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9 Ways to Maximize Social Media Post Engagement

Cain & Company
March 12, 2019

Social media has captivated society. In a short time, it's changed how we connect one-on-one and universally, becoming an integral part of our communication. Try as we might, it’s hard to imagine life without it.

Platforms have gone through various updates and versions, but social media maintains the same goal: meeting the user’s needs. The same is true for social media marketing; it’s only as useful as your customer engagement.

The Importance of Social Media Interaction

With more brands joining in on the action, competition for consumer response is endless. New digital strategies like paid ads and videos add flair and interest, but with countless companies vying for attention, consumers have become distracted and selective when deciding which brands to follow and trust. 

Modern marketers must align their social strategies for more interaction. Since social media leads online communication, connecting with your audience across all channels is key. Consider the opportunities (and limitations) of each to build your social media performance.

Amplifying Your Social Media Engagement

Generally, higher social media engagement can support your brand in three areas:

  • Strengthen brand-client relationships
  • Build trust and customer loyalty
  • Improve your sales and recommendations

To help you improve your social engagement, it’s important to understand the methods behind developing smart social media habits. From setting goals to identifying your audience, amplifying your social media engagement increases brand value and results.

1) Get Out Your Toolbox

Creating social media posts is easier when you have the right assets. Whether it’s checking grammar or social monitoring, a full set of resourceful tools, apps, and plugins can simplify your process. Here are a few to help you get started:

  • HubSpot: Schedule posts, monitor mentions, and track your efforts.
  • Canva: Design visual posts from templates for all your platforms.
  • Pexels: Download free, high-quality stock photos to use in your posts.
  • Grammarly: Proof your copy and grammar with this browser extension.
  • Moz Fresh Web Explorer: Find brand mentions, competitors, and keywords.

2) Determine Your Audience

Deciding who you are directing your content toward will help you customize the message and tone of your social media posts. To select an audience, first get to know your customers. Identify your buyer personas to learn more about them and social media campaigns that will interest them.

When considering your ideal customers, keep these questions in mind:

  • What are their biggest problems?
  • What do they use social media for?
  • What commonly unites your customers?
  • Where do they get their news and trends?
  • Who do they follow on social media?

3) Map Your Goals

Post with purpose. Every time you publish, keep your core values in mind. What do you want to achieve through social posting? Take a look at these memorable ways to set social media goals:

80/20 Rule – When planning your content:

  • 80% of your posts should educate and entertain your audience.
  • 20% of your posts should promote your own brand or business.

10:4:1 Rule – For every 15 posts you create:

  • 10 posts should link to third-party content.
  • 4 posts can link to your company’s blog.
  • 1 post links to a landing page or sales offer.

SMART Goals – Develop your goals to be:

  • Specific: Select precise targets to focus on and improve.
  • Measurable: Metrics should be easily quantifiable.
  • Attainable: Pick realistic benchmarks and grow from there.
  • Relevant: Objectives should relate to your company or industry.
  • Time-bound: Deadlines set parameters and drive progress.

4) Understand Your Platforms

Connecting with your audience varies by social network. It’s your job to decide which ones are best for you. All social channels share common elements like text, images, and links, but even these serve different purposes for each network. 

Here are some examples of how to use each platform:

  • Facebook: Share image and video content to inform and engage. Avoid being pushy with promotion; the focus here is on content-driven activity.
  • Twitter: Keep text to a minimum and speak casually, but feel free to post several times a day. And don’t be shy with hashtags—they started on Twitter! #TweetTips
  • LinkedIn: Network and connect with industry professionals through your business, groups, events, and posts. Brands can also be more direct and promotional here.
  • Instagram: Get your camera and enhance your brand image, literally. Share bold pictures and videos with fun filters. Get creative with app features.
  • YouTube: Branded links and detailed descriptions play a big role in how your audience finds your content. Encourage subscribing to stay connected with your viewers.

5) Generate Links

Social media is a great way to guide your audience to your resources, like your website, blog, and promotions. But without a link, your audience never leaves the social platform.

To encourage more interaction, include links and manage them.

  • Check that your links lead to the right destinations.
  • Correct, remove, or redirect broken links.
  • Try original URLs or a link shortener for lengthy URLS.
  • Recheck links often to ensure they land on the right pages.

6) Create a Story

Authentic storytelling creates brand value on social media. You won't get far with generic offers like “big sale!” Are you interested in posts like that, or do you scroll past them? Your audience is human; they want to connect on a personal level.

Use appealing dialogue and brand messaging with character. Your social posts may be your consumers' first impression of your company, so exhibit some personality up front. Remarkable storytelling includes:

  • Speaking directly to your audience.
  • Being consistent across channels.
  • Relevant narratives and metaphors.
  • Connecting through sensory descriptions.

7) Apply Call to Action Links

A call to action (CTA) link directs your audience to the content they’re looking for. It can be straightforward or catchy, as long as it isn't too long and gets the point across. 

Including a branded CTA link assures your viewer they're landing on a trustworthy page, like your website or landing offer. According to Rebrandly, branded call to action links provide trust to your consumers, increasing click through rates for your posts by 39%.

For flawless CTA links, try these tips:

  • Use clear, simple language.
  • Keep it short but stand out.
  • Place CTAs at the end of your post.
  • Monitor CTA links for functionality.

8) Make Your Posts Pop

According to HubSpot, engagement is boosted by over 300% when both text and graphics are included in a post. Imagery captures attention and leads to better interaction. 

Not exactly a graphic design pro? No problem. There are tons of online template tools you can use to get started. When uploading images to social media, keep in mind:

  • Each platform has different guidelines for image dimensions.
  • Sizing standards change periodically so be sure to stay current.
  • Review up-to-date guides for the latest social media image dimensions.

9) Hash It Out

Hashtags help summarize and highlight your posts. You can follow popular topics or trends, join in on conversations, and be found by more viewers. Some platforms encourage going hashtag crazy, while others advise using them sparingly.

Including the right hashtags means your posts are more likely to be seen. This increases your chances for engagement where you otherwise may not have been found. Hashtags help you:

  • Build your brand
  • Increase interactivity
  • Discover new audiences
  • See what’s trending
  • Find your niche

Try several techniques and see what performs well for your brand. For a complete overview on creating hashtags for each platform, check out Hootsuite's guide How to Use Hashtags.

Ultimately, social media marketing exists to humanize your brand. The best ways to boost post engagement revolve around being consistent, telling a story, and interacting with your audience. Practice some of these strategies to see what works best for you and remember that social media is all about developing human connections. 

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