Killer 2023 Social Media Engagement Strategies

Does your audience like you? Do they trust you? Even in today’s social media-centric society, lots of brands would still answer “I don’t know” to questions like these. While social media has transformed the way brands engage with people, many businesses aren’t focused enough on engagement.

If you don’t put effort into engaging your audience authentically and building a loyal following, you’ll fail. If you’re just producing more noise in this crowded and chaotic landscape you’ll barely be noticed. If you don’t tap into what your audience wants or needs, you’ll distance people.

What’s a marketer to do? First, you need to look at your social media engagement as a long-term commitment, not a fling. Too many companies post about a product and wait for the likes to roll in or tweet about an upcoming event and lament the lack of ticket sales. Social media engagement is a science and an art, driven by user behaviour, brand strategy and data, just to name a few.

When people are engaged with your brand on networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, it helps build loyalty, which leads to a better customer experience, which can then lead to them choosing or continuing to choose your product or service.

How to Increase Social Media Engagement

While there are many ways to increase engagement and grow your brand, we’ve narrowed it down to 5 to focus on for the next year and a bit.

  • Start Conversations

This is Social Media Engagement 101, but it’s often overlooked. Interact with people by posting questions, polls, quotes – whatever makes sense to your business. If you’re an HR consultant, ask your Facebook audience about a hiring challenge or have them share a funny interview story. If you’re a fitness trainer, share a sweaty pic of your workout on Instagram and ask your followers to caption it. Simply being human on social media is a great way to gain awareness and attention.

  • Don’t Be Strictly Business

If all you’re sharing on social media networks is 20% off, buy this now, hot deals, big sale…stop it. While promos for your business are essential, your audience will tune you out if you’re too pushy. You may have heard about the rule of thirds, which means about 1/3 of your posts are original branded content – a post with a link to your latest blog, or an industry-specific tip you think your audience will appreciate. 1/3 of your posts should be useful content from similar industries – not competitors! Finally, 1/3 can be good old promotional posts: a call to action to download a whitepaper from your site or contact you for a free consultation.

  • See Social Media as Customer Service

Whether you like it or not, social media is a customer service channel. People often use a business’ social media account to seek help. When someone asks a question or makes a complaint, he or she deserves a response. Other people are also watching how you react, and may decide to take their business elsewhere if they aren’t happy with how you handle things. Your best bet is to apologize for the problem and seek a solution, fast. If you can, ask the person to communicate with you directly via email or instant message so the whole world (in relation to your business) isn’t watching the back-and-forth exchange.

  • Hashtags Are #soimportant

Once most popular on Instagram and Twitter, hashtags can now be used across platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Research and brainstorm creative and relevant hashtags that people might search for. Got a restaurant? Tag delicious-looking meals with #foodporn and #sundaybrunch. Have an adventure company? Tag a whitewater rafting trip with #bucketlistadventure. Also, hashtag what people know (or what you want them to know) about your business. For example, KitKat used a brand hashtag with the tagline #mybreak for a contest, generating over 40 million Twitter impressions.

  • Use Video to Engage Your Audience

Video is shared more often than any other kind of content. 2018 stats show that on average Facebook gets 8 billion video views per day. This all translates into “there’s no getting away from video in your social media efforts.” Social platforms are focused on optimizing for video consumption, and the amount of video sharing is increasing daily.

Here are a couple of ways to get started:

  • Be concise. Nobody is going to watch you drone on for four minutes about your latest service.
  • Capture attention within the intro – people’s attention spans are shorter than ever.
  • Provide something useful to your audience, whether it’s marketing tips, dog tricks or a makeup tutorial.
  • If you don’t want to be on camera, consider shooting your product or service in action, or interviewing someone else.

Update: New Social Media Engagement Strategies for 2023-2024

Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to increase engagement by involving your audience in your brand’s story. By encouraging customers to create and share content featuring your products or services, you can build a sense of community and showcase real-life experiences. This not only provides valuable social proof but also diversifies your content. For instance, Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign invited customers to share photos of personalized Coke bottles on social media, generating massive engagement and brand exposure.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Encourage customers to create and share content using a unique branded hashtag.
    • Feature user-generated content on your social media channels and website, giving credit to the creator.
    • Run contests or giveaways to motivate your audience to participate and share their content.
    • Utilize tools like TINT or Yotpo to collect and manage UGC.
  • Time investment: Expect to invest 5-10 hours a month for at least 3-6 months to see meaningful results.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to have a strong understanding of your target audience, the ability to curate relevant content, and the skill to manage and moderate UGC.
  • ROI: UGC can lead to increased brand trust, higher engagement rates, and increased conversion rates, providing measurable value.

Personalize Content and Target Niche Audiences

Personalized content and targeting niche audiences are crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and increasing engagement. By understanding your audience’s unique needs and preferences, you can create content that resonates with them on a deeper level. This approach helps to establish strong connections and cultivate loyalty among your followers. Fashion brand ASOS effectively targets niche audiences through its social media channels, showcasing specific fashion styles and trends to appeal to various customer segments.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Conduct audience research to identify unique segments and their preferences.
    • Create tailored content for each segment, addressing their specific needs and interests.
    • Use social media advertising tools to target specific audience segments.
    • Monitor engagement and adjust your targeting strategy as needed.
  • Time investment: Plan to invest 8-12 hours a month for at least 4-6 months to develop and refine your targeting strategy.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies should possess skills in audience research, content creation, and social media advertising.
  • ROI: Personalized content can lead to higher engagement, stronger connections with your audience, and increased customer loyalty, ultimately driving sales and revenue.

Utilize Influencer Marketing Partnerships

Influencer marketing partnerships can help you expand your reach and connect with new audiences who trust their favorite influencers’ opinions. By collaborating with influencers whose values align with your brand, you can create authentic content that promotes your products or services in a more relatable manner. This strategy can lead to increased engagement and sales. For example, the watch company Daniel Wellington partners with influencers across various platforms, allowing them to promote their products to a wide range of followers.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Research and identify influencers in your niche with strong engagement rates.
    • Develop a mutually beneficial partnership, outlining goals, expectations, and compensation.
    • Provide influencers with creative freedom to produce authentic content that resonates with their audience.
    • Track the performance of influencer collaborations using tools like Klear or Upfluence.
  • Time investment: Expect to invest 10-15 hours a month for a minimum of 3-6 months to establish successful partnerships and monitor their performance.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to be skilled in influencer research, relationship management, and performance tracking.
  • ROI: Influencer partnerships can drive brand exposure, reach new audiences, and increase sales, offering measurable returns on investment.

Embrace Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content, such as Instagram Stories, offers a sense of urgency and exclusivity that can drive engagement. This type of content, which disappears after a short period, encourages viewers to take immediate action and participate in your brand’s story. Sharing behind-the-scenes footage, limited-time offers, or user-generated content can make your audience feel more connected to your brand. National Geographic effectively uses Instagram Stories to provide exclusive, behind-the-scenes content from their photographers, immersing their audience in the storytelling process.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Plan and create engaging, time-sensitive content for platforms like Instagram Stories or Snapchat.
    • Share exclusive offers, behind-the-scenes footage, or user-generated content to create a sense of urgency.
    • Use features like polls, stickers, and countdowns to encourage interaction.
    • Track the performance of your ephemeral content using native analytics tools.
  • Time investment: Plan to invest 6-8 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to create and analyze ephemeral content.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to be skilled in content creation, platform-specific features, and analytics.
  • ROI: Ephemeral content can drive engagement, foster a sense of community, and encourage immediate action from your audience, ultimately boosting sales.

Host Live Streaming Events and Q&A Sessions

Live streaming events and Q&A sessions create an interactive, real-time experience for your audience, fostering engagement and deepening connections. By inviting your followers to participate in these live events, you can create a sense of community and answer their questions directly. This approach can also showcase your brand’s personality and values. T-Mobile regularly hosts live concert streams on social media platforms, allowing their audience to experience exclusive events and engage with the brand.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Plan and schedule regular live events or Q&A sessions on platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
    • Promote upcoming live streams to your audience to encourage participation.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies should have strong communication skills, experience with live streaming platforms, and the ability to engage an audience in real-time.
  • ROI: Live streaming events can deepen connections with your audience, increase engagement, and provide valuable insights, leading to stronger customer loyalty and increased sales.Engage with viewers in real-time, answering questions and acknowledging theircomments. * Record live events and repurpose them for future content or promotional materials.
  • Time investment: Expect to invest 8-12 hours a month for at least 4-6 months to plan, execute, and analyze live events.

Implement Social Listening and Monitoring

Social listening and monitoring are essential for staying ahead of trending topics and joining relevant conversations. By tracking discussions related to your industry or brand, you can identify opportunities to engage with your audience and provide valuable insights. This proactive approach can help you build credibility and establish your brand as a thought leader. Starbucks effectively uses social listening to identify trending topics and customer feedback, which informs their social media content strategy and helps them engage with their audience.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Use social listening tools like Hootsuite or Mention to monitor conversations related to your brand and industry.
    • Engage with your audience by responding to questions, comments, or feedback.
    • Identify trending topics and create relevant content to join the conversation.
    • Use the insights gathered to inform your content strategy and improve your overall social media presence.
  • Time investment: Plan to invest 6-10 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to monitor, analyze, and act on social listening insights.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to be skilled in social listening, community management, and content strategy development.
  • ROI: Social listening can help you build credibility, establish thought leadership, and uncover valuable insights, leading to increased engagement and brand growth.

Maintain Consistent Branding and Visual Storytelling

Consistent branding and visual storytelling can create a cohesive and memorable brand experience across social media platforms. By maintaining a consistent look and feel in your content, you can strengthen your brand identity and make it more recognizable to your audience. This approach can help you stand out in a crowded social media landscape. The skincare brand Glossier has successfully built a strong visual identity on Instagram, using a consistent color palette and aesthetic that makes their content instantly recognizable.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Develop a clear and cohesive brand identity, including colors, typography, and imagery.
    • Ensure all social media content adheres to your brand guidelines.
    • Use visual storytelling to create memorable and shareable content.
    • Review and update your branding regularly to keep it fresh and relevant.
  • Time investment: Expect to invest 5-8 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to develop and maintain consistent branding.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies should possess skills in graphic design, branding, and visual storytelling.
  • ROI: Consistent branding can make your brand more recognizable, increase engagement, and improve overall brand perception, ultimately driving customer loyalty and sales.

Leverage Chatbots and Messenger Apps

Utilizing chatbots and messenger apps can enhance customer service and engagement by providing quick, personalized support. By automating responses to common inquiries or offering real-time assistance, you can improve the customer experience and demonstrate your commitment to addressing their needs. This approach can also free up your team to focus on more complex issues. Sephora, a cosmetics retailer, uses Facebook Messenger to offer personalized product recommendations and answer customer questions, improving their overall shopping experience.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Implement chatbot platforms like Chatfuel or ManyChat to automate customer service on social media.
    • Personalize chatbot responses to provide relevant and helpful information.
    • Use messenger apps to send targeted promotions or updates to subscribers.
    • Monitor and optimize chatbot performance to ensure a positive customer experience.
  • Time investment: Plan to invest 8-10 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to set up, monitor, and optimize chatbots and messenger apps.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to have experience with chatbot platforms, copywriting, and customer service.
  • ROI: Chatbots and messenger apps can improve customer service, increase engagement, and drive conversions, providing measurable returns on investment.

Track and Analyze Social Media Metrics

Tracking and analyzing social media metrics can help you optimize your content and identify opportunities for improvement. By regularly monitoring engagement, reach, and other key performance indicators (KPIs), you can make data-driven decisions to refine your social media strategy and better cater to your audience’s preferences. This ongoing process can lead to increased engagement and growth for your brand. Buffer, a social media management platform, consistently analyzes their social media performance and shares insights with their audience, helping them understand which content works best and how to improve their strategy.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Set up and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) for your social media channels.
    • Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, native platform insights, or third-party tools like Sprout Social to track performance.
    • Analyze data to identify content trends, audience preferences, and areas for improvement.
    • Adjust your social media strategy based on insights gathered to maximize engagement and reach.
  • Time investment: Expect to invest 6-8 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to consistently track, analyze, and optimize your social media efforts.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies should possess skills in data analysis, social media platform analytics, and strategic planning.
  • ROI: Tracking and analyzing social media metrics can help you refine your strategy, improve engagement, and increase conversions, providing measurable value to your business.

Experiment with Emerging Social Media Platforms and Features

Experimenting with emerging social media platforms and features, such as TikTok and Instagram Reels, can help you stay ahead of the curve and engage with new audiences. By embracing new trends and adapting your content to different formats, you can tap into new markets and keep your brand fresh and relevant. This approach can also showcase your brand’s adaptability and willingness to evolve with the times. Chipotle, a fast-food chain, has successfully harnessed the power of TikTok by creating viral challenges and engaging with popular trends, reaching a younger audience and driving significant engagement.

  • How you can do this for your business:
    • Stay updated on new social media platforms and features, such as TikTok and Instagram Reels.
    • Test different content formats and styles to identify what resonates with your audience.
    • Adapt your strategy to incorporate new trends, features, or platforms that align with your brand and target audience.
    • Analyze the performance of your experimental content to inform future strategy.
  • Time investment: Plan to invest 5-7 hours a month for at least 3-4 months to explore and experiment with new platforms and features.
  • Skills and training: Staff or agencies need to be adaptable, possess a strong understanding of emerging trends, and be skilled in content creation across various platforms.
  • ROI: Experimenting with new platforms and features can help you reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive engagement, ultimately leading to growth and increased sales.

Social media engagement isn’t rocket science, but it takes dedication and hard work. Even if you gain thousands of followers, you’re going to have to keep them engaged on a regular basis. By following these engagement strategies, focusing on your audience and learning from your results, you’re all set for social media success.

Have fun building your fan base and sharing your unique content! Need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me a question today.

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