Part 5 – How To Get More Engagement From Your Followers, by Tony Burke

As we mentioned previously, follower count is worthless in and of itself and if you believe that follower count is a badge of honor or some sort of powerful status symbol, then you’ve got the whole thing wrong.

But that being said, getting more followers is good for you and here’s a good reason why:

The more followers you get, the more engagement you have. It’s an obvious benefit to have a large number of people following you because then there’s the likelihood that someone will see one or two things they like and share it. It’s a math game: if more people see the content, more people will interact and share it. This means more likes, more re-tweets and comments, etc.

Such growth can provide you with excellent feedback for future discussions. If for instance one particular subject of discussion happens to get more interaction, then it could inspire you to create more content around the subject in order to keep the conversation going. On the other hand, if a customer asks a question about your brand, it could inspire you to write a new blog post.

More Engagement From Your Followers

People absolutely love to share content they find interesting and engaging. Want your brand name to be recognised the world over? It won’t matter if your initial plan was to simply generate more sales for your business; social media opens up a bigger aspect of business success: brand recognition. When you set up a good campaign, you will have the opportunity to not only increase sales, but also create brand awareness and a strong sense of loyalty from customers. Let’s look at ways you can increase engagement across the two most important social platforms for your business.

Twitter offers you a great platform for engagement but how much do you really know about Twitter? Let’s look at a few statistics you could find useful to your campaign

•  Engagement for brands is higher by 17% on weekends. Clearly not many people realize this, which is why only 19% of brands actually send out tweets over the weekends. Are you trying to get your audience to engage more but don’t feel like working over the weekend? You could use Buffer to schedule the tweets and have them sent out while you stay cozy at home.

•  Tweets with images and links get twice the engagement so work on creating photo stories that will get people talking.

•  Keep your tweets relatively short. Statistics show that tweets with more than 100 characters spark fewer conversations, so work within that 100-character limit. If you’ve got links in the posts, it shouldn’t go over 120 characters.

•  The fastest-growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64 years old. If your brand accommodates the senior crowd, then it would help to reach out to the new users who are more than willing to try out new discussions and check out brands.

•  Hashtags inspire more engagement. But that being said, keep the engagement at a minimum: 1 or 2 hashtags will increase engagement by up to 21% but too many hashtags will kill the conversation before it starts.

•  Target mobile users. Mobile users make up 6.66% of user-generated tweets that mention specific brands so it would be a good idea to link out to usernames of people you mention on Twitter and add in a hashtag.

•  Mobile Twitter users are 181% more likely to log in during their commute. When sending out content, think about where most of your audience could be at that time. If it’s morning on a workday, then they might be commuting to the office, and it’s a good time to start engaging with them; that way you can have their attention for the rest of the day. Find something interesting to occupy then in their morning commutes and they will make it a habit to check out your posts each morning.

•  You want more engagement? Ask audiences people to re-tweet. You may have heard that the best way to get your content re-tweeted is to ask for it: well statistics show that spelling out the word “re-tweet” actually increases the chances of it happening by 23 times, as opposed to abbreviating with “RT”.

•  Include more links in your tweets. Just like images, links are more likely to cause an effect; however, unlike images, which directly boost engagement, links tend to increase the number of re-tweets.

Now let’s look at Facebook and what makes a good engagement campaign in that platform. There are a few effective strategies you could implement in order to get your followers talking.

•  Create open loops on some of your posts. An open loop is where you give a hint to what’s in a new post. It’s actually quite simple; let’s say for example you want to post an article about “Why All Business Should Use Social Media”, you could just put in something like ”Great post, useful guidelines”, or something similar, but it wouldn’t get that much attention. But if you said something like “The second point is insane! I need to implement it right now”, or something similar, you would get a better response because people will want to know what the excitement is about.

•  Mix up the content a little bit. If people have gotten used to you publishing blog posts every day, it’s going to get boring pretty fast, so every once in a while get them off guard and publish video series, images, podcasts, slide-show presentations, etc.

•  Use older content that new audiences might have not seen yet. If you have some good material from a while back and you’ve accrued a significant number of new people on Facebook, consider posting one or two good stories at least once in a while. Because a larger part of your audience is new, this will add value. And for the rest of audience who might have seen the post the first time but forgot about it, this would be a great way to spark new discussions.

•  Check out Facebook insights to find out which posts your followers liked the most and if you find that people respond more to a specific type of post, then you want to work on perfecting that format and find more related topics to discuss.

•  Add more apps to your page. There are a variety of apps available for you depending on what industry you’re in and how you want to engage with your audience so head over to the apps section, shop around and find an app that makes sense for the followers.

•  Upload videos to your Facebook page and stop copying and pasting YouTube video URLs. There’s nothing particularly wrong about pasting video links to other sites on YouTube, but statistics have shown that these types of videos get significantly less engagement than when users upload the videos directly. When you upload videos alongside cool posts, it allows people to interact without having to leave the page. It’s a little trick which requires more effort but it can get you more engagement in the long run.

That’s where you need to start if you want to get more engagement on Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully this gives you some perspective on how audiences operate on other social networks. Companies have been investing more money in paid content distribution on Facebook and that’s certainly a viable option for when you want more targeted ad campaigns and great content, but if you that’s not part of your strategy, you can still achieve solid engagement with these strategies.

That’s enough for now, keep an eye out for part 6 coming soon, and good luck getting more engagement from your followers.