The Rules of Engagement

Kirsty Winter Blog

The world of social media can be a scary place, full of burning questions for businesses vying for the top spot. How do I beat the Instagram algorithm? Why doesn’t my content ‘go viral’? What is an Instagram story?

Social platforms come and go but one thing that remains constant is engagement. Here’s our top six tips for maximising engagement with online communities.

1. Plan your posts

Like any campaign, the key to creating great social media content is structure. Gone are the days where we can get away with drafting a quick post as a box ticking exercise, so make it your resolution for 2019 to say goodbye to last-minute panic posting.

Our top tip is to print a page-per-month calendar and start pencilling in key dates for your business. These may include anniversaries, key dates, menu changes, product launches and seasonal occasions. Next up, do a quick online search for some awareness days that might fit with your brand, i.e. National Cake Day or World Gin Day, and use these to bring colour to your content. Aim to plan 2-3 posts per week – you could even schedule these in advance.

2. Make it visual

It’s no secret that images and video are the key to upping your engagement on social media. Still need some persuading? We’ll let the stats do the talking.

  • At least 80% of marketers are using visual content on social media
  • A Facebook post with an image is 2.3x more engaging than a post without an image
  • The average user stares at a video for 5x longer than a static post
  • 90% of customers say that videos influence their buying decisions

The best type of visual content very much depends on your business. For some, a quirky infographic could be just what you need to make sense of facts and figures. For others, product photography, behind the scenes videos or even a short video clip of a member of staff demonstrating a product or service could be the key to driving engagement. When it comes to social media, you don’t have to become a photographer or videographer overnight but you should aim to post only your very best content.

Need a little extra help with your photos? Check out this blog post for some top tips. 

3. Don’t be a robot

You’ve edited your photos, you’ve written your content, but you are sure you have forgotten something. What could it be? Oh yes – your personality! Yes, it’s important to be creating regular content, but pumping out generic, robotic posts by the dozen certainly isn’t the way to achieve that.

One thing we tend to forget is the ‘social’ element of social media. When creating your posts, try to strike up a conversation with your fans and followers. Ask them questions, start polls and encourage them to leave their thoughts in the comments. Most importantly, be sure to respond when they do!

Remember that social media is meant to be fun, and it’s ok to be light hearted and conversational – as long as you stay on brand.

4. Stand out from the crowd

Social media is a crowded market, with 60 million businesses all vying for their moment in the spotlight. How do you stand out? By being different!

Start by thinking about what makes your brand unique and establish a theme or tone of voice for your page. You might like to create a regular video series that will encourage followers to come back to your page time and time again.

5. Use your stats

Think stats are boring? Think again. Stats are the secret to social media success, and without them you are working based on trial and error. Get to know Facebook and Instagram’s Insights features, and use this to determine who is visiting your channel, when they are online, and the types of content they are interested in.

You never know – this might even spark inspiration for your content calendar! 

6. Prepare to Pay

With the rise of Facebook for business, it is hard to achieve the reach you want organically. On average 2-4% of your followers will see your Facebook post without sponsoring, as a result of the Facebook algorithm. The good news is that social media advertising is much cheaper than traditional advertising. Why not take a small amount of budget and experiment with your next campaign?

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