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In an age when businesses are utilizing social media as their primary (and sometimes only) tool for marketing, it can be disheartening to see a sudden drop in marketing effectiveness. Three months ago, your brand’s social posts were hitting thousands of people and receiving hundreds of comments, but suddenly (overnight it seems), you count yourself lucky to see even half of that level of engagement.

What happened?

For one, social platforms continue to throttle back organic reach, meaning they’re putting your post in front of less and less of your following. Another factor? More brands are producing more content. More content means more clutter, and more clutter means that it takes more work for your content to be seen in the marketplace.

In order to earn more social engagement, your social media marketing strategy needs to include tactics for counteracting these reach-strangling factors. We’ve laid out four tips to help your brand drive more engagement on social media.

Four Ways to Improve Social Media Engagement

1) Give Your Post A “Boost”

The easy way to get more engagement? Pay to get your social media post in front of more people! Facebook has a blue “Boost Post” button and by clicking that button, you can push your message to reach a wider, targeted demographic.

Boosting your post involves a bit more than just clicking a button. Spend some time fine-tuning your brand message to best hit the desired target audience. Boosting, when done correctly and efficiently, often results in an increase in your organic reach.

Keep in mind the cost. At the end of the day, it’s your credit card getting charged for these boosted engagements.

For brands that are looking for additional ways to earn social engagement without paying for it, here are a couple additional ways to earn those sacred engagements.

2) Content that Captures: Video

Much like an episode of America’s Funniest Videos, a key to building your social media impact is to provide your audience with content that makes them stop and watch. According to Animoto (2015), your audience quadruples when you put a video in front of them as opposed to text. TechCrunch tells us that in 2016, over 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook alone. 50% of internet users are turning to videos to research a product or service before they venture to a store and 4 out of 5 customers look at demonstrative videos as a help in making a decision.

Keep in mind, video content is not limited to specific industries. If your brand involves the best cheeseburgers on the East Coast – make a mouth-watering video that has all of your customers craving one of your cheeseburgers. Does your brand install HVAC systems in the Mid-Atlantic? Create a short video of one of your sales reps cooling themselves off in front of an AC unit.

Pro Tip: If you can’t showcase the product, showcase the benefit of the product.

Videos on social media are also easy for your fans to share. Keep the video clever, clear and quick (30 seconds or less) with a high entertainment value. A short but memorable video with a clear message will improve your social media bang. Videos are also favored by Facebook and other social platforms algorithms, putting your brand in the de facto top spot.

3) Micro-influencers Are Better Than Micro-Managers

What is a micro-influencer? Simply put, a micro-influencer is a believer in your product or service that has a small(ish) following of their own. The micro-influencer encourages everyone they know to go to you. Again, you can find micro-influencers in almost any industry. If your company manufactures snowboards, your new best friend should be a snowboarding instructor who will use and promote your product to all of his/her snowboarding students. Think Under Armour: Kevin Plank initially turned to his friends, not celebrities, to wear and promote his brand. These athletes spread the word and turned a small business that was run out of the trunk of Plank’s car into a multi-million dollar company that outfits everyone from professional athletes to babies and soccer moms.

It wouldn’t have been possible without those early believers who were willing to convince everyone they knew that Under Armour had a product worth trying.

When you think about your brand, think about the real people who might be willing to promote it. Your micro-influencer might only reach a couple thousand people, but those people will buy in at a higher level of commitment to your brand because of the personal referral.

4) Fan Advocacy With Your Everyday Fan

According to the 2016 Nielsen Harris Poll, 82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase. 67% of those polled said they are more likely to make a purchase if it was recommended by someone they know on social media. 88% of those people said they really like having an incentive to share. An astounding 95% of 18-34-year-olds polled are motivated by those same incentives. This is where Fan Advocacy comes into play.

Fan Advocacy allows your customers to work for you. Your most loyal customers have already bought into your brand and likely have already spread some of the word for you. Create a program that encourages your social media fans to shout their love for your brand from the rooftops and get rewarded in the process. Encourage the shares, likes and personal referrals and capitalize on that 88-95% of the population who want to be incentivized to share your brand. People like being rewarded, and rewards can be a great motivator for spreading your good word.

Starting a Fan Advocacy program can seem daunting, especially if you are unsure of your demographic. SocialToaster published a Fan Advocacy 101 article that covers some easy ways to convert your fan base into your brand advocates.

The best kind of advocacy is organic in nature. Your fans embrace your brand and run with it – without any kind of reward from you. (Think about the latest Apple iPhone release and the lines around the block at your local cell phone store. This is a perfect example of the organic brand advocate.)

SocialToaster Helps Improve Social Media Engagement

A satisfied customer is a happy customer – but a loyal customer will bring more customers to your door. Engaging your customers through social media will keep them interested in your brand and have your brand message be top-of-mind with your targeted audience.

Building an organic advocacy base is a SocialToaster specialty, so don’t feel like the task is overwhelming or daunting. If you have any questions, or want to get started, give us a shout! Request a free demo or call or email us today and one of our advocacy strategists can help create an engagement-driving program that is customized to suit your needs.