How to Increase User Engagement With Your Social Media Marketing

Thu, Mar 8, 2012


Social media marketing is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. Facebook now boasts more than 800 million users, making it a network more populous than all but three countries in the world. It’s also neck and neck with Google as the most popular website in the country. Add those numbers to the ones represented by Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and the myriad of other social networks, and you’re talking about a seriously massive group of potential customers. But simply being on those platforms is not enough. If you really want your online marketing to have an impact, you have to focus on how you draw users to engage with your product. Here are a few tips on how you can increase user engagement.

Focus on the low-hanging fruit. Anotherwords, start your efforts with quick changes you can make that will offer a big return. When it comes to Facebook, it all comes down to connecting with your audience. The easiest way to do that is through content. Post regularly, and respond to your audience’s comments or questions as soon as possible. And if your social media marketing team can come up with contests or polls, make them fun and run them often. The fresher your page, the more guests you’ll have.

Time is of the essence. Most large brands post to Facebook during work hours. But the ones that also post content after business hours will find themselves with 20% more user engagement on average. There have been several studies that corroborate this trend. Think about when people are checking their networks – generally before and after work, and before bedtime. The studies prove this out. The best times for user engagement are 7AM EST, 5PM EST, and 11PM EST. It’s clear that if you only post during business hours, you’re going to miss a lot of people. And depending on the industry, some days of the week are better than others. Do some research and check out what days make the most sense for your particular business and product.

Keep it short and sweet. The shorter your post, the more likely it will generate strong user engagement. Stick to about 80 characters or less, and you’re in the sweet spot. The only exception is when it comes to URLs. Post the full URL as opposed to a shortened version, and users are three times as likely to click on through. And finish your post with a question, to give the user an easy and quick way to interact with you.

Keep the sell soft. Remember, these networks are about interaction, not sales. This is not traditional advertising, and treating it that way will turn people off. Think of the interaction as being about connecting and building relationships, not making sales, and you’ll get a much stronger response. And make it personal! The relationship-building isn’t one-sided. So offer a bit of yourself, and your new customers will meet you half way.

Make your ‘ask’ compelling. Once you’ve got a solid base, it’s time to raise the stakes. As you see you’re getting consistent responses to your questions, polls and contests, ask your fans to create their own content to submit. Whether it’s written, a photo or a video, make sure you’ve got a fantastic prize that draws them in. Free products, services or vacations, not discounts on a masters in health care administration online. Make it worth their while, and soon enough you’ll have a ton of dedicated fans.

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