The number of your Facebook page likes is growing, and your followers on Twitter and Pinterest are greater than ever, when it comes to growing a social media audience, it seems you’re doing something quite right. But, you still feel like you’re playing to a packed house with no applause following your performance and no laughter in response to your jokes. Many social media marketers reach this point of no-man’s-land when they have made every effort to create an Internet presence, but no one responds or reacts to their posts. We’ve all been there, anxiously waiting after you’ve shared a carefully crafted post and after a few likes the momentum falls flat. Convincing your audience to take action on your posts through likes, comments and shares can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you increase engagement on your posts and turn those scrollers into participants.
The Numbers Game
Before you begin crafting your posts on various social media platforms, it’s a good idea to understand the engagement statistics. The highest chance of audience engagement on your posts can be found on Instagram. Even though users are more likely to use platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on a daily basis, Instagram leads in engagement at over 4% compared to .07% on Facebook and .03% on Twitter.
Knowing the statistics of engagement is only half the battle because, as always, social media trends must be evaluated against the demographic of the audience you intend to reach. Women outnumber men on social media universally with the exception of a slight majority of men on LinkedIn. Pinterest has the greatest user difference between the sexes with over 40% of users being women and less than 20% male users. If you’re looking for the over thirty crowd, Facebook is the platform for you. Just under 80% of users there fall into the 30-49 age range. Users between the ages of 18-29 dominate at over 50% of users on Instagram. Using these statistics can help you tailor your social media efforts to the platform that will not only give you the best chance at engagement but also the best opportunity to reach your target market.
Another important aspect of increasing engagement is understanding how long your posts “live” on any given platform. You can tailor your posting frequency according to the lifespan of each and raise your probability of reaching active users in your target audience. Tweets and Instagram posts have the shortest lifespan of anywhere from 2 hours to just a few minutes depending on the number of accounts your users are following and the volume of their posts. If you’re posting on these networks, once a day may not be enough to get the attention you desire. Facebook posts have a higher lifespan of over 3 hours so considering your target audiences’ demographic and usage, posting once a day to Facebook may be sufficient. Pinterest posts are almost immortal, as social media posts go, at a whopping three months of life. Evergreen content is best posted on this network to ensure no matter when users find your posts, the information is still valid and valuable.
Now that we’ve covered the mathematics let’s take a look at how you can maximize your engagement on each platform.
The Science of Getting a Reaction
Across the board, posts with images garner more engagement with social media users. So, you should always consider including attention-grabbing photos with all of your social media activity. You can even do this with text-only posts by turning your text into an image with some eye-catching graphics.
The best opportunity for engagement on Facebook is between 1pm-4pm on Thursday and Friday. To increase your chances, ask your audience to take action. Ask for users to like, share and comment if they agree or disagree with the post and add incentives like contests and giveaways to motivate activity. Include links in your posts to make them interactive. Feel free to include more than one photo per post on Facebook, posts with photo albums get more clicks and in turn more engagement.
Hashtags are your best friend on this platform but keep it between one or two per tweet. Tweets with more than three hashtags have an average engagement decline of almost 20% percent. Use images; this can’t be stressed enough on this platform where tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than those without. Try to schedule your tweets between the peak hours of 1pm-3pm on this platform.
Quotes perform fantastically on Instagram and have a higher chance to be shared by your followers. When creating quote images don’t forget to include your logo or Instagram handle on the picture, so your brand is shared as well. It may seem obvious but talk to your audience. Ask questions to increase comments as opposed to likes. Use the @mention to acknowledge and interact with your followers throughout the day. Add a wow-factor with interesting photos and interesting facts that start conversations.