digital marketing engagement

Virtually every business has curated, edited and uploaded content for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms. Still, much of this content gets only a few likes and little engagement. In a world where nearly four billion people use social media daily, what content will interest and engage your audiences?

Low engagement is a common issue for B2B marketers. Social media engagement includes everything from likes, to favorites, to comments and direct messages. Any way that a potential signals active interaction on social media exhibits is considered engagement, as opposed to passively scrolling past content. Because of social media’s real-time effect, it has become a useful and now essential tool for businesses to drive brand awareness and lead generation. But it’s hard to stand out when there’s so much background noise. Even the New York Times (with 49.9M Twitter followers) sees an average of only a hundred likes per Twitter post.

So why is engagement important? With organic reach rapidly shrinking and 88% of customers now researching online before making a purchase, higher engagement translates to conversion rates up to six times higher at companies that have adopted digital content marketing techniques versus those who haven’t. Being the first to reach and connect with potential customers in a meaningful way creates an opportunity to establish a valuable relationship.

These five tips can help you create social media posts that will engage and attract an audience, creating a two-way dialogue that translates to revenue for your business.

1. Respond to customers.

Social media users appreciate genuine and positive interactions, whether via fun videos or a business responding to satisfied customers. Commenting on Tweets, Facebook posts or even LinkedIn posts makes individual customers feel seen and that their needs and successes are important. Even responding to a negative review can turn a bad interaction into a good one. In fact, nearly 45% of people surveyed say they would view a brand more positively if they responded to a critical post. Good customer service online (and in person) can even turn buyers into advocates that will champion your brand.

2. Engage with other businesses.

Social media is about building connections. Engaging with other businesses and brands online shows that building relationships, both with customers and within the industry, is important. Commenting on another organization’s post or starting a dialogue with another brand shows humanity and authenticity. A B2C example of this in action is fast food Twitter feuds. These frequently go viral and can often change brand perception and spark positive interest.

3. Create a brand voice.

Brand positioning communicates value, establishes differentiation from competition and boosts top-of-mind recall. While your brand might have clear positioning on your website or in promotional emails, it’s just as important to make your brand personality shine on social media. Customers want to connect with people, not entities, so creating and reinforcing a clear brand voice in digital spaces is key. For example, Netflix’s human-based social media approach demonstrates how creating a clear voice online delivers more effective marketing.

4. Understand the algorithms.

While numbers can’t quite capture the depth of human experience, understanding how social media algorithms work can help you create better content. Social media algorithms dictate what content is shown on a user’s page, how often each account is shown and when certain content appears. For instance, Instagram posts perform better when the user actively uses the Instagram stories feature. Video ads on Facebook result in 20-30% more conversions than image ads. An understanding of algorithms extends beyond even social media. One of the most important efforts of B2B marketers is search engine optimization (SEO). Check out our fundamental SEO strategy to understand how to improve your organic search rankings.

5. Create content that’s easy to engage with.

Likes and shares aren’t the only ways to connect with your audience on social media. Everything from creating Instagram questionnaires to voting polls on Twitter can help drive engagement in fun, interactive ways. These content types create an easy opening for users to reach you—and you to reach them. Facebook surveys, Twitter polls and “comment down below” posts all help turn users from passive watchers to active participants—and the more willing they are to engage, the more willing they are to support your business.

Forging authentic, personal connections online with prospects and customers is more important than ever. Today, your business can use social media to cultivate the same relationship in digital channels that it does in others. Focusing on content that sparks conversation connects you with your audience and, in the long run, generates leads.