Gaining social media followers is one thing, getting them to engage is another. Often times, businesses and influencers struggle with getting an audience that actually engages, and although quality content is key - there are plenty of other reason why getting engagement can be difficult. If this sounds like you - don’t worry, I have you covered.
Below I have compiled 10 easy to follow tips that will boost your social media engagement for FREE!
Try to keep the “subject” in your post
Quality content matters, and that means keeping a subject in your post (more on the image recognition part of this later). Random photos of objects and landscape usually perform poorly (unless you have some incredible photography skills), therefore bringing your entire engagement down.
This is because the less that people interact with your content, the less people the platform (whether it be on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc..) will show your content to. Of course this equates to less reach, less interaction, and then less value.
Quality matters the most. A “quality” post keeps the subject - or "niche” in the content.
Random photos of objects or landscape often don’t perform well. That’s why if you are building your social media around yourself, then it’s important for you to keep yourself in your social media.
Try to stay within in your niche and include a relatable subject as much as possible.
2. Understand Image Recognition and USE IT
This next topic might seem a little bit odd at first but stick with me.
Social Media platforms think they see your photo by running an algorithm and grabbing data from the image. Traditionally made popular by Pinterest, this type of image recognition is now at the heart of most social media platforms.
They find out what people like to see (by running the image, the audience’s reaction, etc…) and then decide who that content should be shown to.
Below is a prime example of image recognition. All similar walleye (or walleye family) photos perform alike. This is highlighted by the red circles.
All crappie photos performed similar as well. This is highlighted in blue. This is image recognition. Instagram recognizes what my audience likes and shows it to more people.
If you notice that Instagram is favoring a type of photo - use it as much as possible. This helps you grow your following but also grow your engagement. This is how you can go viral.
The same goes for Facebook and Twitter.
3. Avoid Linking-Out as Much As Possible
“Linking-out” means you are linking to a post, video, content that is outside of the social media platform. Essentially, you are taking people away from the platform.
The number one thing Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (and all platforms) want is for you to stay on their platform for as long as possible. This is how they make money and how they stay relevant.
That’s why often times when you post a link, it gets throttled.
It can even pull your engagement down on future posts.
I go into this in much more detail in my “Struggling to Grow Your Social Media Post? Then Read This” article. However, what should know right now is that any sort of linking away from the platform will result in throttling of your post.
The BEST way to combat this is to build up your authority and engagement - then pull. I often say posting 10 to 1 - organic vs links is a good rule of thumb. Just make sure the content is quality.
Below is an example of “linking” out of Facebook. I’m asking people to check out an article on a different website - therefore pulling people away from Facebook. This limits how many people Facebook is showing the content to.
4. Respond to Your Audience’s Comments (right after dropping the post)
If you want people to interact with your content, then respond when people comment. This is how you will get fans.
If you do this, they will regularly interact with your page, building an actual audience, improving engagement, and giving you authority.
Not to mention, it MASSIVELY inflates your comment count when you do - which is one more stat that looks good to other people and potential partners.
Whether you are trying to improve your engagement on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, take time to respond to the bulk of your audience - and when possible respond right after you drop your post - this helps instantaneously build engagement.
5. Post on “Active” Periods of the Day
Use your analytics to check when your audience is most active. This is important because the more people that interact with your content in those first few minutes - the more successful your post will be, particularly on Instagram. By posting at the most popular time of day, your content gets seen quickly by your audience which improves your engagement rate. This then improves shares, mentions, and thus overall page growth.
Most active periods generally are in the morning, lunch and evening during the week. However, because everyone is in different time zones and have different niche’s, it’s important to look at your own audience and see when they are most active. You can do that by using analytics. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all have very in-depth metrics to help you breakdown your audience. Of course you will first need to set up a business account on Facebook and Instagram to do this - follow this tutorial if you need help.
Then you will get access to your follower’s habits, helping you determine what to post and when. Below is an example of using analytics to determine when my followers are active the most.
6. Watch Your Words (They Can Throttle Your Content)
Think you can fool the algorithm into to not throttling your links? Think again.
It’s been proven by multiple social media experts that platforms DO throttle their content not only based on linking out - but by words insinuating that you’re linking out.
Remember… social media platforms only work if users stay on their platform - that’s why they throttle linking out.
Therefore, when you say “check link in bio” I can guarantee that signals a “red flag” somewhere. This type of lingo can throttle your content - ending up in less people’s feed.
Therefore, take a little extra time when writing your post to watch your words (or at least be as sneaky as possible about it.
7. Ask Questions in Your Captions
Social media platforms are all about being social. That means you need to create content that users will interact with. One of the absolute easiest ways to do this is by asking questions in your captions.
Asking questions doesn’t have to be difficult. You can simply ask if they can relate to your topic, about their own personal experiences, or if they agree with you.
8. Do Participation Threads When Possible
Participation threads are incredible for Facebook and Twitter (Instagram doesn’t really fit this one) where communities are key. It’s been proven that building a “community” on Facebook pages OR in Facebook groups is highly rewarded on the platform. One of the best ways to do this is by using participation threads.
This is pretty self-explanatory - you ask your audience to participate in a theme. Since my social media is based on fishing, I have an example of a “Walleye Wednesday” thread that I use below. People love this, it gives them a chance to show me what they are up to - instead of the other way around.
As you can see, my Facebook engagement is really high for this particular post. I have 109 comments from my audience (many are photos from people who want to show me their catches). This creates a community that therefore helps me drive up my engagement as a whole.
Below is a similar example on Twitter. I received over 17,000 impressions - and all I did was ask people to participate.
Everybody loves to share.
9. interact with other people’s content
Interact with other people’s content and there is a good chance they will interact with yours. The more people who interact with your content, the more your content is shown to people.
Simply by setting aside 10 to 15 minutes during the day, you can scroll through your feed (whether it be Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) and interact with your followers and with non-follower and other pages.
An accumulation of likes and meaningful comments can go a long ways for your follower count and your engagement.
10. TAKE NOTES ON WHAT WORKS (AND REPEAT IT)
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is take the advice above and analyze your own trends. Take notes on patterns that you see are working.
Things to consider when doing this include:
What time seems to be working the best to post?)
What type of images are responding the best?
What questions does your audience respond to?
Does replying to comments seem to boost your post?
How does your post respond to tagging/hashtags?
Which hashtags work the best?
How frequently have you been posting - and how has it affected your reach?
Take time, put in the work and you’ll see results.
I highly recommend you also check out these articles on social media improvement here: