We live in a technological age, I think you can all agree. If you are reading this post right now, you are doing so on the world wide web, either on a PC, laptop, tablet device, or mobile phone. If you are a blogger, business owner, or casual user, you will, no doubt, have at least one social media account. In this post, we will look at how you can maximise social media engagement.
Social Media is a platform for connecting with the rest of the world. Social media has grown to bring the world much closer together. You can connect with almost any person potentially worldwide in real-time. You don't need to be on every single platform but the more exposure you have the better your potential reach. However, it is better to have a few accounts and engage fully rather than lots, spread yourself too thin and not maximize them to their full potential. The following list is only a selection of the most popular media platforms you don't have to be on them all. Experiment and pick the ones that suit your business/blog niche the best.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook is by far the biggest social media platform on the internet with over 2 billion registered users. That is an incredible number of potential customers that you can reach. If you are a business owner or blogger you absolutely need to be on Facebook. Get yourself a business page setup. It is free and easy to do, only takes a few minutes and the hot traffic driver now is Facebook groups. These are growing all the time and there are groups for absolutely every niche you could possibly think of. Create a group for your business or blog and start interacting with your members. These people are the most likely people to buy into your brand and ultimately be your paying customers.
I recently launched a new product and ran a competition on my Facebook business page to promote the launch. I also paid for a Facebook promotion to boost the competition and saw a great return on my investment. Engagement on the competition was great and I sent a special promo offer exclusively to all the entrants that didn’t win as a thank you for taking part, thus driving more traffic to my website and ultimately achieving some extra sales.
Although Facebook is the biggest platform, Twitter is my favourite social media platform and drives the largest amount of traffic to my website. I would class Facebook as business to customer focus whereas Twitter generally is more business-to-business. I use Twitter as a live window into the world following news events in real-time as they happen and can connect on topics that are trending at the time. You can use these trending hashtags to help promote your business if you have a product or comment that fits appropriately.
The other great thing about Twitter is Twitter Chats these are hosted at particular times of day on particular days of the week by companies or individuals and you use one specific hashtag to join into a live conversation a bit like a conference call and by using the hashtag in each of your tweets you can follow along all of the posts that use that same hashtag. They are a great fun way of maximising social engagement and getting your business known to a worldwide audience. There are hundreds of chats every day of the week and all times of the day and night. Follow the accounts that match your business or blog and you will soon pick up the chats that are appropriate for your niche.
For further reading check out this blog post from Linda Reed-Enever where she provides some great advice about using Twitter for your Business.
Instagram is my newest social media platform, so I'm still getting to grips with it. Instagram is a popular platform and very visual. It is all about top-quality photos, pictures, images, and unlike other social media platforms it is all about hashtags. You can have up to 30 hashtags per image and the consensus is to use all 30 if possible that are relevant to your post.
One of the best ways to maximise social engagement using Instagram is to take part in challenges. Like Twitter chats, they are run by an account with a set hashtag. For example, you are given a daily prompt and you must post an image relating to that day's prompt. It is a fun way of getting you creatively thinking of different photos to post each day.
Instagram has also introduce other features that can help boost your brand on the platform. For example, Instagram TV is an excellent way to produce video content that can be used to speak directly to your followers. Or, you could use it to show something off, such as a piece of product your business produces.
Pinterest isn't officially a social media platform, it is in fact a search engine, but I've included it in the list as it is a platform that you need to be on to maximize your social engagement for business and blogging. Like Instagram, it is all about images and graphics. You use it in a similar way to the Google search engine where you search keywords for topics or ideas and there will be graphics to inspire you, so as a business, it's great to make infographics and visual graphics that inspire people and drive traffic back to your website.
How often should you post to these social media platforms is an often disputed conversation. Use your analytics to find out the best times that your audience engages and experiment yourself to see what works for you. You can find more tips and ideas on how often you should post to social media on this linked blog .
LinkedIn is a business-to-business networking site. According to LinkedIn it is the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members and growing rapidly. Their mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. By joining the platform, you can build and maintain your professional network. Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.
More and more people are watching YouTube. It is not all about silly cat videos, it is a place to provide training videos courses, learn new skills and connect with your target market providing valuable webinar-type sessions and vlogs.
If you are an expert in your niche you can provide interesting videos for your audience to learn more about you, your products, or your service. You can offer ‘How to…’ instructional walkthroughs or inspiring knowledge-based videos on how to set up a website or a video diary of your adventures or travel. It all depends on your niche.
And there is more
This list could go on for pages and pages as there are hundreds of social media platforms Snapchat, Tumblr, Vimeo, are just a few other examples. I am not on any of these so cannot comment further as to their popularity or use for maximising social engagement. I will just add a couple of other tips to help maximize social engagement that are not social media platforms but are well worth having in your toolbox.
As I mentioned earlier, the world wide web is a very visual place. More and more people are wanting quick, easy-to-digest, bite-sized pieces of information and this is done through images and graphics. My top tip is to use Canva.com to create social media graphics and infographics for Pinterest, website headers, photo collages, announcements, the list is almost endless. Their free package is perfect for the average user or small business with a paid package for larger businesses also available. Sign-up and have a play - you will not be disappointed!
Not quite as fun as Canva but it's important to understand your engagement and reach. You should be tracking and monitoring your analytics. The easiest way is through Google Analytics. Although Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have analytics data that you can look at to find out when your audience is online and most active. This helps you maximize your social engagement targeting with your posts to reach the most people and get the most engagement from likes, comments, shares, retweets, and traffic to your website.
So, there you have it. My top tips for maximising social engagement. What is your favourite social media platform? Do you have any top tips that I haven’t covered? Join the discussion.