5 Tactics for Better Engagement on Social Media

July 16, 2020
Scott Berty

Creating a social media presence is just one part of the battle that is social media marketing. The other half is sustaining or improving engagement. Maintaining a high level of engagement on social media is the main ingredient keeping the algorithms on your side.

But unlike a viral photo, meme sensation or some other gimmick that can die as quickly as it’s born, engaging social media content requires a solid strategy to succeed.

Creating a social media strategy is a challenge for most companies, and just the thought of creating one could leave the average business owner dizzy. Fortunately, there are proven methods that work for social strategies, which we will discuss below.

1. Create More Original Content (Especially Visuals)

A great deal of social media content out there is just a rehash of existing posts. We’re not at all criticizing curated content, but in the words of the great Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” That’s why the creation of original content should be your first line of business, not simply rehashing what every other brand has done.

The benefits of creating original social media content are no different than creating content for a blog or video channel:

  • Better for engagement
  • Proves to your audience that you understand them (their goals, their fears, etc)
  • Positions you as an industry leader or authoritative figure
  • Produces higher levels of trust and engagement than paid ads

With that said, you might say you don’t know what type of original content to create, hence why you’d rather just reshare some existing posts. But there are several formats that don’t take much effort or time to make.

Visual Content

Visuals have become the preferred content format. For example, results from a Wishpond study reveal that the average Facebook post featuring an image gets 120% more engagement than those without images.

This could include high-res photos, memes, GIFs, and even data visualizations. With tools such as Piktochart, Canva, and more robust software like the Adobe Creative Cloud (or even a good old-fashioned camera), you can snap and create images with little effort.

Don’t neglect videos either. By 2021, it’s estimated that videos will comprise 80% of the web’s traffic, making this content format a non-optional consideration for all brands in the very near future. In terms of engagement, video content is a powerhouse at attracting and keeping eyeballs glued to the screen.

The key to creating successful content is to understand how your audience interacts with your current posts, as well as what your competitors and the web offer in general. With Trufan, our platform allows you to download custom audience or competitor data to inform your content creation decisions. You can use the platform to examine engagement on social channels such as Instagram and YouTube to see what images and videos your audience is interacting with.  Additionally, thanks to our sentiment analysis capabilities, you can see what audiences have to say about specific posts, giving you insight on what formats earn the most traction.

2. Feature Fans & Customers

Here’s a basic tenet that marketers often forget - when you make others look and feel good, those individuals will return the favour. That’s why brand advocacy and user-generated content (UGC) is so powerful. Here’s how it works:

By featuring fans and customers in your social posts, you give them a prompt to create their own content. That may involve uploading a photo or video of themselves with your product, or answering a question along with the use of a branded hashtag. Are you even interacting with the  users posting with your feature hashtags?

You would reciprocate by resharing, mentioning and/or promoting their post. User-generated posts are highly impactful, leading to, on average, a 28% increase in engagement. Studies have also found that 84% of Millennials find UGC influences what they buy.

Here is where user-generated content really shines. When your fans and customers upload their own content with your products, they’re essentially providing you with free promotion that no ad can rival. The fact that they’re going out of their way to create content that features your brand is already a sign of their loyalty. This is important because 86% of millennials say that user-generated content is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service. Ultimately, when you allow user-generated content, you’re allowing your fans to advertise for you - it’s the ultimate social proof.  

To best capitalize on brand advocacy opportunities, you need to track how your current audience engages with your content and posting. With the Trufan platform, you can discover who your most engaged fans are and prompt them to get involved with campaigns that will incorporate user-generated content.

To best capitalize on brand advocacy opportunities, you need to track how your current audience engages with your content and posting. With the Trufan platform, you can discover who your most engaged fans are and prompt them to get involved with campaigns that will incorporate user-generated content.

3. Promote Attractive Offers

Even in this new age of digital tech, sometimes the old-school methods work best. That’s why promoting an attractive offer will always win over members of your audience, providing it’s the right offer. After all, who doesn’t like a gift?

Typical promotions that brands offer include:

  • Discounts (i.e. promo code coupons for online or in store purchases)
  • Free swag (i.e.selecting fans for free product or promo codes)
  • Cashback incentives (i.e. $ credit or % off after certain spend)
  • Free shipping (i.e. spend x amount for free shipping)

These are great incentives for brands offering products in the retail space and beyond. They’ve also become fairly standardized in one way or another. So without the use of strategy, your conversion of your promotional efforts may decline overtime. The use of  these tactics, combined with a unique spin or personalized touch will likely garner a positive response from your audience.

With that said, not all offers will resonate with your audience. Additionally, some offers will perform better than others on different platforms, so it’s vital that you tailor your promotions accordingly. For example, Facebook encourages users to offer at least 20% discounts or freebies to reach more people, and the offer should last at least seven days.

To find the right offer, you will likely have to conduct A/B testing to see which ones perform best. Of course, a good way to give yourself a headstart in terms of finding the best offer is to better identify which members of your audience would be more likely to respond to your promotion. Beyond that, test details as simple as messaging, creative or varying exclusivity and track the results. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction or share certain tactics that are working for our clients.

You’ll likely have a few (if not, several) competitors in your space, offering similar products or services to you. Pay close attention to what they are doing and identify opportunities for differentiation. Data and our team at Trufan can always help with that so you improve upon what your competitors are doing.

4. Create Personalized Experiences

You’ll be hard-pressed to visit marketing blogs these days without seeing a few articles mentioning something about personalization. Sometimes referred to as one-to-one marketing, personalization focuses on creating experiences that are tailored to the needs of an individual customer.

Privacy concerns come up when it comes to how far personalization goes, especially in the GDPR and CCPA era. But that hasn’t stopped the masses from demanding more personalized experiences. Just check out the numbers:

  • Over 78% of consumers will only engage with offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand.
  • 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
  • 87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand.
  • 63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly.
  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

These stats make one thing clear: personalization is the present and the future of marketing communications as we know it. This rings true no matter what form it appears as, whether it’s a personalized video, an app or even 1-to-1 messaging.

If you decide to incorporate personalized experiences into your social media strategy, you’ll need to collect some key data on your customers and fans. This goes beyond basic demographic data. Fortunately, Trufan allows you to analyze social interactions and the sentiment behind these interactions. Create some original content around a highly exclusive experience to capture new fans attention and amplify the ROI of your rewards or community engagement initiatives. Check out this video we did with the Toronto Raptors 3 days before Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Use technology like Trufan to send personalized messages to convert your top fans into paying customers or build loyalty amongst the top 20%.

5. Cross-Promotion via Blogger Outreach

This last tactic is a two-pronged approach involving two strategies - blogger outreach and cross-promotion. Blogger outreach is simply the act of reaching out to bloggers in one’s community or industry so a blogger promotes a complementary product or service. For example, a gluten-free protein bar maker would target a gluten-free wellness blog. The product creator would ideally seek a blogger with a considerable audience, as that would mean more exposure.

Cross-promotion is the act of promoting a piece of content, news or product launch across multiple social platforms, with different messages to suit each platform. This differs from cross-posting where the same post is shared across multiple platforms.

How can they work together? Let’s go back to our gluten-free protein bar example. The maker of these bars can pitch a guest post to the owner of a gluten-free blog that receives hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. If the blogger accepts, the post will go up on the site and the blogger will link back to the protein bar brand’s website.

Afterwards, the brand owners would then promote this piece via different social networks. For each social network, there would be a custom-tailored post. For example, an Instagram post would be highly visual featuring the product with a quotable caption about the bar. On Twitter, however, the protein bar maker could post a series of witty tweets related to their guest blog article.

The keys to a successful cross-promotion and blogger outreach campaign are:

1. Knowing what earns high levels of engagement on each social channel (cross-promotion)

2. Identifying highly influential people with like-minded audiences who will be receptive to your product, service or content (blogger outreach).

Trufan’s algorithms and search parameters can track what type of content performs best on social so that you can tailor your blog promotion to fit each platform. Conversely, when identifying bloggers, the platform can pinpoint the bloggers (and influencers) who best align strategically with your product. This will help you choose an outlet that will be more likely to accept and promote your product.

Engagement: The Ultimate Goal in a Successful Social Media Strategy

Like most forms of digital marketing and advertising, success in social media is not a sprint, but a marathon. That’s why tactics for building long-term relationships and engagement belong in every social media marketing strategy. These five listed above have been used by many brands, influencers and publishers to build loyal fanbases.

To learn more about Trufan, book a demo today!