The Ultimate 12 Tips For Increasing Social Media Engagement.
We all want to be better on social media. We want a bigger following, more engagement, an increase in website traffic. Ultimately, we want to become more popular with our target market and win more business as a result.
But how? Based on data, here are 12 simple yet incredibly effective tips that can be easily implemented to boost your engagement online:
1. Be where your people are
Remember that old adage quality over quantity? You don’t need a profile on every single social network, in fact without the time to keep them all active your brand will suffer.
So find out which platform(s) are most appropriate and relevant for your business – where your target audience are – and direct your efforts there.
2. Post the right amount
Nobody wants to spend hours doing something that has no effect. We want to get the most from what we do. Based on extensive research, here is the definitive rundown answering one of social media’s biggest questions: how often should I post?
- Twitter: 3 posts per day or more – More is usually better on Twitter, but be aware that engagement is shown to decrease slightly after the third tweet.
- Facebook: 2 posts per day at most – Two posts a day on Facebook is the level before likes and comments begin to drop off dramatically.
- Pinterest: 5 per day or more – Brands have seen rapid growth by posting multiple times a day on Pinterest.
- Google+: 3 per day at most – The most important thing with Google+ is to be consistent – companies have experienced drops in traffic of up to 50% when they post less often than normal.
- Instagram: 1.5 per day or more – Major brands post an average of 1.5 times a day on Instagram, but posting more than this is not shown to decrease engagement.
- LinkedIn: 1 post every weekday – Research shows that 20 posts per month allows you to reach 60% of your LinkedIn audience.
- Blog: 2 posts per week – Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 blog posts to 6-8 blog posts per month almost double their leads.
3. Post at the right time
By posting at an optimum time, you put yourself in the best position to engage people when they’re listening.
Research has revealed these are the best times to post on the major platforms:
- Facebook: Thursday and Friday at 9am-7pm (peaks at 1pm, 3pm) – 86% of posts happen on weekdays, but engagement falls 3.5% from Monday-Wednesday. Facebook’s happiness index also spikes by 10% on Friday, and posts at 1pm get the most shares, while updates at 3pm receive the most clicks.
- Twitter: Weekends and Wednesdays at 12pm, 5pm, 6pm – B2B companies receive 14% more engagement on weekdays, while B2C companies get 17% higher engagement and highest click-through-rate (CTR) on weekends and Wednesdays. Posts at 12pm and 6pm generate the highest CTR, while updates at 5pm generate the most retweets.
- LinkedIn: Weekdays during business hours – LinkedIn posts are shown to perform best between 7-8am and 5-6pm during the week, with most clicks and shares happening on Tuesday between 10-11am.
- Pinterest: Saturday at 8-11pm – Weekends are best for Pinterest, and activity is shown to peak at 9pm.
- Instagram: Monday, off-work hours – Instagram engagement is reasonably consistent throughout the week, with slight peaks in engagement on Mondays and a slight drop on Sundays.
- Google+: Wednesdays 9am-11am – Mornings on weekdays are best for sharing on Google+, but Wednesdays at 9am is when posts are shown to generate the most applause and engagement.
4. Follow the 4:1:1 rule
Now you know when and how often to post, you should have some guidelines around what to share. It is widely acknowledged that overtly selling on social media doesn’t work, and the 4:1:1 rule is a well-known system that helps you create a relationship with potential customers and connect with influencers.
For every six posts you make:
- Four should be pieces of content that are relevant to your audience. This means that 67% of the time you are sharing content that is not yours. Sharing other people’s content will help them notice you, and will show your target audience you are keen to help them, not just sell to them.
- One piece should be content that you have created (either your company or you personally). This content must still be original and educational, not sales-related.
- One piece can be sales-related. This could be a press release, a promotional offer, etcetera.
On top of this, you must communicate directly with users online and join discussions. This engagement-side of your social media strategy is critical to success.
5. Be human
Too many companies apply the same rules of traditional marketing to online and quickly treat social media as a broadcasting tool, don’t just do that, connect with real people, connect with real Instagram followers, put out engaging and relatable posts to peak people’s interests.
Businesses should take a step back and remember why brands joined social media in the first place:It’s about connecting with your target audience and providing the modern-day consumer with what they need: attention, advice, conversation.
Share great content, but do not expect engagement and growth without taking the time to interact yourself.
When you do, don’t come across as stiff and sales-y, inject some personality. Personality and charm is what you are great at offline, so apply the same tactics online in order to win the hearts of your audienceand their minds.
6. Use visuals
Images have been shown to increase engagement on social media time and time again. In today’s world, you need to capture people’s attention quickly, and images can help you do this.
Using high quality graphics online will also help add brand consistency and professionalism throughout your social channels. Here is why visuals are so important:
- As of mid-2014, photo posts on Facebook receive the most “likes”, far more than video or text updates.
- Adding a photo to a tweet has shown to boost retweets by up to 35%.
- Including at least one image in your blog post is found to dramatically increase its likelihood of being shared to Facebook and Twitter.
- Human brains process information in images far quicker than text and and we recall the information for far longer too.
Always make sure the images are relevant and appropriate, and follow these research-backed guidelines for the optimum size to use:
- Facebook: 1,200 x 628
- Twitter: 1,024 x 512
- LinkedIn: 800 x 800
- Google+: 800 x 1,200
- Pinterest: 735 x 1,102
- Instagram: 1,200 x 1,200
Do not underestimate Pinterest for property. Not only is the demographic of Pinterest the same as first-time buyers (the majority are women aged 25-34), home-related images are among the top posted and searched for.
Not only can you share quality pictures of your most attractive homes by setting up your own Pinterest account, you can install a “Pin It” button on your website to encourage people to share pictures of your properties for you.
7. Show gratitude
Someone shares your content? Thank them and see if you can return the favour. New follower? Say hi and thank you for choosing to connect. If you want to take this a step further (and have the time), quickly browse their profile and get in touch with a personalised message – a comment relating to something they shared, or a piece of content they may find useful.
Let people know you care and they are far more likely to take notice of you.
Contests are also a great way to drive engagement and give something back to your following. By offering a T-Shirt, gift card, or something relevant to your business in a clever manner (for example in exchange for sharing a post, or tweeting you with an answer to a question), you will see a spike in interaction. Giving away prizes can also help you collect contact details for marketing purposes later down the line.
8. Use clear CTAs
Increase your chances of getting what you want by telling people what to do and making it easy for them to do it.
Include a strong call-to-action (CTA) on images you share, blogs you write, and on your social media profiles.
Do you want people to read a blog you’ve written? Do you want people to follow you on social media after reading your post? Would you prefer them to share a piece of content with their friends? Tell people what you want so it is easy for them to take action – don’t leave them guessing and lose them forever.
Strong CTA’s make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
9. Utilise Hashtags
Using hashtags on social media immediately expands the reach of your message beyond your followers to anyone interested in that topic. But do not fall into the trap of filling your posts with multiple hashtags in an attempt to grasp the attention of everyone – it doesn’t work.
Research has revealed these as the hashtag rules:
- Use one or two relevant hashtags in your Tweets – Tweets with one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted and get two times more engagement than those without. Using more than two hashtags in a tweet decreases your engagement by 17%.
- Avoid hashtags on Facebook – Hashtags have little positive effect on Facebook, in fact it has been found that posts without a hashtag perform better than those with one.
- More is best on Instagram – Posts with 11 or more hashtags are shown to produce the highest interaction on Instagram.
- Check and edit on Google+ – When you post to Google+, your message is automatically given hashtags based on the content, but check and edit these to make sure they are relevant and add your own in too.
10. Connect with influencers
Influencers are social media users who have a large reach and a loyal engaged following.
By identifying relevant influencers in your industry and establishing a relationship with them, you can gain credibility, grow your following and drive traffic to your website when they mention you.
Here’s a post on influencer marketing specifically for estate agents if you want to know more.
11. Remember mobile
One-third of all web pages are now served to mobile phones and recent research shows that global mobile traffic grew 69% last year.
What does this mean for you?
Your website and blog must be optimised for mobile. This will improve your user experience and, now that Google penalises non-optimised sites, it can help you rank higher in mobile searches too.
Mobile should also be considered when you craft social media messages – posts must be concise. Nobody will read a paragraph-long Facebook update; the shorter the better.
12. Get smarter
The tips above are based on extensive research and representative data. But they aren’t carved in stone, you may experience slight variations based on personal factors.
Use social analytics tools to find out exactly what type of posts generate you the most engagement, what timings work best for you, and what causes a spike or drop in followers. When you begin to track your progress, you will start to understand exactly what type of activity works for you personally.
Once you know this, you can do more of what the right people like, and less of what they don’t. Remember to look at the type of people you are attracting to ensure your efforts online are helping you reach your preferred target market.
Implementing some of the simple tactics above will help you streamline your efforts and increase engagement online.
Have tips you think I’ve missed? Tried out the tactics above and have some feedback? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you.
Originally posted on Propertyflock. At Propertyflock we develop free tools for estate agents that help them share the right content, capture every lead, and track their performance on social media. Find out more at www.propertyflock.co.uk
Image by Jason Howie Flickr / CC BY 2.0