Social SOS: Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Engagement

It doesn’t take a social whiz to know that having the right social media strategy – and the tactics to back it up – is going to significantly make a difference to your engagement levels. Knowing which tactics to employ is the difficult part.

We’ve got some top tips on how you can get the most out of your social networks with a killer social strategy to get you there.

Facebook: Question time

Facebook engagement is a bit of a sore subject in the digital world; if you’ve seen a decline in Facebook engagement then you’re not alone. Organic Facebook reach has taken such a hit that some brands have decided to give up on the channel altogether. Popular food delivery service Eat24 went as far as to pen a breakup letter to Facebook because of the constant News Feed algorithm changes.

For Facebook fans to see your posts they need to be engaged with your page; but how can you do this?

According to KISSmetrics, “question” posts get 100 percent more comments. With the right question you can increase your chances of not just engagement on your posts but also attracting new fans to your page. Try adding in an attention-grabbing question to your next Facebook post and see if it makes a difference.

Image source: KISSmetrics

Twitter: How long should your tweet be?

If you question what the optimal length of a tweet should be then join the club. You’ve got 140 to play with but do you need to use them all? Research by Buddy Media has suggested that 100 characters is the ideal length with results showing a 17% higher engagement rate. This has been reiterated by Track Social who studied 100 popular brands on Twitter and also found that around 100 characters, or a “medium” length tweet, is ideal. Whilst scrolling through a News Feed, make sure your post catches the eye and makes someone stop and think if they’d like to share it or find out more. This infographic from Buffer shows the optimal length for social media updates, including tweets, demonstrated by some wild characters.

Infographic source: Buffer

Pinterest: A picture speaks a thousand words

There is an estimated 47.1 million users on Pinterest in the U.S. alone and it’s a huge opportunity for brand awareness and sales. The beauty of Pinterest is that you don’t have to create all the content that you pin but you do need a consistent and strategic method to your pinning escapades.

To make the most of the platform, pin shareable images to maximize your exposure by encouraging likes, comments, repins and new followers. Once you’ve got these new followers make sure they’ll visit a nice and neat page with organized boards; it should be easy on the eye and simple to browse. When creating your boards, have your customer’s interests and what they will be searching for in mind and use an image that people will want to pin and share to maximize your chances of further exposure.

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Image source: Hubspot Pinterest

Instagram: The power of hashtags

Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram back in 2012, Instagram has seen an impressive 300 million active users share photos on the platform with an average of 70 million photos posted every day. Whilst many of these may be selfies and #FoodPorn, there is also a huge opportunity for engagement as research has shown that interactions with brands is 400 per cent higher on Instagram compared to Facebook and Twitter.

To engage with this huge audience available to you, it’s important to consider the hashtag – the new king of engagement. By using relevant hashtags, your images and video can drive traffic to your Instagram profile which can include a link to your website to take that traffic further into your brand story. Encourage User Generated Content (UGC) by getting fans to share photos using your hashtag and re-post these on Twitter and Facebook to increase the campaign’s reach.

A huge budget isn’t needed with Instagram as Mission Bicycle, a small bicycle shop in San Francisco, has successfully shown.

Image source: Mission Bicycles Instagram

YouTube: Beyond the cat video

The power of online video is undeniable, it creates a personal connection that text can sometimes find hard to achieve. YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google and there’s much more to it than watching that one cat video which somehow lead onto watching another ten. It has 300 hours of video uploaded every minute and generates billions of views every day.

If you are going to create content, have a schedule and stick to it. Plan the frequency of when you are going to produce videos along with a time and day of the week. Simply uploading a video and hoping for the best won’t get you the results you need. Before you get to this stage, think about what your target audience is consuming on the channel.

Many people go to YouTube for entertainment and education; videos that people can learn from are the most effective to relate it back to your industry without selling a particular product. A video showing a product demonstration is answering a question people are actually searching for and is likely to encourage engagement as a result.

Google +: Not the ghost town you think it is!

A fairly new feature from Google is Collection which allows you to organize Google+ posts into “Collections” that relate to specific topics and interests. This development can give a boost to your content being discovered and increase audience engagement by aligning audiences around shared interests. Google+ may never have been top of your strategy list but it can affect Google search rankings and boost the organic reach of your website. If you’re producing regular blog content Google+ can also play a role in increasing your position in search rankings.

Similar to Pinterest, Google+ Collections filter posts into categories that users can choose to follow and add to. You’ll notice that the Collections are “mobile-friendly” to tie in with Google’s algorithm update of prioritizing mobile- friendly web pages.

Image source: Brit + Co’s Google+

Whatever the tactic you use, don’t get complacent with the same strategy. It’s important to test and adjust methods so you’re consistently meeting your audience’s needs and encouraging valuable engagement.

What tactics do you currently use and which ones would you like to try?

Ian Blair :BuildFire Co-Founder. I'm a digital marketer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I'm here to help businesses go mobile and build apps more efficiently than before.