We’ve all heard the expression, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?,” the same can be asked for social media posts. When it comes to social media posts, an organization can post constantly, but if no one reads or reacts to the posts, they are not very effective. Engagement implies a relationship and can be measured by number of public shares, likes and comments received for a post. The initial steps toward engagement are assuring that your brand is reputable, offers a high-quality product that is worth promoting and your content is seen as valuable so that others will want to engage with it.
Content needs to match the channel on which it is share. Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR founder and CEO explains that not all social channels are created equal:
My Facebook, for example, has a lot more of my real-life friends and family following me; my Twitter is more industry experts and media. I must keep these different audiences in mind when deciding what I want to post, and you should too. One way I keep it balanced is knowing each channel and understanding its purpose, which helps me make smart decisions on sharing.
A picture paints a thousand words
Including a picture or other graphic in your post draws the eye to the post and increases the chance that people will pause to read the post and then decide to like, comment or share it. The image can be as simple as using one of the Facebook backgrounds. A short video can also draw attention and step it up one level with a live video from an event. Buzzsumo has shown that adding visuals to a Facebook post results in 2.3x the engagement rate, while tweets with images can generate over 150% more retweets in comparison to text-only posts.
Remember conversation is a dialogue
If no one is talking back to you, your social media posts are a monologue, not a conversation. To encourage engagement it is important to post frequently and to ask for engagement without being a pest. Some phrases to use include “please retweet,” “share if you agree,” “what do you think?” and “share your experience.”
You can call out editors, customers and other influencers and be sure to tag them in your posts. It is also crucial to respond to people who comment on a post. The only time not to respond publicly is when someone makes a negative comment; in those instances, send a direct message.
Hold Your Audience’s Attention with Great Content
To expand your audience, join groups with interests aligned to your business and industry and see what items these members or the organizer are posting. You also need to consider the social media platform. LinkedIn is more professional while Instagram is more visual.
With a steady pace of posts and a mix of the predictable and unique, the audience will look forward to your posts. The content should not all be about your organization. Audiences desire a variety of content that represent a mix of useful information and entertainment. A good strategy is to rotate content between company and industry news, quotes, humor, surveys, videos, images, and Infographics. Track what receives the most engagement and gravitate toward that content.
Nicole also points out that “one needs to be smart about whom you bring into your social community. “ She continues, “To attract greatness, you’ll often have to go out and find it yourself. Look at hashtags and find conversations and content from similar people. Remember, just as you’re seeking them, they are also seeking you.”
The answer to the tree question is yes, it will make a sound and your post will exist even if not read. The point is that one does not post an item for one’s self, but to share information and create some interaction, which will lead to additional conversation.