In this blog post, we’re tackling the all-important issue of engagement on social media – the golden key to success no matter what platform you’re concentrating your efforts on.
Yes engagement rates on all social media are absolutely crucial in accelerating your success, but what this really means, which sorts of engagements perform best and how to strengthen your engagement can be difficult to work out.
But fear not, we’re going to tackle all these elements and more in this article to help you skyrocket your social media success without wasting time, effort and resources.
Let’s get stuck in…
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What is Engagement?
First up, we want to tackle the question about what engagement on social media is; after all, we do understand this can be a very confusing term for those of you just getting started.
Engagement on social media refers to any type of action an audience member or follower takes in response to your content.
This could be liking something, commenting on it, saving it or, best of all, sharing it.
Any of these forms of interaction equal an engagement on social media.
Usually we talk about engagement as a rate or percentage i.e. “you have a 5% engagement rate”.
In general, this refers to the number of people seeing your content vs the number of people reacting to or interacting with it in some way.
So if your post reaches 100 people and 20 people either like, comment, share or save this content, this would equal a 5% engagement rate.
Engagement rates tend to be higher with paid social media advertising (because you are paying for better results) than with organic content distribution.
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Why is Engagement Important ?
The short answer to why engagement is important on social media is because a higher interaction level will show your social media strategy is performing well and that you’re making an impact among your followers.
After all, if you’re continually plugging away with social media content but it’s not reaching anyone, being liked or commented on by anyone, not being shared or saved, then arguably your social media strategy is not currently working for your business or brand.
Have better engagement rates mean social media is working for you by helping to increase brand awareness, drive sales and gain new customers… and ideally this is tracking upwards too!
But the benefits don’t stop there, because a post that receives a higher engagement rate is also deemed more valuable by the social media platform’s algorithm itself and is therefore shown to more people in return.
Often this works in a culminative pattern where a high engagement rate on a piece of content leads to a higher reach, which in turn creates a higher engagement rate, which leads to an even bigger reach… and so on.
With a good engagement pattern, the reach for your forthcoming content also tends to perform better, meaning the benefits of a strong engagement rate last longer than a single post too.
In this way, we hope it’s becoming clear how important strong rates of engagement on your content are… and why it’s important to try and boost them!
What Sorts of Engagement are Best?
We’ve briefly outlined above the 4 main types of engagement that occur across all social media channels, but of course, each platform has its own versions or individual differences .
Shares across Twitter are called retweets for example, while on Pinterest, repinning something to a board of yours acts as both a share and a save.
On TikTok you can enjoy duets (another form of engagement), while on Facebook you don’t have to stick to just liking a post but can, of course, react in a whole variety of ways that include love, anger, care, clap or cry.
Despite all their differences however, there are several key threads across all platforms and one of these is the level of importance given to each type of engagement by the algorithm.
If there was to be a scale, it would look something like this:
Likes: 1 point
Comment: 3 points
Save: 4 points
Share: 5 points.
We must hasten to point out that this scale is made up! We don’t know the exact algorithm workings of each social media platform here at Social Puffin (nobody does!) but the point is that likes are the least valuable form of engagement, while shares are ranked the highest… by quite a margin!
Put simply, this means that your content will likely receive the highest reach (thanks to the algorithm) if it gets a high number of shares.
A high number of likes, comments and saves will also give your content a higher reach, but these aren’t as valuable indicators to the algorithm as shares are.
And that’s because by sharing content not only are you saying this piece is valuable / useful / inspirational for me (which a like, comment or save will do) but also that I believe this content is valuable for other people too – a very good sign indeed!
In answer to the question therefore, shares are certainly the most important valuable form of engagement there is.
How to Increase your Engagement Rate?
Knowing this, we now move on to discussing how you can grow or strengthen your engagement rate.
And, as always, we love a listicle here at Social Puffin, so have put together these 6 key ways you can get more likes, comments, saves and shares on your social media content.
Because, let’s not forget that while shares are the most important form of engagement, likes, comments and saves are still very valuable too!
#1 Not Always Being on the Hard Sell
So the first point when it comes to getting higher engagement levels on your content is to ensure not all your social media content is focused on a hard sales approach.
After all, social media is called social for a reason!
I know we bang on about it a lot, but social media was really established and flourished as a way of connecting people, for finding out information and for sharing in peoples’ lives in a virtual way.
This still stands, which means that social media driven solely at promoting products, services or generating sales simply won’t engender a lot of engagement.
Content of this nature tends to be more boring, less inspirational or educational and rarely leads to people getting excited enough to like or comment on it, let alone share it.
Instead, we suggest mixing up your social media content as a business to include more posts that promote brand awareness, establish yourself as a niche authority, impart free information or advice and entertain your followers.
Mixing up content styles in this way, both visually and in terms of tone, should help skyrocket your reach – a real no-brainer when you consider whether you personally would be more likely to engage with a picture of a cute dog scoffing its lunch or a picture of a packet of dog food on a shelf!
We think we know the answer and it equals getting the cute animals in the frame every time!
Ok, it’s not that, but you get the drift… light-hearted, amusing, entertaining, inspirational or educational content does a lot better when it comes to engagement rates than content which just focuses on the hard sell.
#2 Ask Questions
And certainly when it comes to getting more comments on your social media – don’t forget this is worth a lot too – then the best way to do this is not only make your captions catchy, entertaining, humorous or quirky, but to also ask questions too.
Questions ask for answers, they are a form or what we term “call to action” or CTA and generally invite a reply or comment.
This is a great and simply put, a top way to boost your engagement rate quickly and easily.
Why not try it? Ask a question at the end of your next post and see if you get more comments.
#3 Always Reply
And following on from this important reminder to ask more questions, we also need to point out that it’s equally important to reply to all comments that followers leave on your content.
Every. Single. One.
It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant a comment or reply is, answer it.
And answer it in a unique, personal and real way.
Please don’t copy and paste a reply and send that to all the responses you get.
All the hard work will be undone.
Replying personally to comments, encourages people to comment on your content again, because they know you take the time to respond and therefore they feel valued.
Look at it his way – if they take the time to leave a comment, then you should take the time to leave a reply.
Leaving personal replies lets your audience know there’s a human face behind the social screen and helps them to build a relationship with your brand more.
Annnnndddd, it also boosts your algorithm score too (trust us!)
If you can try to reply as soon as possible to any comments you get – perhaps scheduling a few minutes at the beginning and the end of the day to do this – the results will start to pay off even quicker!
#4 Use Humour & Personality
And, as part of those replies (and as part of your content style we talked about in point #1), it pays to use humour and personality in your responses and your captions.
We know we always hark on about it, but we’re big on personality here at Social Puffin and truly believe that in the crowded world of social media content, this can be the thing that sets you apart.
Don’t be afraid to let your brand personality shine therefore and to leave comments that really bring the human face of your company to the forefront.
Social media is a great place to break down the rigid and stifled tone around business and we’re always up for doing just that!
People tend to love it too and, because it’s SOCIAL media after all, content that showcases real people doing real things always galvanizes the best responses.
#5 Hop onto Trends
And, inline with showing your personality and having a bit of fun on social, hopping onto trends can be a great way to do this.
Especially when it comes to platforms like TikTok and Instagram, trends can really help accelerate your reach as you use hashtags and audio clips that mean your content is likely to be viewed by more people.
But trends also help your engagement levels too.
So whether that’s about tackling important issues, being a bit controversial or spearheading campaigns, not shying away from events or situations that are prompting a lot of responses locally, nationally or internationally can be a great way to get a much better engagement rate.
#6 Be Active
And last but not least, the 6th technique we recommend when it comes to accelerating your engagement rate is to be active on social media.
Can we say this again… BE ACTIVE!
Yes, like every day active, like twice a day active, like every hour active.
Ok that might be a bit much, but please do not forget that the more you engage with other people’s content, the more they will engage with yours.
Therefore, we can’t encourage you enough to start liking, commenting, following, saving and sharing a whole load of relevant social media pieces if you also want to perform well.
Most social media platforms reward in-app engagement with higher reach scores, which in turn lead to higher engagement rates – especially if you’re seen to be commenting and sharing other content in return.
So do not underestimate this!
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
And there you have it – our guide on how to skyrocket your engagement rates on social media.
We hope you’ve found the points interesting and we’d love to know which was most useful.
Do you engage enough with other content?
Did you know social shares were so important?
Please drop all your feedback into the comments box below…