It’s 2018 and you’re a skilled marketer, so you know you have to be on social media. But no matter how many helpful blogs and links you post on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you’re just not seeing the engagement numbers you had before. You’re not alone. SocialFlow discovered brands saw a 42% decline in Facebook organic reach within the first two quarters of 2016. Additionally, data showed by the third quarter of 2016, brands experienced a 52% decline (10 percentage point drop) on Facebook Pages. So you must be asking yourself, how on earth can you engage audiences on social media?
1. Make Facebook a Community Hub
Instead of just pushing your content and asking your audience to read it, instead, a good way to engage audiences on social media is to make your page a hub for conversation. Ask questions. Run polls. Most people are using social media to kill time so make sure the content you’re providing is entertaining and worth engaging with.
You should be able to answer the question, “why are people following my business page?” And the answer is unlikely to be because they love your brand. Instead, you should be giving something to your audiences. Think of social media in terms of 80/20. 80 percent of the time, you should be providing something interesting, entertaining or worth commenting on. 20 percent of the time you can ask your audience to do something for you.
People are selfish. They want the pages they follow to provide value. The more useful and entertaining content you can give your audiences, the more you’ll see people engage with your social pages.
2. Ditch Pages and Instead Create Groups
Maybe you’re seeing diminishing returns on your social pages because that just isn’t how people use Facebook anymore. Facebook groups bring together individuals who share a common interest. Instead of pushing your audience to like your page, instead, consider creating a group to entice your target customer. Inside the group, you should make sure you aren’t selling. Instead, post informative content and watch as people interact over a common cause.
A Facebook group, or perhaps a Reddit subreddit, can then become a community hub where lots of people are interacting around your industry. You can chime in to foster conversations, get industry insights, and hey maybe even sometimes tout your own solution. You’ll likely find audiences are much more willing to engage when social media returns to being a community.
3. Hold promotions
What better way to engage audiences on social media than with swag? Giveaways have been a staple of social media for years because they’re just great at getting people to engage. Everyone wants to win prizes.
We wrote about giveaways way back in 2014 but it still holds true. Giveaways and promotions can activate your audience, grow the number of people who follow you on social media and boost engagement. Be sure to have giveaway items that are relevant to your target audience, otherwise, you’ll be boosting your following with people who are unlikely to engage with your brand again.
4. Cross promote with influencers
You knew this was coming right? According to MuseFind, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a social media influencer over an ad or celebrity endorsement. But you shouldn’t just wait for influencers to post about you. Post about influencers! Feature their work and the work you two did together. People are likely to engage because they trust and appreciate the influencer, or even just because it’s something different than what you’re already doing.
5. Try Video
Facebook users alone watch 100 million hours of video every single day. And 82% of Twitter users watch video on that network. Something about video just works on social. If you’re finding people aren’t engaging with your content, or aren’t clicking your links, maybe keep it all native and see if a video can re-excite your audience. It doesn’t have to be long or overproduced, a simple slide share can get more views than it would if you we’re just snippeting and linking back to your blog.
6. Post standalone content just for social
It may seem counterintuitive to not have your social media link back to your website, but companies like Anytime Fitness have found this tactic (as one element in their very robust strategy) has helped grow their Facebook reach by 275%, going from 1 million to 40 million monthly reach.
Create images and other items only for social. Even better, dig into Facebook’s robust demographic data and target the fans you already know are likely to engage.
If you use any of these tips, let us know how they work! Good luck trying to engage audiences on social media.