Posted by Drew Melendy on Jan 31, 2020 4:20:29 PM
5 Ways Brands Can Boost Their Facebook & Instagram Engagement
Engagement is crucial to brands’ success on social media because it’s the measure of how often they inspire their customers to interact with them.
But, as business owners know, you can’t just post any content to get this valuable interaction. You need a plan to deliver quality content in captivating ways.
If you’re looking for some help with that, you’re in the right place! Here are five things you can start doing to drum up more engagement on both of the social networking sites.
1. Use Micro-content
With the constant buzz of noisy social feeds, your content needs to make a point and make it snappy! That’s where micro-content comes in.
Micro-content is content that is easily digestible and leaves an impression very quickly. These posts get high views and successfully get followers to interact. Here are some ways to use it.
Create Facebook & Instagram Stories
If you’re not using Stories for your business, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage your audience. Stories are only 15 seconds long and extremely easy to cross-post between Instagram and Facebook. So while it takes minimal effort to create and post them, they still provide a ton of marketing value.
Since they positioned at the top of their respective newsfeeds, they make it easy to maintain visibility with your audience. Plus, with fun features like stickers, countdown timers, location tags, and interactive polls, there are many creative ways to engage them.
One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from business accounts. If you’re not using Facebook and Instagram stories, make this a part of your business strategy today.
Post Quick Tutorials
Quick video tutorials are also a valuable form of micro-content for retailers as a fun and creative way of soft-selling.
For example, fashion retailers do this with fit and style videos. They are usually 15-30 second clips that demonstrate the look, feel, and fit of clothing. Often, you can see beauty brands doing this with sped up makeup tutorials.
Shoppers love these because they are entertaining and also help them make informed purchasing decisions. Plus, they can weigh in with their opinions.
Better yet, these quick tutorials can also score sales. Don’t be surprised when your customers start asking how to purchase the items in your social videos. (More on that later.)
Instagram and Facebook chat bots are helping businesses deliver short, relevant, and timely messages to their customers on behalf of their business. Auto-replies, in particular, are helping customers directly in the comment threads and boosting the number of conversations happening on posts.
Auto-replies are conversational snippets of helpful info that provide basic customer service, act as a virtual assistant to shoppers, and can even facilitate ecommerce transactions. All your followers have to do is comment, and artificial intelligence will quickly reply with an appropriate response.
2. Build Brand Community
As Facebook continues to put the spotlight on building connection, many brands are starting to invite fans and interested onlookers to be a part of their branded communities. Here are a couple of ways that Facebook and Instagram make it easy to do this.
Start a Facebook Group
Facebook groups give brands a dedicated channel to grow a community with their fanbase. Here, customers have a forum to speak to like-minded individuals (aka other brand fans).
Facebook groups can start a dialogue with you or other members about your products, your customer service, and brand mission. This conversational atmosphere makes groups the perfect place to build and nurture relationships with your most engaged followers.
Use Instagram Hashtags
One of the most effective uses of hashtags is to encourage user-generated content (UGC). Happy customers are eager to share their favorite brands on Instagram. Ask your fans to use your branded hashtags when they post photos of themselves wearing or using your products.
When it includes branded hashtags, it’s easier for new audiences to find and connect with your brand. If you aim to boost your organic reach significantly, you need to have a hashtag strategy.
Hashtags also give you a way to find these posts and thank your brand advocates. This will give you a chance to ask permission to share their content.
By sharing user-generated content to your brand page, you can get engagement rates up to 690% higher than any other form of brand content! Consumers trust UGC, since it is the digital word of mouth marketing.
3. Harness the Power of Live Video
Live videos have engagement rates that outperform all other forms of video content because it facilitates real-time conversations between viewers and broadcasters. Both Facebook Live and Instagram have their respective live-streaming platforms that you can use to reach their audiences.
Facebook Live videos produce 6x as many interactions as pre-recorded videos. Use Facebook Lives to show a behind the scenes peek, demo your product, or start a conversation with your customers.
Brands that have seen the most success engaging customers are conducting Facebook Live Sales, which use the platform to put on real-time shopping shows. Retailers show off their items one by one, and customers comment to claim them.
This process, known as comment selling, is one part transactional, one part conversational. It’s a fun, interactive, and exciting shopping experience, so this method always gets a lot of attention.
When paired with automation, you can instantly turn comment claims into invoices. Invoices are automatically sent as comment replies, Messenger replies, or as an email. So, not only will you benefit from the flurry of comments from Facebook Live Selling, but you’ll also be rewarded with sales.
While Instagram Live doesn’t have nearly the same versatility of Facebook Live, it can still satisfy viewers’ need for real-time, interactive content.
Plus, Instagram Live notifications are a real scroll stopper. If a follower is on the Instagram app at the time of your live, they will get a pop-up notification urging them to hurry and watch before it ends.
Once an Instagram livestream ends, you can share the replay through an Instagram Story section. If you choose to do this, it’ll bump you to the first spot on the Story section. This is a great way to tack on extra views.
4. Run Contests
Running contests is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to garner engagement. Giveaway items don’t even need to be very pricey for people to want to win them. Half the fun is in trying their luck!
Simple “comment to win” contests do very well at getting people to interact. Photo caption contests, trivia questions, fill-in-the-blank games are all entertaining ways to get more participation.
These are all great ways to drive certain behaviors outside of liking, sharing, and tagging, too. Run contests on your live video to get people watching, ask members to invite a friend to your Facebook group, and to drive mobile app downloads.
5. Start A Dialogue
One of the simplest ways to begin a discussion with your customers is to ask them a question. Most people want to share their opinion, so they’ll find it hard not to respond. This is especially true if your question is related to their interests.
For instance, boutiques know that their fans are fashionistas. Why not ask them about their favorite (or least favorite) fashion trend? You can also ask their opinion with “be the buyer” posts. These sorts of polls can help you perform necessary market research for the next time you buy new inventory.
More importantly, these can help you know your customers on a deeper level. By opening up conversations regularly, you start to understand how to serve your customers better.
It doesn’t need to be about your products and services, either. Brands that genuinely care put in the effort to know their customers better on an individual level. So, spark conversations with them about their personal lives! Conversations like these always lead to better overall engagement. That’s because they build trust, familiarity, and connection.
So, there you have it! Engagement is worth more than just a like, a comment, a share. Over time, it can turn passive onlookers into lifetime customers and brand advocates.
Facebook and Instagram give brands many tools and avenues to reach and engage them. Just remember that to succeed, you must use them consistently. Like with most good things, it takes time to get results. However, nothing is stopping you from taking the first steps to building your loyal following today.