Social media engagement can mean a couple of things. First, it includes how your audience engages with your social content. Are they liking, commenting, or sharing your posts? Second, it includes how you engage with your followers on social.
We’re going to focus on that second aspect — how you engage with followers. If someone asks a question on your social media, do you respond to that question? If they comment on a post or leave a review, do you reply? Are you jumping in to engage when someone tags your organization or uses a hashtag relevant to your brand?
Let’s take a look at the basics of social media algorithms, a couple different approaches to social strategy, and why we believe strongly that every brand should take charge of engaging with their followers. As always, the approach you take to social media should be based on your business goals.
Understanding the algorithm
Every social media platform has an algorithm it uses to determine what type of content to display to people. They don’t share the details of what goes into it, and changes happen pretty regularly. But two things are clear: consistency matters and audience engagement matters. For any given social media post, each platform will show that post to a certain percentage of your audience. If people like, comment, click, share, etc., the platform will show it to some more people. If those people engage, then even more people see it, and so on. If very few people engage with your content, fewer people will see it overall.
Establishing a baseline presence
When you post content regularly, you establish a baseline presence for your brand on social media, and you check the consistency box for the platform’s algorithm. For the human side of things, this baseline presence helps showcase your expertise, share useful information, and simply confirm that you’re an active business. We have a lot of clients whose social media approach falls into this category, and it works for their business goals. In most cases, this content can be written and scheduled in advance.
Using social media for growth
On the other hand, if you’re wanting social media to be a driver for business growth and want to quantify the return on investment by directly connecting sales to social media, that’s a different approach. It requires more in-the-moment content and a higher level of social media engagement from the brand. In this approach, spending money on ads or boosted posts and responding to followers becomes a top priority, either for you as the business owner or for a member of your team. You’ll want to dedicate chunks of time to respond to comments, questions, and messages that you receive on social to get the maximum result.
Embracing social media engagement
Whether you’ve taken a baseline presence approach or a social media for growth approach, social media engagement is up to you. You are your own brand! Authenticity matters, and that means you or someone from your team needs to own social media engagement. The brand engagement piece is not something we believe a small business or small nonprofit can outsource effectively. Nobody knows your customers like you do, and you can bring that knowledge to social and make every interaction more personable. That level of authentic engagement leads to great customer relationships over time, which translates into more business overall.
We know it can be a challenge for small businesses and small nonprofits to make time for social media, but it’s important. Even if you’ve outsourced your content creation, schedule some short blocks of time in your schedule to log on, respond to comments, and share posts to your personal profile to expand your reach. You can also reach out to some key customers or referral partners and ask for their help in liking, sharing, and commenting when they see relevant content.
Need help establishing your baseline presence on social media or taking your engagement to the next level? Contact us today to see how we can help.