How to Increase Social Media Engagement Organically

It’s an important question – how can your brand increase social media engagement organically? After all, an engaged audience is THE thing that will help drive those all important sales and conversions, turning loyal fans into hard paying customers.

There’s no point having thousands of followers if hardly anyone is actually commenting, liking, sharing and – most importantly – clicking on your content and visiting your website. An engaged audience is one that will buy your stuff – which is what you want, right?

So, how do you actually increase social media engagement in an ever changing social landscape? How can you stay on top of the latest social trends and never ending algorithm updates?

Fortunately, there are lots of simple things you can do to drive up those engagement levels. Let’s take a look at some simple strategies that can help drive the interactions, engagements and leads your business deserves.

What is social media engagement?

Let’s quickly get clear on what engagement actually means – because it can be a source of confusion.

Social media engagement: a measure of how people are interacting with your content – including things such as likes, comments and shares.

Metrics that may fall under engagement include:

  • Likes
  • Comments and Replies
  • Shares and Retweets
  • Clicks
  • Mentions

One thing to note is that clicks are not always counted under engagement metrics. On Facebook, for example, you’ll notice that engagement and clicks are counted separately – but on Twitter they are bundled together. LinkedIn adds up clicks, likes, comments, shares and follows to provide an overall percentage engagement rate. In short, each social platform works slightly differently and counts engagements in a different way, so always be sure what you are looking at before comparing ‘like with like.’

Reach vs engagement – what’s more important?

People sometimes get mixed up over these two metrics, so let’s quickly look at how they differ. In short, reach or impressions is concerned with how many people view your posts, whereas engagement is about how people interact with it. 

High reach doesn’t mean that your engagement level is also high. You may have high reach with low engagement, meaning many people are seeing your posts but few are interacting with them. In the same way, you might have low reach with high engagement, meaning you have a small but high quality audience of people who are highly engaged with what you are posting about.

Generally speaking, we think it’s usually better to have a smaller but highly engaged audience than a large audience who aren’t engaged. Imagine a post that reaches 5,000 people but has little or no engagement. What does that tell you?

Of course, the ideal scenario is having a large, highly engaged audience – maximising your leads and sales opportunities in every sense. 

social media engagement

Why is social media engagement important?

Quite simply, it’s important because an engaged audience is a lot more likely to buy your stuff! It’s fair to assume that someone who is clicking and commenting on your posts is probably at least in some way interested in what you are offering – even if they haven’t yet made a purchase.

Another key point is that a high level of engagement signals to social media platforms that your content is interesting and relevant to your audience. This in turn means they tend to push your posts to more people, thereby also increasing your reach.

What’s more, an engaged audience sends a strong positive signal to people who may be coming across your brand or business for the first time. When they see other people interacting with and sharing your content, it sends the message that you’re a trustworthy brand – and one that’s worthy of their attention.

Don’t forget that engagement is also a two way street. Customers increasingly expect you to engage with them through social channels, too. This provides a great opportunity to build long lasting relationships and improve customer service. You can gain invaluable insights from this that you can then use to improve your marketing and offerings.

How to increase social media engagement organically

There’s no point posting loads of content and just hoping for the best! If you want to increase your social media engagement organically, there are many simple things you can do to boost your success.

1. Find out what content currently engages your audience

It sounds obvious, but the first thing you should probably do is look at what currently engages your audience – and then do more of that!

So, delve into your social analytics and look at your overall engagement levels. 

Consider the engagement levels of individual posts. Do certain posts drive more engagement than others? Perhaps you’re getting tons of engagement on LinkedIn but very few interactions from your Facebook posts – or vice versa?

As you start to analyse your content, you should be able to spot patterns and see the types of posts (and channels) that are getting the highest engagement. Look at post formats, topics, posting days/times, etc.

Once you know what’s currently working (and what isn’t), you can begin to develop a solid content strategy to drive engagement. If something works well, you’ll probably want to do more of it. Maybe one post did exceptionally well on Facebook but sank on Instagram? You’ll start to see what works and be able to adapt your content accordingly.

social media engagement

2. Create great content to increase engagement

Many brands create content as and when they feel like it, giving little thought to overall strategy or the quality of content they are posting. Use the tips below to increase social media engagement organically.

Post a variety of content

Nobody browses social media because they want to be sold to. While it’s fine to push your products, services and offers, be sure to find a balance.

Add variety to your content by incorporating a mix of promotions, news, insights, useful how-to guides, features, lighthearted pieces, etc. Further variety can be achieved by experimenting with different formats and utilising platform features like stories and reels.

Utilise visual content

Photos, videos, graphics, infographics and other forms of visual content are an excellent way to garner attention and increase engagement on social media. As an example, tweets with videos are said to attract 10x more engagements than tweets without video.

Don’t forget that your content has to remain relevant and engaging. For example, don’t just post a video because it is a video. You need to make sure the video is actually useful, has a purpose and is on brand. Saying that, rawer more on-the-fly content can work well for certain audiences, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Write attention-grabbing text and captions

Think carefully about the text/captions in your posts and make sure the tone of voice is in keeping with your brand. Are you aiming for friendly and playful, or direct and authoritative?

You don’t have long to grab someone’s attention on social media, so use proven tactics to capture their interest – like revealing a surprising statistic or starting the post by asking a question. Consider using emojis where appropriate.

Also, consider the audience and constraints of each platform you are using – e.g. short, snappy, attention-grabbing posts are great for Twitter, whereas long form content is the norm on LinkedIn.

Use relevant hashtags

Add relevant hashtags to your posts to help them reach new audiences. For the best results, aim for highly relevant and specific hashtags, rather than the ultra popular ones. These hashtags are less competitive – and the people using them are more likely to be engaged with the content.

Don’t forget to use different hashtags depending on the platform. You might limit hashtags to one or two on Facebook, whereas Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in the post caption.  

Social tagging

Tagging people in your posts is a great way to increase engagement. Raised some money for a charity? Sharing a case study about a business you recently worked with? Tag them in the post to help reach and engage with their audience, as well as your own.

3. Find the best times to post

One of the easiest ways to maximise organic engagement levels is to make sure you are posting when your audience is most active online. Lots of engagement within the first few hours of posting is important because social media algorithms will then push your posts to more of your audience.

So, what’s the best time to post on social media? 

Do a quick Google search for this question and you’ll find a huge range of answers – many of which are from research studies conducted by well-known social media thought leaders. 

The trouble with this? They don’t take into account your unique business and audience. The findings may be based on data taken from completely different markets – or even if it’s from the same industry, there might be something about your specific audience that means it’s not necessarily the right answer.

The trick is to find out when your audience is most active online and therefore most likely to engage.

Thankfully, social media analytics tools provide detailed insights into this:

4. Get really social

You know that person you meet at a party who then spends the whole evening talking about themselves? Not very attractive, is it?

Well, don’t make the same mistake when it comes to your social media. In order to be engaging, you need to listen to other people and – yes – get social and interact with them.

The basic advice here is to never ignore your audience and always engage with engagers. But social interaction should go far beyond simply reacting to community engagement. Be the one to start the conversation by asking a question or creating a poll – and don’t be afraid to encourage your followers to engage by explicitly asking them to leave a comment or share a photo.

You can also use social listening to find people who are talking about your company but not necessarily interacting with it, and then starting the conversation. 

Ultimately, it’s about being human and showing that you care about and understand your customers. As we touched on earlier, it’s a great opportunity to build relationships and also learn from your audience to improve your offering. Remember: it’s called social media for a reason!

5. Master the social algorithms

Algorithms are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up to speed with the latest updates and feature roll outs across all platforms you are active on. 

In the world of social media, these changes happen at a very fast pace as platforms continually try to push more relevant content and keep people engaged with their platform. What worked well a few months ago might not work so well any more, so be sure to continually adapt your strategy.

Finally… Keep tracking your metrics

You’ve figured out what drives engagement and you’re creating a steady stream of content that is gaining traction.

Now, keep tracking your metrics to stay on top of successes and failures. You’ll spot opportunities to boost your success further still and provide more of the content your audience loves. Keep up the great work!

Final thoughts

So, there you have it… lots of simple ways to increase social media engagement organically. 

Ultimately, success is about having a solid social media strategy. Consistently post relevant and engaging content – and focus on building those all important relationships. Mix it up, don’t be afraid to experiment, and keep tracking your results.

Need some help with your social media strategy? We’re ready and waiting to help. Contact our team today to find out how we can help you get the results you are looking for from social media.

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