Social media- it’s a necessary evil today. Don’t get me wrong, I love scrolling through Instagram just as much as the next gal. But when you’ve got a never ending to-do list and money to make, social media can be more of a time suck than anything else.
You can’t beat social media for free marketing. You can even turn it into a profitable platform if you grow your following enough. But how to grow a following? How to engage your followers? Then, how do you grow your social media engagement? And how to do it in a way that doesn’t require tons of time?
First, let’s dissect what social media engagement is and what we’re trying to do with it.
What is Engagement?
Social media has come a long way since Facebook burst onto the scene. While having a large number of followers used to be the goal it’s more complicated than that now.
Engagement is the new metric that you should be striving for. What is engagement? Simple- it’s the amount of interaction each of your posts get on your various social media accounts.
Engagement is relative to your follow count. You may have 50,000 followers on Instagram, but if each photo you post is only getting around 200 likes and one comment, your engagement levels are really low. On the other hand, if you have 3,000 followers and each photo gets 800 likes and five comments, you’re doing really well!
Brands, companies and potential collaborators are now looking for engagement over simply high numbers of followers. They want to make sure that their content is going to be interacted with, not just scrolled by. Large numbers of followers is no guarantee that people will actually see your posts (thanks, ever changing algorithms!) High social media engagement levels are a better indicator of how many people will see a sponsors product.
Boost Your Enagement
If you have a small social media following it works in your favor to try and boost engagement rather than try and grow your following.
Luckily, there are a few ways to boost enagement that don’t take a ton of time or money.
Use YOUR Voice
The easiest and best way to boost engagement in your social media accounts is to use your authentic voice. With so many accounts competeing for people’s attention, it’s become clear that those who are truly relateable do best.
Content that is too aspirational can lead to negative thoughts. It also takes a ton of time to design, shoot, and edit truly amazing social media content. (We’ve all seen those Instagram accounts.) If you don’t have time or money, why bother trying to run in that crowd?
Don’t mimic someone else, don’t try to pass yourself off as something you’re not. If you’re a neat freak that loves grammar, share that! If you’re a mess who happens to love photography, share that. People will see themselves in your imperfections and be moved to comment, or share your content.
Being authentic cuts back on the time it takes to craft the perfect tweet or caption. Just speak from the heart! It brings people to you and saves you time. That will drive social media engagement in a real way.
Pick Channels That Make Sense For You
It’s a common misconception that you need to be present on every single social media platform out there. Talk about a way to spend hours of your time on social media!
An easy way to get back your time is to pick a few platforms where your audience hangs out and build followings there. Fashion bloggers should go with Pinterest and Instagram. Writers should gravitate towards Twitter.
By focusing on a few channels you also give yourself the time to create great content. No one needs more sub-par content our there in the world. Focus on a few platforms and create amazing work there. As you grow you can add in more platforms and take over the world.
Talk TO Your Audience, Not AT Them
Excuse the caps, but this is such an easy thing that people fail at all the time. Your followers are more than just numbers and comments, and you need to use that. There’s people on the other side!
An easy way to boost engagement is to try and engage with those people. Ask them questions, tell them to share their ups and downs, get recommendations for things. Reach out to the person on the other side of the phone or computer and your engagement will sky rocket.
Social media is a constantly changing thing. The thing that doesn’t have to change? Your voice and content. Let your real self shine through on the platforms that matter to you.