Social media is a powerful tool, allowing brands and creators to connect with relevant audiences, boost brand recognition and promote meaningful interaction. However, with billions of active users across several platforms, vying for user attention can be tricky. So, how do you create content that drives social media engagement? This article shares practical strategies to help you increase social media participation and build an engaged community of followers.
Know Your Followers
Half of the battle when looking to drive social media engagement, is simply knowing your target audience inside-out. Who are they? What do they care about? What makes them ‘tick’? The answer to each of these questions should play a crucial role in formulating your content strategy.
If you’re a marketer, chances are that you have heard of push-pull diffusion models. Essentially, this refers to the concept of brands either ‘pushing’ content out towards users, or, ‘pulling’ users towards content. Social media content should aim to do the latter. Just like a good dating profile, your social content should attract your target audience – appealing to their sense of humour, resonating with their core values, or simply offering them valuable nuggets of information that peaks their interest.
Next, you need to get inside your target follower’s head and understand what they want. Whilst you should probably already have an idea of your target audience’s interests and behaviours, research activities such as customer profiling and competitor analysis can be useful in further developing your understanding. It can also be helpful to look at influencers within your sector and to analyse their content – after all, influencers are effectively community-building experts. Take note of content formats, themes, tone of voice, personality and any other patterns that you observe.
In a world that is dominated with swathes of content from brands, creators and users alike, finding a way to stand out and retain user interest can often seem impossible.
Far from the curated Instagram feeds that dominated social media back in 2016, today, users are seeking fun, short and authentic content – so this should serve as a starting point for brands looking to up their content game.
Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t still a place for longer-form, educational content, but understanding relevant content placement is important. For example, industry insight PDFs, or in-depth articles have a natural home on platforms such as LinkedIn. However, short, punchy videos are better suited to platforms such as TikTok.
Whichever platform you base yourself on, great content creation comes from within. Be authentic, show your brand personality, and don’t forget to experiment with lots of different ideas. The very best content creators continually sample new formats, lengths and creative styles to understand what best resonates with their audience.
The Power of Consistency in Engagement
We’ve all experienced one of those relationships that start off as fireworks but quickly fizzle out. And as with all great relationships, the secret to great social engagement is consistency.
When you produce great content, users will often click onto your profile to look at your other content pieces. Consistently producing content will ensure that users stay on your profile, browse your content, and importantly, click follow!
For some platforms, such as TikTok, consistency may also directly impact your content reach.
‘Reel’ users with Interactive Experiences
Interactive experiences are an excellent – yet surprisingly underused – way to ramp up user engagement.
In an age where users take to social media to voice their thoughts, opinions and ideas, offering them a platform to ‘have their say’ can be the simplest way to generate meaningful engagement on your content.
Polls, quizzes, stickers and challenges aren’t simply fads; they’re useful tools and formats that can transform a user from a viewer into an active participant in your content. Sharing user opinions can also prove as a successful way to validate and evangelise users, whilst also incentivising others to get involved in open discussions.
Bring out the Influencers
Influencer marketing has indisputable power – with the global influencer market having more than tripled since 2019. What makes influencers so powerful for brands, is their ‘personal’ relationship with their following – acting as a trusted source of information for online users. When executed correctly, influencer marketing can help to develop real conversations around brands and their products / services, with followers often keen to ask questions about the brand product or service, or simply share their own experiences.
In addition to this, collab posts can also significantly increase brand content engagement, with content pieces receiving amplified reach across the brand’s following, as well as the influencer’s fanbase.
In short: the journey to great social media engagement is one of perpetual learning and adaptation; a realm where the imaginative flourish and where meaningful interactions can burgeon into a loyal, engaged following. So, as you forge forward in your journey, remember to be authentic, allow for creativity and experimentation and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of other experts and advocates to propel your forward.