increase social media engagement

There are many approaches that brands can take with social media marketing. Will they work diligently to gain as many Facebook followers as possible? Focus efforts on curating attention-grabbing Pinterest boards? Tweet multiple times per day? Whatever the approach, these brand marketers must remember one very important thing: quality trumps quantity.

One trap many social media marketers fall into is to only focus on their number of followers. While this can help drive web traffic and increase brand exposure, be careful not to rely on this number alone.

Social media followers are very valuable, but only if they are active and engaged. If a brand has a very large base of unengaged followers, it’s missing out on the potential to form a strong connection between company and consumer.  When consumers are truly engaged with a brand’s social media channel – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest – they will be more likely to share content with their peers. Brands should strive to foster an environment of active followers, instead of ones who simply observe.

For example, the decline of Facebook business Pages’ organic reach forces marketers to plan their social media efforts wisely. The latest findings report a typical Page receives a 6.51% organic reach per fan – compared to 12.6% in September 2013. It’s dropped to nearly half of what it was not that long ago, and is of concern for social media marketers.

How can brands drive an increased level of engagement, while always keeping quality in mind? Here are 3 tactics that marketers can use to succeed in their social media marketing efforts:

  1. Do more than just listen. It’s a given that marketers must monitor their social media accounts daily. They may need to block spam comments or check for new messages and mentions. But more importantly, they must respond to new activity. Chime in when someone comments on a Facebook post or mentions you in a Tweet. Do not simply take note of it and move on – show that your brand is truly involved. Provide thoughtful responses and useful answers, rather than write a hasty response that may not be valuable to the consumer. Make sure that your engagement or reply is of the highest quality possible and not a rushed effort to check it off your list.
  2. Stick to a schedule. Work hard to keep your account active. Whether you plan to post daily or on certain days of the week, keep it consistent to ensure there is always fresh content to encourage engagement – and less of a chance that it’ll fall off your radar. Tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck can help with this; especially if you plan out content a week or so in advance. The quality over quantity debate is a non-issue with social media. A brand’s loyal followers would much rather see quality content every few days than poor quality content on a daily basis.
  3. Be a follower. As important as engaged followers are, it’s also important to be one yourself. On Pinterest, for example, be mindful to follow other relevant accounts that may help as you Repin content to your own boards. In addition, they may return the favor and follow your brand’s page. This is also especially true with Twitter – active engagement from the brand side is critical. Reply when others mention you, or direct a question toward you. Brands can gain followers by being a follower, but should still keep quality in mind over sheer quantity.

With these three approaches, as well as any others your brand chooses to use, always strive to provide the best user experience possible. Listen to your followers, interact with them, and encourage them to engage with your brand’s social media account. There are many ways that social media can positively affect your brand – increased web traffic, wider brand exposure, or a spike in sales. To learn more about how your brand can impact purchase behavior on Pinterest, download our free white paper.