Finish Counting Followers & Focus on Engagement

Solid content is only the beginning. Engagement is the next goal. The number of followers you have doesn’t matter if they aren’t engaging with your content or your brand. High engagement levels show the connection between a business and its customers, the trust level consumers have for the brand. And, truly, the ultimate goal of engagement is to create “super customers” who will be loyal to the brand for life.

How do you elicit a higher level of audience engagement? Here are some tips.

Offer Value

  • Help people, make a positive impact

  • Provide something useful, show how to do something or answer a question

  • Offer insights that others can individually interpret and assimilate into their own lives

  • Demonstrate your ability to share your expertise in an area

  • Provide uncommon information

Serve the Reader

  • Understand what your readers want, what they need

    • Answer their questions in a way that differentiates you from your competitors

    • Provide insight into common challenges

    • Understand which types of events and trends will generate traffic

    • Sh are ideas and stories surrounding topics they want to read, talk about, and share

  • Provide a Q & A forum

    • Give consumers a chance to tell you what they do and don’t like

    • Structure open-ended questions to garner information on topics you might not think to ask about

    • Elicit feedback that can help you make informed, actionable decisions

  • Know which channels your audience members prefer to use to communicate and what sort of content they interact with on each platform

  • Remember that engagement level is a baseline indicator of whether or not your content is resonating with your target audience

Create Shareworthy Content

  • Offer solutions to complex issues

  • Trigger thoughtful questions

  • Encourage discourse

  • Summon an emotional response

  • Topics should be newsworthy, provide educational value, or motivate readers to learn more

Make it Easy to Engage

  • Include social sharing options on your posts – encourage readers to “tag someone” who might find the post helpful, amusing, thought-provoking, etc.

  • Provide opportunities for comments or reviews

    • Keep comment forms simple and intuitive

    • Actually write “Share Your Thoughts with Us” at the end of your posts

  • Offer opportunities to opt-in not opt-out

  • Push out surveys to elicit feedback and opinions

  • Create contests that have an interactive component

  • Add a chat box

    • If monitored by an actual person, clearly indicate (and follow) the times during which someone is available to interact

    • Provide a way to leave a question or comment if no one is available and follow up

  • Feature clear calls to action to indicate what comes next

  • When you take the hardest, first step of proactively joining a conversation, consumers will be more likely to take the second, easier step of responding.

Your Part in All of This

  • Be an active participant

  • Build strong relationships with your audience as you grow your online presence

  • Don’t ignore your audience when they reach out to you – answer questions and respond to comments

    • Reactions and responses must be authentic and personalized

    • Canned auto-responses read as such and will not increase engagement rates

    • T oday’s consumers expect a timely, if not quick, response to their questions and fe edback

    • Social media – 1 hour

    • Email – 1 day

  • Embrace and encourage feedback

  • Communicate your gratefulness for the time and effort consumers give

  • Initiate interactions

    • Share others’ posts

    • Offer comments

    • “Like” posts

    • Reach out with a “Thank You” or “Haven’t Heard from You” type of message on social media or via email

Understand What is and Isn’t Working

  • Establish an organizational understanding of engagement

  • Identify which metrics or information will help you track and measure successes and challenges

  • Track and respond to those metrics

  • Things to consider (just some of many…)

    • Time spent on a page

    • Time spent on the site

    • How many pages viewed per visit

    • Bounce rate

    • The number of shares from article pages

    • The behavior of new versus returning consumers

On the More Technical Side

  • Be consistent in the time of day and times per week that you post in order to build and maintain your audience

  • Reduce page load time

    • Remove unnecessary elements from pages

    • Compress images for quickest load time

    • Reduce the number of plug-ins on your site

  • Simplify site navigation

  • Use responsive and mobile friendly design

  • Offer an easy to find and use search bar

  • Photos and videos are more engaging than text; native video content also helps your SEO

Strive to entertain, educate, and edify. Remember that engagement impacts the level of visibility of your content. Shares, likes and comments often pull in other traffic from your followers’ online communities. Engagement also helps build brand loyalty, keep a positive image, and grow your reach. An engaged audience is one step closer to conversion. To learn more about what your first step to higher engagement rates might be, contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing for a free 30-minute consultation.