It’s one of the worst feeling in the world; you go to start your car one morning and the engine just won’t turn over. The only solution is to get a boost from another car, a jolt of electricity that sparks the engine and brings it out of dormancy.
Managing an organization’s social media account works much the same way. One day you’re motoring along, blogging up a storm, tweeting your original content, creating helpful and fun videos, and the next day you look and the engagement has dried up. This is what is commonly referred to as a rut and it is not good. What you need when you’re in a social media rut is a boost. It’s just like what a dead car battery needs, but instead of electricity, you need a boost in engagement.
Here are four ways your organization can give its social media strategy a boost in engagement without spending a lot of time, money or energy.
Share a Quote
People are looking for humour. People are looking for inspiration. People are looking for wisdom. Quotes can give your social media audience all three.
Posting a quote on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram is a fun way to mix it up and boost engagement. Studies have shown that sharing a quote on Twitter results, on average, in a 19% increase in retweets. Quotes are also very popular on visually-oriented platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Quotes are relateable, interesting, easily shared and quick to read, which is probably the reason why they are so popular.
There is no shortage of occasions when a quote can become content for your organization. Someone, somewhere, has said something about your industry, product, service or area of expertise. If it’s a special awareness day (ie. Earth Day) find a fun quote about it and relate it back to your organization. Interview a member, volunteer, staff member or customer and quote them. If your organization is centred around a particular location, city or community, find a quote about that place and post it. The point is, you don’t have to look far to find a great quote.
If you really want to go the extra mile, add a photo to your quote. Images do well on social media, so why not combine quotes and visuals for ultimate engagement potential? This makes the quote shareable across a multitude of platforms, especially the visually-inclined ones like Pinterest or Instagram.
Share Someone Else’s Content
We’re all for publishing original content here at Incline Marketing; it drives traffic to your sites, it increases brand awareness and makes your organization the go-to resource for information on any given topic. However, there comes a time when the phrase “sharing is caring” becomes very useful on social media.
Sharing other people’s blogs, articles, stats, quotes, photos or other content on your social media channels will help get your organization some more engagement. People appreciate it when their work is highlighted and a good deed rarely goes unnoticed. If your organization shares someone’s content, they will be more likely to become part of your audience, share and like the post, thank you for it and connect with you in the future.
Find some relevant content from someone with a decent-sized following, a good track record of social media activity and some credibility in the industry. Share their content on Twitter, Facebook or any other platform. Just make sure to do two things; give them credit by tagging/mentioning them and summarize the content in your own words. Perhaps re-jig the headline to give a different and fresh take on the content. This keep the content fresh and more shareable from the other person’s point of view. If you really want to go the extra mile, throw in a compliment when giving credit. Saying something like, “… by the always-interesting @JohnSmith,” is definitely a piece of shameless flattery, but this good social media karma might come back to you in droves.
Make a Trending Topic Relevant
Riding a wave is always the easiest way to get from the deep water back to the beach. On social media, the wave is a trending topic and the beach is a place that’s full of people you want to talk to. The conversation is already started for you, all you have to do is get talking. Once you have inserted yourself into all the talk surrounding an already-popular topic, increased engagement is sure to follow.
Social media is a great tool for two things humans are obsessed with; information and opinion. An interesting piece of news travels fast online and your audience is probably inclined to find out more about it or share their opinion about it or both. Adding your organization’s voice to the equation makes you seem knowledgeable, up-to-date and important. It also gets your brand out to an audience you know is large and engaged.
To capitalize on a popular subject, browse the trending topics on Twitter and Facebook. Find a topic that is relevant to your organization and craft a tweet around it. Make sure the connection between your organization and its content is at least a little strong. The weaker the link, the less interest it will have for people paying attention to the trending topic. Use hashtags to insert yourself into the conversation. Although Instagram, Pinterest and other platforms don’t have a trending topic section, it’s safe to say that a popular subject on Twitter and Facebook will probably be popular on these platforms too. If you really want to impress, write a blog post that tackles a particularly trendy topic or piece of news from your organization’s point of view and share it all over.
Ask a Question From a Specific Group
If you want some more engagement, just ask for it. That’s the gist of this next piece of advice, which is to ask a question from your audience or a specific demographic that your organization wants to engage with. A question begs for an answer and when this answer comes from your social media audience, it leads to engagement, relationships and future interactions.
There will always be people out there that want to share their opinion and their expertise. Whether its for exposure, networking or simply to join in a conversation on a topic they’re passionate about, these individuals will take the time to answer a question you pose. Social media is based around participation in and access to conversation with like-minded groups. Your organization can capitalize on this by asking a question. A response means one more piece of engagement, but also exposure to an important demographic and relationship with a key audience member that could mean big benefits.
Find the places on social media that your community is hanging out in. On Twitter, this might mean finding the hashtags where your members or customers go to find information and share content. On LinkedIn, this might be the groups that your target audience joins. Develop a well-thought-out question, one that’s relevant, promotes different opinions and is clear without being dumbed down. Pose it to the community in which you want to engage with. If no one is answering your questions, try tagging certain influential members of the community. Also, answer other people’s questions and comment on their posts. This will make it more likely that they will engage with your queries down the road.