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Updated Apr 01, 2024

5 Steps to Engaging Your Audience on Social Media

Enhance your brand reputation and cultivate a loyal following.

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Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
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Today, your brand must have a robust social media presence to attract customers and stay competitive. However, standing out from competitors can be challenging when they’re also working to establish their presence on the same social channels. 

Increasing engagement with your followers is the key to social media success. Numerous social media tools and strategies have been developed to help businesses break through the noise and reach their customers. We’ll explain how to boost audience engagement and grow your brand and followers on social media. 

How to engage your audience on social media

These five best practices can help you design social media marketing campaigns that speak to your target audience and engage your followers personally.

1. Identify your ideal social outlets and audience.

An excellent way to plan and begin your social campaigns is to determine the best platforms on which to focus your efforts. Online reputation management services can help you find the right channels and connect with your audience on social media.

For example, online reputation management company WebiMax can evaluate your website and suggest the social media outlets that would be most beneficial for your company. It can then help you create tailored social campaigns for various platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and Instagram.

After you identify the social platforms your business should focus on, it’s crucial to pinpoint your target audience. Social listening tools, like LeadSift, can help. LeadSift mines social conversations to find relevant leads based on metrics you set, such as keywords and geographic locations. Using LeadSift to find qualified leads can help you engage with high-profile individuals who are more likely to become customers.

Did You Know?Did you know
According to the Social Media Industry Benchmarks 2023 study, the engagement rate of social platform Instagram is four times that of Facebook.

2. Create compelling social media content.

Content is the best tool for improving your social media presence. If content strategy creation isn’t your forte, consider hiring a social media manager or using a tool such as SnapRetail. 

SnapRetail is an online marketing service that can provide thousands of prewritten social posts for platforms such as X, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest; you can customize these posts to match your business’s needs. This high-quality content can help increase engagement and interest among your audience. 

Here are some other tips for creating compelling social media content: 

  • Write attention-grabbing headlines. Your posts, ads and content must have headlines that grab your readers’ attention. You want to encourage readers to click the link and get more familiar with your brand. To make that happen, follow these best practices:
    • Use keywords and action words. 
    • Ensure your writing is accessible to everyone. 
    • Avoid jargon.
    • Use professional tools to verify the strength of your headlines.
  • Include images in your content. Content with images tends to amass more views than text-only content. For example, according to LinkedIn data, LinkedIn posts with images have a 98 percent higher comment rate. Because visuals generate activity, choose colorful and attention-grabbing images to include with all posts.
  • Add videos to your content. Video is an engagement powerhouse across all social channels. Include video whenever possible. For optimal results, upload your videos directly to the social platform you’re using instead of posting a link to your video on another platform. You want your videos to play automatically and keep your audience engaged. 
TipBottom line
Video is also an excellent tool for engaging visitors on your website. Using video in your content strategy can keep visitors on your website longer.

3. Use strategic hashtags in your social media posts.

Reaching and building your audience can be challenging on social media. However, tools such as HashAtIt can elevate your visibility by finding popular hashtags that fit your industry and audience. These hashtags make it easier for people to find you and help you hop onto trends in your market.

Did You Know?Did you know
Hashtags are part of the new age of social media marketing and can significantly boost audience engagement when used thoughtfully and meaningfully.

4. Encourage users to share your social posts.

A crucial aspect of social media marketing is encouraging customers to share their experiences. When users share your posts and mention your brand online, your audience can grow organically. 

To encourage users to share your posts, consider hosting live events, like Facebook Live Q&As, and rewarding visitors who discuss your event or product. You can also hold social media contests that encourage sharing. However, stay apprised of the legal aspects of social media contests before you run one. 

5. Listen and be responsive.

There was a time when people would give you 24 hours to respond to a request. That time is long gone. We live in a world where everyone expects immediate responses. Your social media followers will likely use social platforms to alert you to issues and ask questions. It’s crucial to respond to them quickly, or else you risk losing them. 

Engaging your audience means listening and responding to them. It’s also a good idea to publicly thank those who repost or like your posts and to respond to all follower comments, both positive and negative. If you recognize your followers publicly, they may turn into your biggest cheerleaders and brand advocates.

What is the importance of audience engagement on social media?

A stellar social media presence is great, but audience engagement is the true test of your online success. Likes, comments, follows and reposts of your content can indicate that your messages resonate. Word of mouth has always been one of the best forms of advertising; in a viral age, that word can spread far quickly when crafted correctly.

Here are three reasons audience engagement is crucial on social media: 

  • Audience engagement broadens your reach. In addition to getting your social media marketing campaigns in front of more people, audience engagement on social media can boost your brand’s profile. Social media algorithms favor content that creates meaningful engagement. If your Instagram posts or TikTok videos receive more buzz and engagement, chances are, they’ll end up in front of even more people next time around.
  • Audience engagement enhances your brand’s reputation. Interacting directly with your audience on social media can improve your brand’s reputation. This is especially true for companies that address customer service issues via social media channels such as X (Twitter). When a broad audience sees customer care requests handled graciously, they know your business prioritizes its customers. Plus, these interactions typically count toward engagement, thereby increasing visibility over time.
  • Audience engagement builds trust. When a customer or potential customer interacts with your company via social media, it helps to humanize your brand and generate trust. When you respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly and honestly, and add a bit of humor or good wishes, you lay the foundations for strong relationships.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

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Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
Rachelle Gordon is a business professional who has spent years advising on content marketing strategies, particularly email campaigns and social media engagement to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Deeply enmeshed in the growing legal cannabis industry, Gordon also has firsthand insights into how sectors evolve over time and the challenges involved with unique funding and compliance obstacles. Gordon's work has been picked up by outlets like Yahoo Finance and she's interviewed well-known entrepreneurs such as Kevin O'Leary. Gordon is also an accomplished speaker and has led or participated in panels about crisis management, AI-powered marketing, CEO strategies for success and more business topics.
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