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Samara Bortz Creative Blog

How to improve your engagement on social media

Guests, Marketing

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I’m so thrilled to have a guest on the blog today – Kierstyn Lauren, a social media expert sharing about all things engagement-related!

Read the full post to learn how to improve your engagement on social media.

Kierstyn2-151-min.jpg
Meet Kierstyn!

How do you get an engaged audience on social media? It’s the question everyone hates to ask but wants to know the answer to.

Let’s start with the foundation – what is engagement on social media?

Engagement refers to the measurement of likes, comments and shares that your content receives on your various social media platforms. 

Oftentimes, we shift our focus to our number of followers because we assume that more followers equates to more business, more credibility and more “fame”. As a result of this, it can be easy to look for quick, easy fixes on how to grow your following instead of focusing on what matters. Having more followers is good but having an engaged audience is the ultimate goal. An engaged audience advocates for you, your business and your brand. An engaged audience brings in more followers because they are so passionate about who you are and what you stand for, they sell for you.

Social media platforms change every single day – they switch up the algorithm, they add new features and they change their minds on what factors are more important. So how do we improve our engagement in an ever changing digital landscape?

SHOW UP CONSISTENTLY

In order to improve your engagement on social media, you first need to be on social media. If you aren’t showing up online – posting in your feed or posting on your stories – people can’t engage with you. Now, before you stress yourself out trying to post on every single social media platform, it’s important to do a bit of research first. You want to make sure you’re showing up on the platforms your target audience is on otherwise you’re wasting your time. For example, if you’re a mom blogger, you’ll likely have more of your target audience on Instagram rather than Twitter. Regardless of which platforms you choose, you need to ensure you’re showing up on them, consistently.

A lot of people get caught up in trying to figure out what the best time to post on social media is and how often they should be posting. While this was important a few years back, things have changed. The algorithms on the various social media platforms have switched from one of chronological order to one of showcasing posts with good engagement first (another reason why we want to ensure we’re getting good engagement!) Here’s a breakdown of the lifespan of a post on each social media platform:

  • Facebook: 6 hours, but 75% of impressions happen in the first 2.5 hours
  • Instagram: 48 hours 
  • Twitter: 18 minutes
  • LinkedIn: 48 hours+
  • Source

On Facebook, you should be posting 1-2 times per day. On Instagram and LinkedIn, once a day is plenty. In the case of Twitter, the more the merrier.

Whichever platform you choose, make sure you are showing up consistently.

BE SEEN

People can’t buy from you if they can’t see you. 

People used to buy products and services but now they buy experiences and connections.

The whole purpose of social media is to build your brand and build relationships with the people that follow you. Part of building that relationship is actually letting the followers know who you are. Who is the person behind the brand?

Here are some ways you can ensure you get seen on social media:

  1. Show up on stories. Yes, show your face on stories. Take a photo or video and show your audience who you are. Most platforms (ie Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter) have story features now. Take advantage of them!
  2. Show up live. Is it nerve wracking? Absolutely. But this is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. Going live is like meeting up with your followers in person – they get to ask questions, get to know you more personally and honestly, just feel more connected to you.
  3. Show up on IGTV or on Youtube. Long-form video content is a great way for your audience to learn from you and get to know you better. Put out content of you talking about your business, your favourite things in your industry or even vlog for a day.

Disclaimer: Getting seen on social media is uncomfortable and scary. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably sweat a little every time (sorry not sorry!) Try your best to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Your audience demands it.

🔥 Hot Tip: Platforms like Instagram reward you for keeping people on the platform longer – hence why you often hear you should be using video content, swipe series and Reels. Keep this in mind if you want your content to be seen by more people. Let’s hope they push your content to the explore feed.

ADD *RELEVANT* HASHTAGS TO YOUR POSTS

Hashtags are an underrated tool when it comes to getting reach on your social media profiles. So underrated that people often skip them altogether.

Let’s go back to the basics – what is a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a number sign (#) used to group posts of similar topics together. When a hashtag is clicked on or searched, all posts tagged with that hashtag will show up.

Hashtags are important because they allow you to get your content in front of people who don’t currently follow you. While they are important, you need to ensure that you are choosing relevant hashtags for your industry or else you might find yourself attracting the wrong audience.

Here are some tips:

💡 Use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram and 1-2 hashtags on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook.

💡 Use a mix of popular hashtags and niche hashtags. You can determine if a hashtag is popular by the number of posts tagged with it on Instagram.

💡 Hashtags with your business name are fine but only if you’re using one or two. The majority of your hashtags should be things that your target audience are searching for daily.

USE QUESTION STICKERS IN YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES

Instagram included some really great features in their stories including poll stickers, quiz stickers, question stickers and music stickers. These are great tools to use because it encourages people to engage with your content – particularly your stories.

USE STRONG CALL TO ACTIONS

Call to actions are phrases that encourage your audience to act. Sometimes when we want our audience to do something, we simply need to ask them to do it. Here are some examples:

  • “DOUBLE TAP to show some love for this custom kitchen design.”
  • “My latest youtube video is now live – available through my link in bio!”
  • “Drop an 🏖️ below if you’re ready for some warmer weather.”
  • “Subscribe to my email list for exclusive perks + occasional funny-ish jokes!”

These CTAs can be included in your captions, your stories, your videos or in your blog posts.

PS – make sure to follow me on Instagram for more social media tips! 😉

ENGAGE BACK

Now that we’re showing up consistently and also making sure our audience knows who we are, you’re going to start to see the engagement coming in. When this happens, it’s easy to sit back and think to yourself, “wow it’s working.” The truth is, the work isn’t over. 

Once you start to notice your audience engaging, you need to engage back. Remember that a relationship is always a two-way street. There needs to be continuous back and forth dialogue between you and your audience. Let them know you care. Let them know you hear them. Make them feel valued. 

🔥 Hot Tip: It takes about 8 touch points with someone before you get that initial meeting with them. That means you need to interact with them or connect with them 8 times before they may even show interest in your product or service.

SHARE OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT

No one likes people that only talk about themselves all the time. Make sure you share other people’s content in your feed or on your stories. Not only does it show that you care about other people’s work but there’s also a good chance that you’ll be able to build a relationship with the person whose post you shared.

PARTNER WITH OTHER BLOGS, PUBLICATIONS + PODCASTS

Along the same lines of sharing other people’s content, partner with other blogs, publications or podcasts to create content for each other’s platform. Take this blog post for example – Samara reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in writing for her blog about social media since she knew it would be of benefit for you. In exchange, she offered to write a blog post for my blog about websites. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where we’re both able to take advantage of each other’s audience and reach more people than we would have if we hadn’t partnered at all.

🔥 Hot Tip: When it comes to finding blogs or podcasts you’d like to partner with, I highly recommend you choose ones in the same industry as you. If you’re going to attract people back to your website and social media platforms, you want to ensure you’re attracting your target audience. If you’ve attracted the right audience, they’ll be engaging with you in no time!

KEEP UP TO DATE ON THE CHANGES

As a creator, it’s your responsibility to keep up on the changes that happen with social media (and if you’re reading this, you’re doing a great job!) so you can continue to provide value to your audience in the best way possible. Social media platforms change all the time which is why it’s so important to ensure you’re doing whatever it takes to get your content in front of your target audience and encouraging them to act.

WHAT WE DON’T DO

Now that we’ve covered what you SHOULD be doing to increase your engagement on social media, I always like to cover what you SHOULDN’T be doing. Let me break it down for you:

  1. We don’t buy followers. Point blank, this just isn’t cool and it’s not helping anyone. Here’s the thing – your followers are not dumb. In fact they’re really quite smart. When they see you have 11k followers but your posts are only getting 100 likes, there’s a problem. While you think more followers equates to more credibility, you’re actually breaking the trust with your followers. Not to mention your bought followers are probably bots and they aren’t going to engage with your content anyways. What good does it do to have 11k followers that don’t actually care about your business? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have 500 engaged followers than 11k robots on the other end of the internet.
  2. Post and ghost. I feel like this one is important to talk about too but as a general rule, if you’re going to post on social media, don’t post and leave the platform. You’re providing content to your audience and encouraging them to act (with our strong CTAs remember?). If they’re going to act, they are generally expecting a response. Don’t make them feel ghosted.

There you have it – 9 things to do to improve your engagement on social media and 2 things not to do.

Engagement is so important when it comes to growing your brand on social media. To learn more about social media and how you can use it for your small business, come check me out on Instagram @kierstynlauren or visit my website.

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