There’s nothing quite as thrilling as getting lots of likes and comments on content you’ve spent time and effort creating for social media, but it can feel like a bit of a mystical art when a landslide of attention eludes you. In this article, we’re going to take a thorough look at what engagement is and how you can get more of it on your social media posts. With the implementation of these techniques, we aim to help increase your content’s engagement on your favourite apps including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, strengthening your presence on social media in the process.
What is engagement on social media?
Engagement is when someone interacts with content by taking action. On social media, engagement is commonly recognised as the amount of likes and comments. This is particularly relevant when looking at analytical data such as engagement rates. However, engagement on social media can include any number of ways that content is interacted with including: saves, shares and retweets, Facebook reactions and interaction with features such as twitter polls and Instagram stickers. Engagement measures the actions people take on profiles and content, meaning it can cover a broad range of actions.
Why is engagement important?
Engagement is key for getting your posts seen online and for growing an audience. There are two major reasons for this.
Engagement and social media algorithms
Gaining likes, comments and/or other actions on your content triggers social media algorithms to show that content to more people. It’s pretty universal across social media platforms that the more engagement a piece of content gains after publishing, the more valuable that content appears to the algorithm. The way we can understand algorithms is that social media platforms try to show the end user content they will be interested in. This interest is measured in a number of ways, including how long a user looks at specific pieces of content along with, you guessed it, actions they take in response to seeing the content in the form of engagement. When viewers engage with content, that content is more likely to be shown to more people and that user is more likely to see more of that profile’s future uploads. This model seeks to keep viewing satisfaction high to keep users on the platform for as long as possible, which is beneficial to advertising partners.
Engagement and psychology
Engagement helps with visibility and trust online through social proofing and word-of-mouth marketing. There’s a fair amount of overlap between these two buzz phrases because they both feed into engagement and trust online, so they often work hand-in-hand. Social proofing and word-of-mouth marketing are two elements that require you to understand some basic human psychology.
Social proof, in its most simple form, is when people copy or mimic the actions of others. Are you more likely to trust a brand with 2 likes or 2,000 likes? Are you more likely to add a comment if a conversation has 1 person interacting or 100? Psychology bets that you’re more likely to take an action if other people are taking that action as well. That’s how social proofing works.
Word-of-mouth marketing, which can occur organically or through targeted efforts, is essentially when customers share your brand and content with their friends and family. When we think of word-of-mouth marketing in terms of engagement, we’re really focusing on shares or features that show your content to more people, such as the Duet and Stitch features on TikTok or the Add Yours sticker on Instagram. Even posts your friends comment on and profiles your friends follow on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can show up in your own feed with “[friend’s name] commented” or “[friend’s name] follows”. Word-of-mouth marketing also commonly occurs in the form of reviews, recommendations and user-generated content. It is a particularly powerful thing because people are more likely to trust brands that are shared and recommended by people they already know. According to Semrush, ‘88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommended it.’ Are you more likely to interact with a brand your friends trust? Are you more likely to like, comment or share content someone you know and trust has already interacted with? Psychology says yes.
How to increase engagement
Now that we know what engagement on social media is and why it’s important, let’s look at the ways you can increase engagement on your social media posts.
1. Make content that stands out
There’s a whopping 2.5 quintillion (2.5 with 18 zeros!) bytes of data created each day, reports of people spending a third of their waking life on mobile apps and statistics for daily social media use increasing year after year. This makes it more important than ever to make sure your content is grabbing attention.
There are several ways you can make your content stand out.
You could try:
- Creating content of exceptional quality
- Aiming to make something totally different to what you’re seeing online right now
- Giving viewers content that is highly tailored to your brand and niche
- Tapping in familiarity by using recognisable elements like memes and GIFs
- One-upping the competition when jumping on trends
- Adding a different angle to topics relevant to the moment
- Crafting captivating visuals to pair with clever copy
You don’t have to use all these ideas at once. Sticking with a clear vision for each individual piece of content may give you a better chance of pinpointing eyeballs in your direction. If you’re not sure which ideas would work well for your brand, experiment and lean into the options that encourage the highest amounts of engagement.
2. Get clear on your target audience
A staggering 4.62 billion people now use social media apps - that’s more than half the world’s population - so narrowing your content down to suit the audience you already have, as well as the audience you want to attract, is crucial for getting that engagement rolling in. The best way to ensure quality content gets attention and engagement is to make content your audience is likely to engage with. Without knowing who your audience is, how can you craft content they will want to interact with? That’s sort of like playing darts in the dark - it’s almost impossible to hit a bullseye. By getting a clear picture of who your audience actually is, and the kinds of people who would love your brand, you can craft content specifically for them.
Get to know your current audience by checking out your analytics. You can do this with Minter.io. Finding out the age brackets, gender split, locations and languages of your audience is a great place to start.
You can then fill in more information about who your business caters for. We’ve dedicated an entire article to figuring out who your ideal target audience is, as well as how to connect with them, so make sure you check that out for a more detailed breakdown.
If your business caters to a wide range of people and personality types, don’t worry! Each piece of content you make doesn’t have to cater for every single person. Instead, make sure there is a clear goal and type of person in mind when publishing each new piece of content.
3. Use features that are available to you
Engagement walks hand-in-hand with reach online because boosting your content’s reach allows more people to see and engage with your content. Although boosting reach isn’t a stand-alone, sure-fire way to increase engagement (your content has to inspire action regardless) it opens up more opportunities for your content to be seen and engaged with. This can be particularly crucial to the algorithm showing your content to even more people and perpetuating the cycle of reach and engagement.
Some of the reach-boosting features you might choose to utilise include:
- Location Tags
- Add Yours stickers
- Allow Duet
- Allow Stitch
By adding these features to your social media posts, no matter the platform, you are opening up your posts to be seen in more places within the app. Hashtags can help you show up in search and trending topics, using existing Add Yours stickers places you in a chain of multiple profiles, while allowing Duets and Stitch gives your posts opportunities to be integrated with other profiles.
Not sure where to start? Research what is currently working for your brand and study the posts and profiles of your competitors with Minter.io.
4. Optimise your posts
Do you know what posts are working for your brand and why? When optimising posts, take into consideration the things that have proven to work for your brand already. By replicating what is already working for your brand, through using data about your highest performing content and your current audience, you could save time and energy while raking in extra engagement.
Use analytical data from Minter.io to find out the:
- Best times to post for engagement
- Most engaging post types
- Most engaging filters
- Most engaging hashtags
You can access insights for the content you’ve already published and data for competitor accounts.
You’ll also want to make a note of:
- How you crafted copy on well performing posts
- What works well for each specific social platform
Another way to help your current audience engage with your content is to upload on a consistent, predictable schedule. If your audience is used to you posting at the same time on the same days of the week, they can anticipate, look forward to and look out for your social media posts.
5. Find more ways to distribute content
Top off your engagement efforts by seeking out even more ways to distribute your content.
You could look into:
Similarly to the reach-boosting techniques we mentioned earlier, placing your content in more places online through crossposting, collaborations and advertising is a more targeted way of getting your content in front of more people. Make sure your content is relevant to these audiences to supercharge your engagement and possibly develop the expansion of your own audience.
We’ve looked at making quality content that stands out, connecting that content with the right audience for your brand, optimising content for each platform and making sure as many eyeballs as possible see it by using reach-boosting techniques. To get access to all the analytics you need to get started with these engagement-encouraging techniques, head to Minter.io now!