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Top 5 Things to Drive Social Media Engagement

What are the best social media platforms to use for your business?  When should you post and what content?  The answers to these questions is not a one-size fits all solution but rather it depends upon your industry, budget, time and desired outcomes.  Of course, the more networks you’re involved with the more your engagement will increase.

In order to provide an overview, let’s start with identifying the top social media platforms.

What are the best social media platforms for businesses?

  • Facebook – is broadly used on mobile and desktop both at work and at home. It depends on the audience as far as who and how it’s used.
  • Twitter – this mobile platform is audience dependent, like Facebook. It is often treated like an Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks and so on.
  • Google+ – targets work professionals with the average users interacting in the early morning.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is for professionals and they tend to use it around work hours.
  • Pinterest – Is a social media platform (used mainly by women) to help people discover and save ideas
  • Instagram – this is a platform meant for mobile (used mainly by men) and that means users they tend to use the network all the time, any time.

Bottom line – More Networks = More Engagement

Now that you know the social media platforms, it’s important to set your strategy, determine who will post, the frequency and what to post.   There are different tools available to help with scheduling posts such as HootSuite and Sprout Social to name a few.  The paid versions may have more options but the free versions work fine.  It is a good idea to post organically and not rely completely on posting tools.  The internet is filled with examples of social media calendars and so you can set up your schedule this way to determine what you will post, etc.

After you have this established, keep in mind, these five tips will help drive engagement.  We found a list of great ideas from CoSchedule but focused on the top five for this blog!

Top 5 things to drive engagement:

  1. Boost engagement by creating and sharing social videos

Did you know that more than 100+ million hours are watched on social media – every day!

Facebook users alone watch 100 million hours of video daily and 82% of Twitter users watch video on that network!

  1. If you want to create a social video – here are some ideas – consider how-to, entertainment, behind-the-scenes, culture, recruiting, response, shout-out, event, promotional, demonstration, interview, and customer/client testimonials. You can determine the best one for your business.
  2. The best video length for Facebook engagement is about 1 minute and 30 seconds, and Twitter’s direct upload maximum length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds. If you want to save time, consider recording one video and share it across multiple networks, then also upload it to YouTube for additional exposure. Remember to use your hashtags!
  3. Facebook recommends that storytelling via video keeps your audience interested.
  4. You don’t need a professional video camera to produce a video. Your smartphone will work just fine or go all-in on a camera, microphone, stand, and lights. If you don’t have in-house expertise, this is something you can work with a video-specific agency or PR firm to help you professionally record and produce exceptional video content.
  5. There are lots of video editing tools out there – a few include Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, or CoSchedule: ScreenFlow. Add captions to make your message accessible for everyone, even if sound is off.
  6. Use your social media message text to get your followers excited to watch your video. Explain what’s in it for them to watch your video. Remember, emotion drives action.

 

  1. Tag your guest bloggers or people you’ve quoted in your social messages

People like to be recognized for doing something amazing.  So recognize people or companies that have made an impact on your business in the social messages you post.  Below are a few ways to engage fans, friends, and influencers with your social media posts:

  • Create a quote graphic with a tool like Canva or design your own with Photoshop. Tag the person you quoted—or the business they work for—in your social message. You can easily find their Twitter handle by searching their name, or search for their business page on Facebook.
  • If you reference other people’s amazing content when you publish your own blog posts, podcast episodes, and videos – give them credit. Thank them by tagging them in a social message with a link back to the content you’ve published then they can see how you’re acknowledging their work.
  • Consider accepting guest authors to write for your blog. Tag your guest bloggers in the social messages you schedule to promote their blog posts. They’ll get to experience the likes, shares, and comments on those social messages, which will make them feel awesome and reiterate that they made the right decision to write for your blog.
  • Consistently ask your audience for feedback on what to create next. For example, it’s easy to ask your audience for their advice on the next content you should create. When you do create that content, share it with the folks who gave you the great ideas by tagging them in social messages.

The point is, social media involves people. Tag your fans, friends, followers, and those who inspire you to build an engaged community.

  1. Curate and Share Others’ Valuable Content with Your Followers

Social media content curation is a great way to share the most valuable content in your industry with your followers.  Start by sharing relevant, quality info. on a specific topic for your target market.

Start your content curation process with the following steps:

  1. Define your objectives
  2. Find (discover your content sources and pick your topic)
  3. Curate
  4. Share

Remember:

  • It’s ok to share content – even if you didn’t create it. Just cite the source.
  • Content curation helps you to form connections by:
    • increasing your reach
    • connection with influencers
    • expanding your followers experience.
  • There are many different ways to curate, in what some have called your social media mix.
  • Best rule of thumb for marketers is 65% your own content; 25% curated and 10% syndicated.

To help you along the way, we found a few great social media content curation sites:

Beginner tools
Pocket – an app that you can use to accrue content – save and share later (this keeps all interesting images, articles and videos you send to yourself in once place for reference).  You can group articles ith tags and the site’s built in search functionality makes finding those articles easy.  Integrates with 500 other apps – including Evernote to have seamless integration
Feedly – free to $18/month
Twitter lists – if you create a pocket account you can save articles from Twitter directly into your account.
Newsletters – subscribe to those industry thought leaders
Redef – co-president of MySpace and social media pioneer – curates best in media, sports, fashion, music and technology.
– Quartz Daily Brief – text based – loads quickly on phones, tablets and desktops
– Internet Brunch – find the best GIFs, and trends from across the internet
– HubSpot –

Intermediates – great sources when you have the basics covered (resources like newsletters, social media, and read-it-later apps) – these are a little more comprehensive and if you are willing to pay a subscription, they have algorithmically generate news digests and content.
Scoop.it
– free to $67/month
Storify – Free and paid options
Sniply – $29-$299/month

More advanced – enterprise level curation software
Curata

PublishThis
A few more resources include:
Bundlepost
– The tool is more of a content management system (CMS) for social media content. You can aggregate posts from various RSS feeds, create your own social media post and save them for re-use (evergreen content), automatically hashtag your tweets at a click of a button, and automatically via @mention people in your content.

Then, at a click of a button, you can export the content in .csv format to upload to your favourite bulk-upload/schedule tool (PostBeyond has a bulk-upload feature, but the Bundlepost files need a bit of formatting before uploading).

BuzzSumo – is like a search engine for top performing social media content. You can enter any keyword (and some boolean), limit your search to certain types of content, language, or publication date, and it will spit out a list of top socially shared articles for your keyword search.

So not only do you get a good mix of articles, you get content that’s almost pre-proven in the social sphere.
ContentGems – finds relevant articles that have either been just published, or popular during the last 24 hours, and emails you a daily summary of tailored (sometimes hard to find) content right in your email inbox, first thing in the morning.

What’s even better is that you can set it up as an RSS feed, and then plug it into your Bundlepost CMS.

  1. Schedule Your Social Messages to Send at The Best Times to Increase Your Reach

For every network, there are certain times of the day when the users are most active. By scheduling your social media messages to post at the best times, you’re that much more likely to engage your followers.

Here’s an infographic with the high-level overview of the absolute best times to post on social media to help you increase your engagement:

How to find the best time to post on social media:

  • Analyze when your users are online
  • Choose a metric that tells you when you post and when users engage most
  • Be aware to time zones when analyzing
  • Create an action plan when to post exactly

Remember to check this monthly to make sure you always reach your audience.  Each business is different so you’ll need to take into account your specific community not just the agile word of social media.

Best Platforms and Days to Post

  1. Write Emotional Headlines to Increase Shares and Clickthroughs

Increase your social shares and traffic (not to mention SEO value) by writing emotional headlines—and subsequently using those headlines in your social shares.

There are three solid headline formulas that tend to perform well:

  1. How To {Do Something} That Will {Help You Experience Desired Result}
  2. {#} Ways To {Do Something} To {Produce Desired Result}
  3. What Is The Best {Topic} That Will {Do Something Desirable}?

Now, those formulas vary a lot, but the point is that how to, list, and question headlines tend to get the most engagement.

Headlines

 

 

Sources:
https://coschedule.com/blog/social-media-engagement-tactics/
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-is-evergreen-content-and-why-should-you-care/56811/
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-curation-tools
http://www.curata.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-content-curation/
https://blog.chartmogul.com/is-your-content-marketing-making-brand-withdrawals/