15 Effective Ways to Increase Your Social Media Engagement Today (Updated August 2018)

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

With the growing number of internet users, the penetration of social media at a global level is also increasing. During 2017, 71% of internet users were using social networks and in the coming years, the percentage is expected to increase. Social media is one of the most popular online activities.

growing number of internet users - social media engagement

Source - Statista

Social media platforms have successfully managed to cater to every possible demography by developing user-friendly interfaces. They also act as an easy and effective way to get connected with your followers, offering business opportunities to brands. Through social platforms, companies can increase awareness about their brand among users.

Below are some of the statistics that justify the power and importance of social media platforms.

  1. In 2017, the advertising revenue generated through Facebook alone was 39.9 billion U.S. dollars.
  2. As of July 2017, more than 25 million businesses are using Instagram.
  3. There are high chances that 7 out of 10 Gen X-ers will buy your product if they are following your brand on social platforms.
  4. 59% of marketers agree that social ads are an important part of their marketing strategy.

Based on these stats, it’s clear that social media has become an important part of a brand’s marketing strategy. And brands can use social media to effectively increase their engagement rates with their audiences. But that is easier said than done.

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 71% of B2B companies aim to increase their engagement rate with their followers. Marketers often focus on developing content for social platforms, and use the same type of content for every social platform. This strategy does not ensure generating maximum engagement rate.

B2B companies aim to increase their engagement rate - social media engagement

Source - Content Marketing Institute

You may have produced highly useful and relevant content by putting in a lot of time and effort. But you could still have a very low engagement rate. Wondering why? It could be because your strategies for increasing your engagement rate weren’t effective enough.

This post will cover implementable and effective strategies that can increase a brand’s engagement rate significantly.

1. Create Surveys and Polls

Using surveys and polls to develop an engaging post on social media is very effective for engaging your audience. Social media polls are also a simple and quick method of collecting customer feedback. The data collected from surveys will greatly help you to improve your marketing plan in the future.

For example, Airbnb started a poll asking their followers about their preferred places for short holidays and escapes. Nearly 40% of their followers voted for mountain views. Data generated from this poll can be used by Airbnb to further engage their audience with customized posts.

Create Surveys and Polls - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

People are happy to be the part of polls and surveys. And with the help of surveys and polls, you can not only engage them, but also learn a lot about your followers. The better you know your followers, the better you can design posts which are easily relatable to them. This obviously will lead to a further increase in your engagement rate.

Similarly, Walmart likes to organize surveys and poll from time to time, and encourage their followers to participate in them. This poll was created around Star Wars, asking their followers to vote for their favorite Star Wars vehicle. Walmart received more than 600 votes and generated good engagement rate.

Walmart likes to organize surveys and poll - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

2. Interact with Followers on a Personal Level

The best thing you can do to really boost your engagement rate with your followers is to interact with them directly. Interacting with your customers will make them feel heard and realize their importance to your brand. This method also helps to generate a high engagement rate, as you are interacting with your followers on a personal level.

For example, McDonald’s personally replies to their followers’ tweets, which shows that they care about their customers. McDonald’s has really mastered the skill of generating engagement by interacting with their followers personally.

McDonald’s personally replies - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

The second image shows how McDonald’s not only replies to their followers personally, but also customizes the replies for each follower. One can often see these kinds of replies on their Twitter handle.

McDonald’s customizes the replies for each follower - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

3. Post More Visual Content

Posting your content in the form of visuals is always a successful way of increasing your brand’s engagement rate. You can pick from different types of visual formats such as images or infographic formats for repurposing your content. As many as 37% of marketers agree on visual posts being the most important form of content for promoting their businesses.

The best and most perfect combination of design and data is infographics. Infographics are liked and shared three times more on social media when compared with other formats of content. Among B2B companies, infographics are widely used and are a popular choice of content format. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 65% of B2B companies use infographics in their content strategy.

For example, Zomato, an app for discovering restaurants, created a funny and simple visual to ask their followers a question.

Zomato created a funny and simple visual to ask their followers a question - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

You can generate better engagement rates when you share complicated information in the form of infographics. This will also help you easily get the attention of your followers.

And it will help them gain a better understanding of the information. When creating infographics, make sure to pick only the most important points from your post. There are tools like Piktochart and Infogram which you can use to create attractive and appealing infographics.

Then, there are tools like Visme that allows you to tell powerful visual stories. You can not just create infographics, but presentations, reports, and other engaging visuals. The platform gives you access to hundreds of impressive templates and millions of icons, photos, and fonts.

4. Leverage Live Videos

The addition of live video streaming to social platforms is one of the most interesting developments in the world of technology. In 2015, Twitter released Periscope, a live video streaming app. Then Facebook introduced their own live streaming option, which allowed users to interact in real time.

Interesting fact – when compared to a pre-recorded video, people are spending 3 times longer watching live videos. Marketers can use live videos to make special announcements such as an introduction to a new product. Live videos are an excellent option for including people in your special events.

For example, during the launch of the 2016 Maxima, Nissan connected with their followers by live streaming the launch from New York.

Similarly, General Electric was the first auto brand to go live on Facebook while introducing their 2017 Chevy Bolt EV. The live video received nearly 59K views and more than 450 shares from the viewers.

2017 Chevy Bolt EV - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

Through live videos, you can also broadcast live events, as the time limit has been removed from social platforms. To promote their iced coffee products, Dunkin Donuts launched a campaign called “DD Summer Soundtrack” across eight different social platforms. The campaign consisted of five concerts, which were broadcasted live on these social platforms. The video below managed to receive more than 6K views.

DD Summer Soundtrack - social media engagement

Source - YouTube

5. Involve Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the most successful marketing tactics, and it is growing immensely popular. In 2017, 63% of companies decided to increase their budgets for influencer marketing. This is a clear indication that brands understand the significance of influencer marketing. It is an excellent instrument for both gaining and retaining customers.

Followers like to engage with influencers because their stories are authentic, original, and relatable. 72% of influencers agree that their honesty and sense of humor are the key reasons for achieving high engagement rates. By collaborating with influencers and asking them to share your content, you can widen the reach of your brand. This will effortlessly lead to boosting your engagement rate.

Which is why nearly 89% of companies prefer to execute an influencer marketing strategy that helps build an authentic story for their brands. The authenticity draws consumers towards the brand, thus increasing the engagement rate. But the challenge is you have to look for an influencer who is relevant to your brand.

You can also invite influencers to collaborate on content. This will enhance the quality of the content and improve its impact. 80% of the marketers use content developed by influencers on various other social media platforms. 51% of marketers agree that content developed by influencers is much more effective than content they developed themselves.

For example, Fiji collaborated with Danielle Bernstein, a fashion blogger from “We Wore What” to create “Bodyworewhat.” This influencer marketing campaign involved uploading workout videos with Bernstein. The objective of the campaign was to convey Fiji's commitment to keeping the body hydrated and to encourage people to feel as fit as Bernstein.

Fiji collaborated with Danielle Bernstein - social media engagement

Source - Instagram

6. Add a Call-To-Action (CTA) to Your Content

A strong CTA is one of the best practices in the world of digital marketing. The simple and most effective way to increase engagement with your audience is to end your post with a strong call-to-action. Make sure to never end your post without CTA and leave your audiences pondering what’s next. This strategy, when implemented correctly, can generate a high engagement rate.

Ensure that you include a clear and simple CTA, one that clearly conveys to your users what you want them to do next. Always use active words like buy, donate, register, or subscribe. Don’t forget to keep your CTA short and to the point. Also make sure the links you share will take people to a relevant product page or landing page.

Let take a look at this example from Facebook. When promoting her free webinar, Mari Smith included a “Click to Save your Seat” button on her Facebook page’s cover picture.

Mari Smith included a “Click to Save your Seat” button on her Facebook page’s cover picture - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

7. Relate Your Content to Current Events

Whenever you are creating a content, relating it to a current event is an excellent way to engage your audience. Whenever there are upcoming events like holidays, major sports events, major concerts, or movie releases, you can use them to your advantage. Create your content around that event to generate high engagement rates for your brand.

For example, women’s fashion brand Ivy & Leo, have organized a contest on the eve of Easter. As you can see in the post, they developed the contest post around Easter and used it to their advantage. To participate, users must tag a friend and guess the number of Easter eggs the tumbler can hold. The image in the post clearly conveys the prize the winner will receive.

women’s fashion brand Ivy & Leo - social media engagement

Source - Instagram

If there is something that’s the talk of the town, be a part of it and get some action for your brand. It doesn’t matter if you created the buzz or not. Zomato showcases an excellent example of how to use current events for your benefit. They created content based on popular events in order to promote their brand.

Zomato showcases an excellent example of how to use current events for your benefit - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

8. Respond to Customer Queries

If you are using social media just to talk about your brand, then you are not doing it correctly. Social media platforms should not be used only to promote your brand’s product or services. You should also use them as a platform for providing customer service.

Brands that properly execute their social media customer service experience a customer retention rate of 92%. Customers expect a quick response from the brand. According to a study by Jay Baer, 42% of customers expect brands to react to their queries within 60 minutes.

For example, JetBlue Airways have learned how to use social media as a customer service platform. Your followers and audiences take notice when you use social media as a place to provide customer service. This will encourage them to follow you and get engaged with your social media activities.

JetBlue Airways have learned how to use social media as a customer service platform - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

9. Use Relevant Hashtags to Gain Visibility

Hashtags are one of best ways to improve the visibility of your brand. You must do research and look for the most effective and relevant hashtags for your brand. This will ensure that you use the right hashtags and create an impact on your followers.

You need to ensure that your target audience can relate to your selected hashtags. In order to focus on relevant audiences, the hashtags need to be more specific. This will lead to higher engagement rates and better visibility.

Remember to use variations of hashtags. Also, don’t forget to include a generic hashtag next to a specific and unique hashtag. Stick to the hashtags which are working for your brand, and use a mix of those hashtags on social platforms.

Although a word of caution – when the hashtags are working for you, don’t go overboard. Usage of too many hashtags will not be good for your brand. Instead, it may damage your brand's reputation on social media.

For example, Walkers Crisps created a hashtag “#ChooseOrLose” for two of their flavors. Using the hashtag, the brand successfully managed to gather feedback from their customers and were able to create discussions around the brand. Their post on Twitter received nearly 2 million views, more than 250 retweets, and was liked by more than 600 followers.

Walkers Crisps created a hashtag “#ChooseOrLose” for two of their flavors - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

10. Organize Contests and Giveaways

Social media contests and giveaways are among the best possible ways to engage with your followers and audience. Also, this strategy can help raise awareness of your brand and build a community around your brand. What can be a better way of acknowledging the engagement with your audience other than offering giveaways and organizing contests?

Generally, when a brand is offering freebies or discounts, people are more excited to get involved with the brand. In a giveaway, you can offer promotional codes, free subscriptions, or discounted membership.

For example, a British clothing brand called FatFace announced a big sale on their Instagram account. Their fans have commented expressing their excitement to shop from FatFace. Additionally, these fans have tagged their friends and family in the post. This gives brands an opportunity to engage with their fans.

FatFace announced a big sale on their Instagram account - social media engagement

Source - Instagram

Did you know that organizing a contest can increase your follower base by 34%? When organizing a contest, it is important to consider a few things. First, decide on the rules of the contest and ensure that they are clearly defined. Second, set a realistic deadline by allowing sufficient time for promotions and for the audience to complete the expected tasks. Last but not least, pick a relevant and appealing prize for your followers.

One of the best examples of organizing contests is the superpower quiz conducted by AWeber, an email marketing tool. The post clearly describes the rules to the audiences, and it also mentions what prize the winners will get.

AWeber, an email marketing tool - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

11. Share Your Followers’ Content

If you notice a follower or customer talking about your brand or products in a positive manner on social media, don’t hesitate to share the post. Reposting your customer's post will ingrain trust within the minds of your followers.

Plus, people feel great about themselves when they discover that you have shared or re-tweeted their posts. Some of them may even take a screenshot of it and share the news within their social network. This means more exposure for your brand, leading to the generation of more engagement.

For example, Coca-Cola sometimes shares the their followers’ posts when they mention the brand in a positive way. The brand also shares the posts which were specifically hashtaged as “#ShareACoke.”

brand also shares the posts which were specifically hashtaged as ShareACoke - social media engagement

Source - Twitter

12. Use Social Media Management Tools

To manually run a social media marketing campaign is time-consuming and demanding. You have to put in a lot of time and effort to post and share your posts on various social platforms.

To generate maximum engagement rate, your social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter need to be active all the time. You will also need to track your engagement rate and monitor metrics likes comments, follows, or mentions.

How can you possibly manage all these things by yourself?

Fortunately, there are now various tools that can help you successfully manage all of your social media tasks. Some of them can also boost engagement rates on social media for your brand. Tools like Buffer, Canva, Sniply or IFTTT can help you efficiently and effectively manage your social media activities. Let’s take a closer look at Buffer and Canva.

Buffer is one of the best tools to build and track social media engagement. The best feature of the tools is that you can check the number of likes, retweets, or click-through your post is getting. With their automation feature, this tool allows you to post your content on various social platforms at the different times. You can also add gifs, images, and graphics to your posts.

Buffer is one of the best tools to build and track social media engagement

Source - Buffer

Canva is the tool that allows you to develop unique and exceptional content for each of your social networks. This user-friendly tool gives you the freedom to simply drag, drop, and modify graphics the way you like. With the help of this tool, you can create your own content and share the relevant content with your followers. The relevancy and originality of the content can boost the engagement rate for your brand.

Canva is the tool that allows you to develop unique and exceptional content - social media engagement

Source - Canva

13. Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions

To increase engagement rate, it is important for every brand to connect with their audiences on an emotional level. As a brand, think of strategies to appeal to the emotional side of your customers and followers. This can significantly boost your engagement rate.

During 2016, Facebook introduced a set of emotions – angry, love, wow, sad, and haha, which allowed the users to appropriately express themselves when they “like” a post. With this initiative of Facebook, marketers were able to engage with their followers in an entirely new and different way.

Through various emotions, marketers are encouraging their Facebook users to react to their brand's products in different ways. Because of this, it has become easier for marketers to get their followers or audiences to engage with their posts.

Levi’s wanted to know the feedback and reactions of their followers regarding their new style of jeans. Hence, they posted it on Facebook, explaining the best feature of their new pair of jeans.

Levi’s wanted to know the feedback and reactions of their followers regarding their new style - social media engagement

Source - Facebook

The reactions they received indicated that they were successfully able to connect with their followers and generate a good engagement rate. Overall, the post received more than 200K reactions. Out of which nearly 1.5K and 400 followers reacted with love and wow reactions.

14. Cross-Posting and Repurposing Content

Marketing content on social media can be a mammoth task. There’s a plethora of options to choose from - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Each platform has its own kind of following, content strategies and, needs. By cross-posting, you can increase your social media engagement across multiple platforms. Simply post on one platform and then share it across all the others.

The most obvious benefit of cross-posting is that it saves you time. All you need to do is come up with few posts that work for all platforms.

Another benefit is that it helps you keep your accounts active and ensures nobody misses out on anything. WIth the same message reaching more people, you’ll also benefit from an increased social media engagement.

Yet another thing you can do is repurpose your content for other platforms before cross-posting. Simply rework your content from one platform to work better on another.

For instance, you can create a how-to list for your blog or LinkedIn. Then you can repurpose it into an infographic that you can share on Pinterest or Facebook.

You can even update or republish your existing, more popular content. The idea, here, is to use the same idea and good content to reach different audiences across multiple mediums. Thereby, gaining more social media engagement from different users and on multiple platforms.

Nike and their Breaking2 campaign is a brilliant illustration of this point. It was an attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier. Eliud Kipchoge came the closest by running the fastest marathon ever at 2 hours, 25 seconds. The event generated hours worth of content that 13 million people streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Nike - social media engagement

Source - Nike

Nike went on to partner with National Geographic to make a feature-length documentary that earned 1.8 million views on YouTube. Alongside that, Nike produced various articles, podcasts, and videos to cover and promote the event. They even had comedian Kevin Hart make a spin-off documentary Breaking 26.2 to appeal to a secondary audience.

Nike YouTube - social media engagement

Source - YouTube

15. Leverage Storytelling

There’s a sea of content out there and brands are forever competing for the attention of audiences. What’s more, consumers are turning a deaf ear to typical brand promotional content. So how can you get your brand message across to your target audience?

Storytelling is the answer. It makes your everyday brand messages so much more bearable and appealing to the masses. Storytelling adds a human element to content which people find easier to connect with. Such content compels viewers to stick around until the end of it, and generates more engagement.

There are many ways you can go about it. You could use the Live video feature on Facebook or Instagram to share raw, unedited stories about your business. This could include sharing behind-the-scenes moments with your audience. You can also share the experiences of your employees working for you to make an emotional appeal.

Another way to go about it is share user or influencer-generated content and their stories about your brand. The content type can also vary from blog posts to videos. It’s all about experimenting with your content to find what works best for you.

Zappos, for example, leverages storytelling and video marketing beautifully. They share real-life experiences that their customers have had with their brand. The post below is about a husband who accidentally packed his wife’s jewelry in a Zappos return box and shipped it.

Zappos youtube - social media engagement

Source - YouTube

Upon realizing his mistake, he got in touch with the company to see if they could do something about it. The caring customer service representative had the box rerouted to himself. He flew down to where the couple was located and returned it to them personally.

What I love about their campaign is that it takes real stories which people will be able to connect to. Additionally, it showcases the brand’s commitment to delivering good customer service. The touch of humor makes the content more consumable, as well. It’s out-of-the-box thinking like this that helps drive social media engagement.

Final Thoughts

There are many effective ways through which you can encourage people to interact with your posts. The engagement rate for your brand depends on the extent of your creativity. The more creative you are, the higher the chances of generating a great engagement rate.

Also, never ever stick to one strategy, and always try to think differently. Explore various other creative ways to generate a better engagement rate.

If you have any innovative and effective ways of increasing social media engagement, feel free to share them in the comments. And if you implement one or all of the tactics mentioned above, then let us know the results of it.

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Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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