How to Increase Audience Interaction on Social Media
In our ongoing social media series, Grow Socially shares techniques media professionals can use to overcome challenges that often stymie social media campaigns. For an even deeper dive on these issues and hands-on training on creating and executing a social media strategy, be sure to attend Grow Socially and Publishing Executive's upcoming event the Social Media & Inbound Marketing Master Class on October 16th. Held at the NYC Union League, the event is tailored specifically to editors, marketers, audience development, publishers, and brand managers.
The most important aspect of increasing your interaction levels on social media is listening to your audience. Before you can start to increase the amount of audience engagement, you first need to understand what's working and what's not working.
Posting a piece of content on a channel is not the end of the road for that post. Take the time to implement a monitoring service such as Hootsuite to check your performance. Once you start to understand what your audience is responding to, then you can start to tailor your outreach to their needs.
With that being said, there are some techniques that can be utilized to better engage your audience across your channels. Let's take a look at a few.
Be Visual When You Can
Using images or graphics on social media has some serious benefits. In a research study posted on eMarketer, it was discovered that image results caused an 85% interaction rate on Facebook and increased retweets and favorites on Twitter by 35%.
Although images are easier to consume than text, be weary of posting images that do not prove to be beneficial to your audience. Make sure what you are sharing peaks the interest of your target audience and links to something of value and back to your website when appropriate.
Don't forget to mix up your images as well. Photos, banners, infographics, and eBooks are all great examples. Providing a variety of different forms of images will keep your audience engaged.
Run Contests for Exclusive Content
Running a contest is a great way to promote engagement across your social channels. When creating the contest, it's important to make it as appealing and user friendly for your existing and potential subscribers. Less is more.
Before starting a contest, think about the end goal. Is it to promote awareness about your media organization? If so, tailor the contest around that. Then, choose your mechanism for your audience to enter. Mechanisms can be anything along the lines of an entry form, following social channels, commenting, liking a page, etc.
Make the objective of the contest clear and make sure your team is keeping up with audience engagement. Promising free giveaways or an exclusive peak at a new piece of content is only worthwhile if you follow through and deliver to your audience. An easy way to keep up with a contest is to set a timeline. "Enter to win by a certain date and X number of winners will be announced each day." By announcing winners on multiple days, you'll keep people engaged throughout the duration of the contest.
Ask Your Audience What They Want
Sounds simple, right? Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. If you're having a difficult time distinguishing why your audience isn't interacting or responding positively to your social outreach, ask them.
Hosting a Q&A on one of your channels is a great way to get your audience involved. Set up a Q&A to bring your audience together and after the session concludes, thank your participants and let them know you'll be creating a community forum for them to interact with one another and with your organization on a daily basis.
If your audience can't get answers to questions about your media organization, they'll quickly turn their interest towards another organization eager to help. Being direct and asking your subscribers what their concerns are in a Q&A setting lets them know that you are being sincere about helping them.
All in all, it's crucial to listen to your audience. Despite how well you think you've crafted your outreach on your social channels, you have to be willing to adapt and tailor your outreach to what your audience is looking for. Once you understand the pulse of your audience, your potential outreach across your social channels will surely increase.