this principle applies to many.
As you can see, Asos posts are heavily influenced by the target audience. Only things are published that the target group can identify with.
Whatever Asos writes, the target audience can relate to it.
If you have something funny, amusing or inspiring, you can still use it for your B2B brand - as long as it relates to your target audience.
You see a lot of companies posting inspirational quotes. It's not easy to start and run your own business. Inspirational quotes take that into account.
Whenever an inspiring post is published on a company's Facebook or Twitter page, it goes down well because the target group can identify with it.
Here is an example from Hewlett Packard.
You don't necessarily expect a motivational post from Hewlett Packard, but here it is. And he didn't even do badly when it came to engagement.
For the sake of completeness, here are other things that have been posted on Twitter.
Do you notice how a bit of humor was hidden in the tweet?
Let's take a look at what the LinkedIn page looks like.
Small side note: You may notice that the picture makes you more curious and tempts you to take a closer look.
Here's another LinkedIn example from HP.
They follow the same principle as Asos and only publish content that is liked and appealing to the target group.
And just like Asos, they have adapted their strategy to the respective platform.
In general, you can find a lot of humorous and amusing content on Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is often more socially demanding and serious.
Of course, you are welcome to convince yourself of the opposite.
Make sure to write content that suits your target audience and adapt your strategy to the social media you are active on.
Now that you know how it works, let's take a look at some valuable and amusing content!
Industry news is an example of valuable content.
If you keep people up to date with what is happening in your branch / industry and can do this consistently, they will visit your profile more often.
Still, it's not enough to just publish something. You have to get people involved with it.
You can do this by asking a question about the content you wrote (more on that later).
People like to read what others think of a topic - mostly in the form of comments.
If you create an atmosphere in which people comment on your posts on social media, you will automatically attract visitors to your page.
Would you rather go to a website that reports industry news in isolation or go to a social media page that posts news and regularly generates discussions in the comments?
Comments are commitment. If more and more people influence each other, they can even develop a life of their own.
Due to the increase in engagement, the post will also appear in other news feeds, thus increasing your reach.
If you want to find out what's going on in your industry, you can use Google Alerts.
Just pick a few topics / keywords from your industry and you will have a selection of things to post on your site every day.
Valuable content can also be things that you have produced yourself. If your business has a blog, why not share it on social media?
Search the entire catalog and post links to the items that you think are valuable.
Just look for the most popular blog posts. It's easy with tools like Google Analytics.
In addition, you could also experiment with republishing various types of content. For example, you could turn a blog post into an infographic or an audio file.
This is a great strategy for reviving old but usable content.
Again, pay attention to the most popular content first. Develop a sense of the things that work best.
Still, you should be careful.
People don't like excessive self-promotion. In fact, that's why 45% of people stop following a brand.
This is exactly why it is worth sharing other people's content. This way you keep your fans / followers active while avoiding the trap of "excessive self-promotion".
If you want to find relevant content for your branch / industry that isn't yours, head over to Buzzsumo.com.
Become a member and enter a topic that people would like to know more about.
Let's assume that we want to learn more about "Facebook Marketing".
When we have entered the keyword, we will see the page shown above.
We immediately notice three potential posts that could be shared.
When searching for suitable content, we can filter by date to find the latest content that is relevant.
We can even choose content types when looking for infographics, for example.
There are more advanced search capabilities on the platform, but these standard options should bring up decent content for now.
When you share content from BuzzSumo, you can use your information to work on your own content.
The social media is very visual. You should create an image that you can publish with your post.
After all, tweets with pictures generate 150% more retweets than those without pictures.
In the example below is a Twitter profile that used an image to highlight a blog post that was shared on this platform.
Engagement on Facebook can also be improved by using images. 87% of interactions on Facebook happen in photo posts.
Here is an example of how you can use photos on Facebook.
The type of images you create depends entirely on the style of your post and the platform you are using.
Either way, creating images isn't difficult.
If you want to create images for your post, you can use Canva.
To do that, go to Canva.com and sign up.
Then you choose a social media category.
Next, you choose a template that you like and fill it with relevant content.
It costs $ 1 to download per image.
That's not much, especially when you consider how much it can affect your engagement on your social media profiles.
It's a good idea to use a new image for each new post.
Canva allows you to have a visual element for every post you publish.
Another way to create valuable content is by using current events. Oreo did this during the 2013 Super Bowl when there was a huge power outage.
The method worked so well that 10,000 retweets were generated within an hour.
And they still do. You can see on their Facebook page that they are talking about the latest lunar eclipse.
If you do the same on your own side, you can generate a lot of engagement with current topics.
It doesn't even have to be a major event. Sometimes one post is enough just because it's Friday!
Choose the right time to post content
Now you already know what and how often you should publish.
But when is the best time to do this?
As with the frequency of posts, there are also different opinions here.
This is similar to the content. It all depends on who you are writing something for and where you want to publish it.
On Twitter, B2B companies see a 14% increase in engagement when posting on weekdays and B2C companies 17% on Wednesdays and weekends.
Retweets peak around 5:00 p.m.
Post your content at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. if you want to increase your click-through rate.
According to Twitter, many users use Twitter on their way to work. In exactly this short period of time, people are active on Twitter.
To get the most shares on Facebook, you should post around 1:00 p.m. And for most clicks at 3:00 p.m.
The best days for this are Thursday and Friday.
On LinkedIn, opening hours are supposedly the best time to write content. If you're looking for the most clicks and shares, try on Tuesdays between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
In general, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to post content on LinkedIn.
Remember, the target audience is mostly B2B companies, so you're dealing with people who use LinkedIn during their work hours.
But what if none of this means anything? What if you stick to these schedules but don't get good results? So what?
Much of this data is based on averages from a wide range of industries.
As we have discussed several times, every industry is different.
Even every city can be different. Take a look at the diagram below:
And because of that, you may need to use a different method to find the best time for your particular situation.
For example the use of Page Insights.
You can use Page Insights to collect data that shows who is interacting on your page and how many people are involved.
Once you have this information, you'll know when to post content to drive engagement. You can even find out which content works best.
Of course, you can only get this data if you are ready to try it out and experiment during the week. You should always be out to gain new insights.
Pay attention to what and how much you say
Whatever you do or communicate on the internet, the text plays a big role.
Before we go any further, we need to talk about using Call-To-Actions (CTAs).
Strategies to improve engagement won't do anything if you don't follow the rules, so it's important to mention it.
You probably know that CTAs are important, but you should be careful with their use.
Because Facebook recently started to punish posts that ask directly for "Likes" & "Shares".
In general, Facebook no longer accepts advertisements as it used to. According to current opinion, advertisements reduce the quality of the user experience.
Here is the description of an advertisement.
Here is an example of a post that is too over the top for Facebook.
This is important because if you put too many calls to action in your Facebook posts, they won't get the reach they deserve.
Less reach means they won't get the engagement you're looking for.
Therefore, you should do it a little more skillfully if you include calls to action in your posts.
Check out the example from Oreo's Facebook page.
Do you see how they make you act without overdoing it?
Words that Facebook does not like to see, such as "Share" or "Like", have also been avoided.
Of course, you will still see posts on Facebook that ignore these rules.
But Facebook claims that their reach has been limited because they don't follow the rules.
But not all platforms are as strict as Facebook.
Twitter doesn't mind if you ask people to retweet your content - which is essentially nothing more than asking people on Facebook to share your content.
Indeed, asking about retweets on Twitter can increase your engagement a lot.
Not every method of asking for a retweet is the same. You can see that the phrase "RT" produces an average of 73.48 retweets.
This is much better than using "PLS RT".
Here is an example of using a company's call-to-action on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn, like Twitter, is a bit more forgiving when it comes to posting call-to-action ads.
CTAs are important if you want to get engagement on social media.
However, be aware of the rules of the game before you apply them.
With that we have discussed CTAs. Now we come to the actual text. Hopefully you will be happy to learn that there is a connection with other types of marketing to create enticing text for your campaigns.
If you can write good headlines, you're one step further in writing tweets.
Let's take a look at how much you should really be writing. As you probably already guessed, the amount depends on the platform for which you want to write something.
There's evidence that Tweets with fewer than 100 characters get 17% more engagement.
The length of a tweet also affects the amount of retweets.
On Facebook, posts get 86% more engagement when they contain 40 characters.
Posts on LinkedIn vary in terms of audience.
Those aimed at a B2B target group have the greatest success with 16-25 words. Those aimed at a B2C audience should contain 21-25 words.
However, the quantity means nothing if you cannot make your point of view clear. And that's where the text comes in.
You should know how to refine your posts so that they get people engaged and interested.
The type of text depends on your topic.
While Twitter doesn't allow a lot of space, there are several approaches / formulas you can use when you are tweeted.
It all depends on your goal.
Since you are limited, it is important to be precise.
Take a look at the example below.
This tweet is fantastic as it is very precise. While he has many signs, you can't deny that he motivates you to act.
The next example is also very precise. And it works even better with fewer characters.
A great tactic for Facebook is an unclear hint in the text, which is clarified with the accompanying picture.
Since you want to keep the quantity of your text low, this is a great way to avoid cluttering your Facebook posts.
Good formatting will also help you when writing.
As with writing for a blog, you should avoid a lot of text and make it easier to read.
Sometimes you may have trouble coming up with new ideas for how to style your social media posts.
Therefore it might help to create a swipe file.
Essentially, you just create a notebook with Evernote, a folder on your computer, or some other storage space to save screenshots of good text whenever you see it on social media.
Then you can look up and imitate if you don't know what you want to write.
Take the first step and reach out to people
All of the strategies mentioned work well for building engagement.
However, they are not very proactive when it comes to directly generating engagement on social media.
Therefore, you need to know how to actively interact with people on your profiles so that you can increase engagement.
The easiest way is to ask a question. When you ask a question, you are asking people to answer you.
Posts with questions generate more engagement on your Facebook page.
As you can see, “non-question” posts generate more likes and shares. But when it comes to generating comments, "Question" posts do better.
However, not every question is equally good. Some words work better than others when you prepare questions.
So it's helpful to make a list of posts that get a lot of engagement. Then you will recognize creative word combinations.
The table above was created using the interactions on Facebook. But that doesn't mean that they can't be transferred to other platforms.
You should always be ready to try something new to see what works well.
The information in the table is certainly a good guide to see what works well, but your own test will help you find out what is really going down well with your target audience.
There are a few ways to ask questions. One possibility is to ask the target group directly. If you add a picture, you probably have a good chance of increasing your engagement.
Another option is to ask a question pointing to a blog post or other content.
You can also generate engagement by running competitions. These can be very effective when used correctly.
But there are also some rules here that you should follow on Facebook.
Yes i know - facebook and rules!
Facebook tends to classify sweepstakes as promotions.
Here is what you can and should not do if you organize a competition / promotion on Facebook:
Note, however, that these rules are constantly changing. You should regularly check what Facebook is asking for.
If you're looking for a reason to run a sweepstakes, schedule it for a public holiday or other popular day, like Thanksgiving or Valentine's Day.
But don't think too much about it. You can also just host one because it's the weekend!
Let's take a look at some examples.
The picture below uses a good hashtag to get attention.
However, you could argue that the formatting of the text should be improved to make it easier to understand.
The next example shows the terms and conditions clearly.
Note: It is a good idea to have clear terms / rules for your competitions to avoid confusion or potential trouble.
You can point out your terms like in this Facebook post.
The post even mentions the date and time for the submission deadline. This creates a certain amount of pressure that drives action.
The next competition uses a picture to alert fans that there is a competition. The text "Win" on the picture adds to the effectiveness.
The competition itself is not held on Facebook, but it helps generate engagement on the platform.
Let's take a look at how you can run competitions on Twitter. You have more freedom on Twitter, although there are also some rules here that you should follow.
You have less space to get your message across, so be clear and precise - nothing new!
Fortunately, as previously described, you can use images to expand your tweets.
One way to run a contest on Twitter is to ask for retweets.
The example above shows how to do it. As you can see, the tweet received an illustrative amount of retweets.
A link to the general terms and conditions is also included.
The picture clearly shows what Twitter users can gain by participating.
You can even hold competitions on LinkedIn. But remember that you should always tailor your efforts to the respective platform.
For example, the airline Emirates recently held a competition that generated good engagement. You could say that this competition worked well because there are many professionals on LinkedIn.
They often fly to meet customers, so the prize draw is very useful.
And that is exactly what is relevant.
Another way to increase your engagement is to hold a question-and-answer session. This works better for some brands than for others, for example personal brands.
However, that doesn't mean your approach can't be creative.
A question and answer session (Q&A) is a great way to get comments from people on your Facebook page.
You can ask people to leave a comment directly and then you can reply to it right away.
You can do something similar on Twitter by announcing the question-and-answer session with a hashtag and answering questions there directly.
Alternatively, you could try Google Hangout. While this is much more time-consuming and doesn't necessarily generate a lot of direct engagement on the platform you're trying to improve, it can still help.
If you want to increase participation in your question-and-answer session, you could give away a prize among the people who commented and asked a question.
If you want to keep it simple, you can also have random question-and-answer sessions. This can be high as people scramble to take advantage of the situation.
You can do this by making a short-term plan or letting your target audience know that a question-and-answer session is imminent without giving an exact date or time.
This method can motivate people to visit your social media page regularly to see if there is a new round of Q&A because they missed the last one.
You can also ask people to contribute and ask you a question. Then you could answer these questions in a video.
This increases the engagement on your professional while you offer content that can be perceived as high quality.
You can also reuse your Q&A session after it has already taken place. For example, you could make a video of it if you haven't already.
Or you can use some quotes from the circle to create pictures with these words.
You could even list tweets on a blog post like Virgin did.
In general, however, you should always interact with people when they are looking for contact with you. Even if there is no big event.
If they post on your social media page, act quickly.
People expect companies to react quickly when they leave a comment on their page.
Polls show that some people are even more demanding than the graph above shows.
The best way to deal with comments is to act immediately.
The second diagram relates to complaints. If you notice a complaint on your profile, deal with it immediately before it gets out of hand.
This shows people that it makes sense to contact you through your social media profile and that they can expect a response and mutual give and take.
Over time, this creates goodwill between you and your fans / followers on social media.
Should you seek help?
If you think this is all too much for you, consider hiring a social media manager.
With such a person by your side, you can be sure that someone will take care of all of these things.
However, it is a good idea to try some activities yourself first. Then you know what works and what doesn't go down well.
You can also better judge what the manager is doing if you know how it's done.
Here's the bare truth - social media won't go away no matter what you think.
As a business owner, why would you want them to go away?
Used correctly, social media has the potential to dramatically change the way you acquire customers.
But you must not be foolish and under no circumstances be intrusive.
Social media can harm you, just as it can help you.
For the best results, you should understand all the nuances of social media.
Understand the importance of post frequency and length.
You should also know what types of posts are going down well on the different platforms.
It can even be said that what matters is which people look at your posts and what “mood” they are in.
If you put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, you can produce successful social media campaigns even when a new platform emerges.
Conquering social media isn't as difficult as it looks - you just have to know how to get involved.
What did you learn about improving social media engagement?
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