If you use social media to support your business, you know just how confusing it can be. A post you spent no time on and shared without any thought can end up with triple the likes that one you carefully put together has. You can’t tell whether any of the online advice is actually useful or only suited to niches about social media growth. Beyond this, you probably aren’t even confident in which social media platforms you should be using, given your niche and industry. The following will focus on social media efforts that increase your engagement quickly.
Why Does Engagement Matter?
Engagement is the currency of social media. It’s what algorithms use to decide whether your content should be shared with a wider audience (meaning more potential customers). Engagement can also serve to increase your brand’s legitimacy, as it can show people that you’re real and offer something that other people value. This is probably why many marketers now opt to buy Instagram followers. With more followers, you can get more engagement numbers. Beyond this, engagement can help connect you to people who can better your business or provide emotional support as you deal with the chaos of running a company.
You Have To Give
This is the most commonly skipped-over step on social media advice lists, so before diving into it, let’s look loosely at how social media algorithms work with respect to time. When a post is shared on any platform, the platform monitors people’s reactions to it. The more positive reactions (meaning engagement, time spent looking at the post and shares), the more ‘useful’ the algorithm deems that post to be and the more people it recommends the post to on explore pages. What this means is that it’s really hard to get the ball rolling if you have only a few people following your account. Yes, hashtags and short-form videos do increase discoverability, but the same concept applies. If people don’t respond well initially, your post is often left to float in the digital ether.
This means that you need people to interact with your post initially. This means you need friends on social media. How do you make these friends? You give, engage with other people’s posts. You like, comment, and share. Genuinely. If you’re just starting out, aim to connect really well with fifty people. Similar to dating, there are going to be some interactions that go nowhere. That’s okay. Find authentic friendships. Bond over things you have in common. Like all their posts. Watch their shorts, reels, or TikTok videos a few times to boost the views. Ask them engaged questions in the comment sections of their posts. Ask follow-up questions in the comment sections of their posts to help boost their comment numbers. Support their social media endeavors.
Similar to the concept that you only need 1000 true fans to make a living on a given product or service, you need a core group of supporters on social media to give your posts that initial push they need to stand out to the algorithm. Yes, Instagram does give delayed boosts to Reels, but they don’t give that delay to people with zero engagement.
Follow Algorithm Changes
Algorithms are constantly updated; social media platforms are businesses that are in continuous competition with each other. This means they’re always trying to get people to stay on their platform rather than go to another platform. Whatever type of content is keeping people on their platform longer, they’re going to favor with the algorithm. This means that behavior that worked three months ago might not work at all right now.
To work with the constant changes, you want to follow a few reputable social media specialists. This might involve subscribing to a few YouTube channels, signing up for a few newsletters (and actually reading them), or checking out social media manager posts on LinkedIn. Yes, there is a wealth of information on LinkedIn, as that’s where social media experts flex their muscles hardest to get the attention of big companies.
You should be able to check in every month or week and figure out what types of posts are being pushed. For instance, right this second, Instagram is pushing short Reels (3-6 seconds long) with text on the screen, stories, and carousel posts. These are the types of posts you want to be making if you want a little extra help from the algorithm.
This tip can help you avoid wasting your time on outdated social media approaches. As well, if you’re taking in content that teaches you about social media, you want to be sure that it’s recent, ideally made within the last few months but no older than a year.
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? There’s a reason it’s on all the social media hack lists. One piece of good content is enough to get someone’s attention, but if they come to your page and find it empty, they might not subscribe or follow. You need to have new stuff (or re-packaged older stuff) coming out on a semi-regular basis. If you’re having trouble with this, you might want to look into some motivation tips. Take notice of the people you follow; the ones that keep growing are the ones who release content consistently. Yes, a viral video or two is great, but they don’t build lasting followerships.
Polls are one of the most underrated ways to encourage more engagement in your social media posts. Humans love sharing their opinion. They love it more than almost anything else. This means that you should give people the opportunity to share their opinion as much as possible. Include polls and this-or-that style questions as much as possible—even as often as once per day. Not only does this radically improve your engagement as people are responding or clicking on your posts, but it also gives you valuable information about your audience. Knowing their interests and preferences can help you know where to devote your time when you go to craft your next piece of content.
The above information should help you direct your social media energy and efforts into things that produce results quickly. It’s important that you understand how quickly people’s expectations can change for a given social media platform, and this means you need to be open to always learning and relearning techniques. You should be regularly reviewing your performance and looking for ways you can improve, as well as seeking approaches that are highly effective and that you want to be doing more of.