Are you getting lots of interaction and engagement from your audience? Are they loving your content enough to share, like and comment on the things you post?

No? Well, listen up my friends, because we’re going to hook you up with some easy-to-do engagement strategies to help you increase the activity your audience has with your content.

If you’re a small business, you face numerous obstacles already with expanding your reach and gaining loyalty with limited advertising dollars and resources. Once you have reached your audience, the next task is ensuring that they become engaged with your brand so they stick around and become loyal customers.

That’s the big question of the day…how can we better encourage our audience to engage with our content as much or even better than our competitors do?

When you read through these, most of them will probably seem too obvious not to already know, but you would be surprised at how little we see many of these engagement strategies in our own clients’ social networks prior to taking their accounts over. Are you guilty of this too?

Got your pen and paper ready? Here we go!

 

Find out what your audience is talking about

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While you may be posting content that you think is informative and even entertaining, are you absolutely sure that your audience finds it interesting? Are they actively talking about it on your social network and is it a topic that is trending among your competitors audience?

How the heck do I know that?

There are a few tools available that can help you monitor content related to any topic and one of my favorite is Google Alerts. To setup an alert you simply enter in the term you are looking for, such as “photography business” and below that an instant preview will generate to show what the latest news is. If you click on the “Create Alert” button that will set your alert up for you and email you when that alert happens.

Google Alert

Another tool I use often is a site called SocialMention. If you’ve been a reader here on the Blue Cricket Media blog, you’ve probably already seen me mention it as a way to come up with new content, but it’s also a way to monitor what’s happening in your industry which typically is an indication of what the hot topics are right now. Look at the example below for the topic of “home interior” and the first several results give me a great indication of what is trending right now, so it would be a great idea to develop some content around that to see if it would get people talking.

Social Mention

 

Ask for their feedback

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When was the last time, you truly felt that your opinion mattered to a company? It doesn’t happen often. Businesses grow and start to become more business-like in the eyes of customers and lose that personal touch that people want so badly. People want to matter to other people and everyone seems to love having their voice be heard on a variety of subjects.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you ask for their feedback of your next big business acquisition. It doesn’t even have to be serious. It could be as simple as posting a picture of a t-shirt with a cool logo and design on it and asking for their opinion on the design because you’re going to be giving one away. It could also be asking for color suggestions for a newly released product, after all, if you make it in a color they ask for, they may be more inclined to purchase as well.

Feedback Post

All that matters is that you asked for their feedback.

 

Don’t be afraid to be funny or inspirational with memes

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You can’t go more than a few scrolling motions down an average Facebook feed before you start seeing all the funny, inspiration or controversial image memes that people love to post. Take advantage of the meme crazy and make some of your own.

You can find plenty of quotes to use on images from sites like Brainy QuoteQuote Garden, or Quote Land. Pair it with a great free image from one of our favorite free stock photo sites such as Unsplash or Kaboom Pics and you will be in meme heaven.

Meme Quote

Before you toss this idea in the trash, I dare you to go spend some time scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram feeds. These are wildly popular and are shared and commented on like crazy.

 

Ask for a recommendation of a product

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As a social media export, I network with a lot of other social media professionals. You wouldn’t believe the number of tools we have in our arsenal from project management software to post scheduling software. When I need a recommendation for a product I have certain groups I can go to and ask my question and get instant product reviews.

Even though I’m asking other professionals about a product to help me in my business and I may not feel I can go to my audience with those questions, there are other categories of products that I use personally, that my audience could most definitely help with.

Take advantage of opportunities presented to you that could involve your audience.

Need to buy flowers? Ask your audience who they buy their flowers from that deliver on time and for a great price.

Looking for a place to get business cards printed up? Ask you audience who does the best printing.

Going on a date night and want a recommendation for a good movie that’s out? Trust me; your audience will be happy to share their own personal review of all the currently playing movies.

 

Appreciate your fans

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Your fans and followers support your business by staying tuned in to what you have to say. Many times, even those who may not have become customers yet, help you in your journey to building a successful business.  Don’t let them forget how much you appreciate them and let them know that you wouldn’t be where you are without them. GoldieBlox, one of my all time favorite brands to follow on social media has a positive message for girls and they never let you forget how much they appreciate you.

GoldieBlox

The next time you are looking for a way to show your audience you appreciate them or you just want to engage them for a day, give them all a big shout out!

 

Invite them to play along

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Everyone loves to show off their latest photograph, especially if it’s full of cuteness right? You know…kids, pets, etc. This is the perfect opportunity for you to invite your audience to join in on the photo fun. Ask your audience to share a photo of their favorite pet, their child learning to ride a bike or like The Magic Brush did this past week when they asked their audience to share their favorite 4th of July pic. Awesome way to engage your audience!

Play Along

 

Survey or poll your audience

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This is a favorite technique on Facebook and you’ve probably seen it more than once. There are several ways to get your audience to vote on something from simply checking a box for the option you choose or doing the popular “like” for this option, “share” for this option and comment to tell us why.

Walmart like or share to vote

 

You could even simply pose a “this one” or “that one” comment discussion. The point is to get them talking!

This one or that one

 

 

Host a social media contest

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There’s nothing like a contest to get people excited! People love to win things and doing something as simple as posting an image with the contest details is all it takes to get one going. Check out Decor Steals for a great contest setup. They do a daily contest to give away one prodcut and it is incredibly popular.Decor Steals

 

 

If you go the route of a contest, just be sure to follow the guidelines for the social network you are using. For Facebook you can find their guidelines here. The big one to always remember is that you cannot require anyone to share or tag their friends for an entry. They can do so out of excitement and the wish to share with their friends, but it can’t be required to enter the contest.

Want more ideas for social contests? Check these out.

Let them give their input with fill in the blank posts

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I’m addicted to “fill in the blank” style posts on Facebook. I simply cannot pass them up and I have to confess, many times I will comment several fill in the blank answers. While it may seem like a strange habit to have, it’s great news for business owners who want to increase engagement on their social media networks.

They are a fantastic way to boost engagement and can be centered around your business, holidays or just a random idea you have.

Take these for example:

  • If I could only use one word to describe
    [your company name], it would be ________.
  • My favorite product from [your company name] is ________.
  • At the end of the day, you can usually find me __________.
  • This year for Christmas, what I really want to find under my tree is _______.

Fill in the blank

You get the idea right? Get creative and have fun with these types of posts and your audience will too!

 

Ask for help for a fan

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Our fans are awesome and when one of them has a problem that they need feedback on, we are happy to help. Most likely you probably have fans who need your help as well…or the help of your audience.

The next time you see one of your fans needing help with a problem, or if they message you directly to ask for your help, don’t forget to pose the question or issue to your community. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to help others out and if you’ve built a strong community around your brand, they will rush to try and find the answers for a fan of your brand.

 

Make your posts visually appealing

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Being visual with your posts is even more critical than ever to encourage engagement and get the attention of your audience. In the world of social media, image based posts see an increase of 37% engagement over a text based post. Color and layout is important and of course the content of the image as well.

Visual

This post from Interior Design Ideas is simply gorgeous. The colors are bright, the layout is quite pleasing and as you can see from their number of likes and shares, it has visual appeal!

Visual Interest

If you need some ideas for image posts, be sure to check out our tips to getting more engagement with images.

 

Share secrets or unknown facts about your staff

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As a business, it’s hard to sometimes remember that you are still a person first. People may like to do business with your company, but in the end, it’s you they are doing business with. Don’t be afraid to get personal and share some real life information about yourself or your staff. Even family photos during a holiday like J-si a DJ from Kidd Kraddick did with his family.

kiddkraddick

Just imagine all the quirky things you could come up for a “did you know” piece of content or photo shares.  Have fun with an idea like this and post baby pictures of your staff and have your audience guess who it is now. Share a personal story about yourself and ask your audience to comment on it or tell you about their own related story.

 

Follow the 80/20 rule when posting

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When we manage a social media account, we typically follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to content. What exactly is the 80/20 rule? It simply means that 80% of the content you post to your social media account is content that your audience can engage with. This could include pretty much everything I’ve listed in this article like fun polls, memes, fill in the blank, comment sharing, etc. Only 20% of the content you post should directly promote your business and brand.

If you’re just getting started in social media, this might come as quite a shock to you to see only 20% of your content promotional but it’s important to remember what social media is intended to be. Social media is meant to be social and people don’t want to be sold to constantly.

Just take a look at the post below from FullyRaw. Nothing promotional about this, just a beautiful picture of watermelon but just look at all the comments, shares and likes a few slices of watermelon can get you with the right audience!

FullyRaw Conversation

While we would love to see the 20% of our promotional messages being interacted with, shared, liked and commented on, the fact is the other 80% of our content is what our audience has fun with and wants to engage with. Be sure to give your audience beautiful and entertaining content to interact with!