What do you want? Engagement! When do you want it? Now!
In 2019 there were 3.5 billion social media users around the world. This equates to 45% of the human population of planet earth spending an average of three hours a day on social media. Once you've re-read that sentence and your mind has stopped being blown, let's get down to business. How do you get a decent proportion of this number to engage with your content? Well, you come to the professionals! Let the Ouma team guide you towards more effective social media content that helps you build more engagement with your existing following and help to grow it.
Behind the Scenes; A Cheeky Peek
Give your following a little peek behind the curtain! Let them into your professional life and help them feel invested in your businesses. Let your followers see a little bit of your process or introduce them to your techniques. Perhaps a 'fly on the wall' style time lapse of your average day or a few professional tips and tricks! Engagement comes from showing your following you are a real person, living a normal life that they can feel a part of. Perhaps even a blooper reel or a pet intro! This all helps your following to build trust in you and, in-turn, their likes, shares and comments.
TOP TIP: Build on your engagement for your Behind the Scenes posts by asking questions to your audience. Not only does this show you are taking an interest in their lives and opinions, it also encourages comments!
Real-life Imagery; The Pinocchio Complex
It is scientifically proven that humans respond more to images of other humans! Our cave-man brains are designed to seek out human connection. So it is no wonder that on social media we guarantee you will see an increased interaction with your post if it is of a picture of real life people doing real life things. Sometimes it's the small things that gain the most engagement such as a selfie in your workshop in the run up to Christmas or the type of biscuits you enjoy with your coffee. Your followers want to see that you are leading a real life and, dependant on your brand, this could be in an aspirational or organic way.
TOP TIP: Remember, 71% of social media users that have a positive, authentic experience with a brand are more likely to recommend it to friends and family. So, keep your photos real and genuine. Since the rise of Gen-Zers, users can sniff out a fake like blood hounds in a Butcher's shop!
User Generated Content; A Personal Favourite
User Generated Content is a fancy term for any content involving your brand or product that has been generated by another user of that social media platform. For example, unboxing videos, testimonials, real life application of your product, thank you messages, review videos, selfies with your branding etc. Consumers are more than twice as likely to perceive User Generated Content as more trust-worthy than content created by the brand itself. This stuff is powerful! We have never seen something create engagement the way User Generated Content does and the effects last way beyond an initial like or comment. This kind of content has endless possibilities to be used in stories, highlights, review sections, as social posts, built into seasonal campaigns... we could go on. Our message is strong... build User Generated Content into your social media strategy for self-perpetuating engagement.
TOP TIP: Get into the habit of asking your supports, followers and customers to share your product on social media platforms or leave a review. Sometimes this will be helpful as you can build a bank of User Generated Content and other times it offers an immediate dose of engagement from a following that's not your own. Keep an eye out for those tags!
Blogs; Playing the Long Game
One of our top suggestions for the online marketing of your business is to keep a blog! There are many reasons why we say this but one of the biggest ones is they are a brilliant way to create engagement across social media platforms. Pick subjects that are relevant to your brand and of interest to yourself and your following. Give them catchy titles that will spark interest with your demographic and ideally break up the text with images, gifs or graphics. Aim to publish one-two per month across all your social media accounts. A Blog builds your reputation as the professional within your field, are great 'comments section conversation starters' and keeps your following up to date with your inspiration, activities, products and skills.
TOP TIP: Blogs can be written way in advance of when you actually publish them, a great time management tool for those busy weeks where you are struggling to stay present on social media.
Trending Topics and Advocacy Campaigns; The World's your Oyster
Trending topics are constantly moving and changing. Think carefully about the core values of your brand and take part in trends and advocacy that are close to you and your follower's hearts. There is a diverse range of trending topics that are ever shifting, from national holidays to political statements through to religious festivals and human rights campaigns. You can gain coverage on a wider scale with the hashtag opportunities and feel part of a global community also involved in that trending topic. You are more likely to get seen on other news feeds and the topic itself encourages a dialogue between you and your followers. A sense of human connection and you’'e increased engagement! Winner winner!
TOP TIP: A great way to predict trending topics is to look for Days of the Month and plan your social content around these. For example... celebrations like International Women's Day offers endless inspiration for content creation, effective hashtags, and engagement opportunities on a global scale.
Company News; The Show-Off
Let your followers feel part of your brand by building business updates and news into your social marketing strategy. Introducing team members, new collaborations or partnerships is all interesting news to your following. It helps your followers feel involved in your business progression and shows that your brand is reliable and going strong! Your followers want to support and celebrate with you and this type of content encourages their engagement across social media platforms.
TOP TIP: No matter how big or small the news, it all encourages engagement! A poll on your stories to decide on a paint colour for your new offices, to celebrating a big new contract win with a blog, will both improve support and engagement in different ways.
Video; Killed the Radio Star
As humans our brains are hard wired to engage with movement, once again it is a cave-man trait that despite inventing the wheel, space travel and toilet roll, we just haven't shaken off yet! This is why we retain 50% of what we watch and only 10% of what we read. Social media platforms love it as well! Tik Tok, Facebook Watch, Instagram Reels... the list goes on. Video posts receive 49% higher interactions than a post with a photograph or still image. Take it from the professionals and build your engagement today by creating and sharing video content and make it a solid part of your Social Media Strategy.
TOP TIP: There are a variety of different gadgets and gizmos on the market to help you look and feel confident when filming videos. From light rings to gimbles and tripods there are lots of ways you can make video content by yourself. There is also a range of different apps to help you edit your video to make it as professional as possible. Make sure the quality of your video represents your brand positively!
In conclusion, gaining engagement and interactions with your audience is all about authentic story telling, consistency and transparency. Build trust with your followers through digestible, real content that helps them feel invested in your brand. Users want genuine connection and relatability to the brands they aspire to, to feel part of it themselves! Engagement, by its very definition, means to be attracted to and be involved with by way of trust. So henceforth and get creating some kick-ass content!