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There aren’t many things as frustrating as launching a social media strategy and finding out it’s not yielding the results you expected. Low social media engagement levels, in particular, can make you feel like you’ve failed big time!
I know how discouraging it can be to put so much effort into your campaigns and not see your desired outcome. That’s why, in this piece, I’ve compiled 10 tips to help increase your social media engagement metrics and get the most out of your strategy! I tried to include tips that’ll work for the majority (if not all!) of the most widely used social platforms: -Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Let’s get started!
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Before we dive into the tips themselves, I want to make a quick overview of what engagement actually is and the different metrics you can measure it with.
Social media engagement refers to all interactions with your social content, both from followers and casual visitors. In addition to likes, comments, and shares, engagement also includes reposts (what used to be “retweets”! I still can’t get used to it 😅), mentions, branded hashtags, and user-generated content, just to name a few examples.
The importance of engagement metrics lies in what they can tell you about your relationship with your audience. If your metrics are high, it means you’ve understood what your target expects from you in terms of content and communication —you’re giving the people what they want!
On the other hand, low engagement metrics can be a signal of something that isn’t working as it should be. It’s tempting to blame the algorithm for not showing your content to your followers, but in many cases, low engagement just means you need to change things up and figure out a new strategy that will delight your audience and encourage them to interact.
Now that you know exactly what we’re dealing with, let’s take a look at 10 techniques that are bound to boost your engagement metrics.
The first tip I’ll give you, and perhaps the most important one, is to post content that will make your followers want to interact with it.
I know that having to put out new, interesting, and appealing content constantly can become overwhelming really fast. Being creative is a tough job, after all! But the trick is to share content consistently, rather than constantly. This way, you can take the time to create high-quality, engaging content that delights your followers, even if you post only a few times per week.
For example, take a look at this LinkedIn post we made some time ago:
In addition to being informative and compelling, the bright colors and interesting aesthetics catch the attention of our followers right away as they scroll down. What’s more, a post like this can easily be repurposed into an Instagram photo carousel or an X thread! Get the most bang for your buck and recycle your content to increase social media engagement on all platforms 😉.
As you may know, over the past couple of years, social media platforms have prioritized visual content over text-based posts. In fact, some of them, like Instagram and Twitter, have gone as far as prioritizing video content over any other type of post!
This translates into posts with visual assets getting higher social media engagement metrics than their text-only counterparts because the algorithms actually show them on people’s feeds.
This doesn’t mean that you should only make posts with images and videos from now on, but try to incorporate them more and more on your socials!
A great way to do so if you don’t have the budget for video production or professional photoshoots is to turn your text-based content, like blog posts or case studies, into images (like our previous LinkedIn example!). That way, you won’t have to spend so much time and effort creating content from scratch and will be able to leverage the power of visual resources.
A great way to increase social media engagement metrics is for you to be the one to get the ball rolling.
Asking questions is my go-to strategy to do this because it works on all social platforms and gets that comment section going. Ideally, you should try to stick to questions related to your brand or industry. For example, if you own a clothing boutique, asking your followers about their favorite ice cream flavor won’t get them thinking about the solutions you offer!
In addition to asking questions, you can also run polls on your stories, or invert the roles and host Ask Me Anything sessions. The latter can be done on virtually any platform through stories, tweets, or comments, so don’t hesitate to host them wherever your audience is more active.
Think of your social media content as a conversation starter between you and your audience. By definition, any conversation requires at least two people, so don’t hesitate to reply to their comments and messages to increase engagement!
For example, the pet supply store Chewy excels at social media engagement, encouraging their audience to comment by always replying with a nice message:
There are many businesses out there that will post a photo or tweet something and leave it at that, completely overlooking the chance to interact with their targets. Try to avoid this mistake and monitor and reply to your followers’ comments and DMs to keep the conversation flow going.
I don’t think there’s a social media engagement strategy as widely used as hosting giveaways and contests. Even the smallest of small businesses know the power they harness —after all, who doesn’t love free stuff? I know I do!
With the right incentive, you can get a ton of new followers, likes, comments, and shares. To get started, you’ll need to determine what the prize will be (try to find something that is both desirable for your audience and doesn’t break the bank for you!) and ask people to follow your account and make a comment for an entry. To boost your reach, you can also tell them to tag a friend or share the giveaway on their stories to increase their chances of winning!
Bear in mind that once your contest or giveaway is done, many people will unfollow you if they don’t find your other content valuable. It’s important to keep your new followers interested regardless of if they don’t win, so don’t rely on giveaways to do all the heavy lifting and keep posting relevant and compelling content as well!
A great way to increase your social media engagement metrics is to motivate your followers to post content created by themselves, like photos, videos, or reviews, for a chance to be featured on your profile.
This type of content promotes interaction by being “rewarded” for their opinions and posts. What’s more, it helps spread positive word-of-mouth recommendations that help build your business’s reputation.
The easiest way to keep track of user-generated content is by creating a branded hashtag solely used for these posts. For example, take a look at this post by Lululemon:
Their hashtag #thesweatlife is used to group all UGC under one tag, making it easy to find and repost on their profile.
Hashtags are an awesome tool to expand your reach, get discovered by a wider audience and, in turn, increase your social media engagement. They help the algorithm determine what your content is about and show it to people who interact with similar posts.
In addition to the typical keyword-based ones for SEO and branded ones for UGC, you can also create unique hashtags that are meant to spark conversations with your audience and build a community.
If you’re both an X user and a music fan, you may be aware of #TimsTwitterListeningParty, a tradition hosted by Tim Burgess, where he teams up with band members to listen to one of their records together in real-time.
Tim and the musicians used to tweet (or post, rather… I can’t get used to the rebranding yet!) stories about the album’s creation and context. Nowadays, the listening party is hosted on Tim’s podcast, but people still interact with it by using the hashtag on X.
— dukes coffee company (@dukescoffeeco) November 28, 2023
As you can see, it’s an awesome way to promote music for new audiences and also get the podcast discovered by more people. A win-win situation for everyone!
Your engagement strategy won’t be complete unless you do some experiments to establish the best posting schedule for your business.
In general terms, posting frequently is pivotal for success. In fact, according to Adobe, you should post daily on all platforms, and multiple times per day on X and Facebook. Of course, unless you have a social media team working 24/7, this isn’t a sustainable approach.
That’s why you need to track your audience’s behavior on all platforms to determine when they’re the most active online and try out different posting days and times to determine when you get the highest social media engagement metrics.
Of course, it’s always best to prioritize your content’s quality over its quantity. So, avoid resorting to low-quality material just for the sake of posting daily! I assure you that your audience will prefer fewer, top-notch posts over daily, janky content.
No matter how serious or funny your brand identity is, being authentic is crucial to getting higher social media engagement.
People want to feel they’re interacting with another, real, human they can relate to, rather than a bot or simply a business. Funny content will always be highly shareable and engaging, but if humor doesn’t suit your brand voice, there are many other ways to show your human side.
For example, in addition to responding to comments and DMs, you can show behind-the-scenes content, make posts about you and your team members, host AMA sessions, post client testimonials, and tell stories about your business.
Whatever tactic you choose to keep your audience engaged and build trust, just remember to be honest and authentic!
The last tip, but certainly not the least, is keeping track of your social media engagement metrics.
Even if you craft the greatest social strategy ever, you’ll only know how it’s performing if you monitor your metrics and make any necessary tweaks and adjustments based on the results.
Most platforms have their proprietary analytics tool, so you can keep tabs on your performance without ever leaving the app. However, if you want more in-depth reviews and keep everything on a single page, many free and paid third-party tools will help you do just that.
In addition to helping you determine the best days and times to post, tracking your metrics will also tell you which content types delight your audience and which ones aren’t fan favorites. Keep experimenting until you find the perfect recipe!
Social media engagement may seem like an elusive creature, impossible to catch. But in reality, it’s easier than it looks –as long as you follow these tips and tricks to optimize your social strategy!
I know that adding another task on top of a never-ending to-do list feels like a major inconvenience, but I promise the results will be more than worth it. Your engagement metrics will thank you!
Now it’s time to go and answer some comments, brainstorm giveaway ideas, and come up with a branded hashtag that your audience can use to interact with your brand. I’m sure you’ll do great!