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There are a lot of people on social media… and I mean a LOT. In fact, there are so many people on social media that experts estimate the number of users to exceed three billion (aka, one third of the global population) by the year 2021! Holy smokes.

Social media “reach” (the total number of unique people who have seen your content) is incredibly important for staying top of mind, but what about engagement? Sure – people are seeing content… but wouldn’t it be great to naturally increase the likes, comments, and shares that content receives?

With all of the noise online, social media engagement has never been so critical for professional success. After all, building long-term relationships with clients online will catapult you to another level of competition. Engagement indicates that your audience is, obviously, engaged. One hotel & spa noticed that when someone likes and shares their post on Facebook, they generally succeed in effectively reaching an additional six or seven potential customers. That’s a significant amount of exposure at no additional cost to the business.

All of this now begs the question: HOW does a business increase social media engagement? Here are some tricks that will ensure your audience will want to interact with your brand:

Videos, Videos, Videos

Did I say videos? Since a natural way to get engagement is by simply catering to your audience, consider this: 80% of audiences would rather watch a video from a brand than read a blog or article. That would make sense considering the average engagement rate for Facebook videos is significantly higher than any other form of content. Even as someone who is an avid reader & writer, I cannot say I’m surprised. We are busier than ever, and video content is the easiest way to absorb information with minimal effort. Videos give you the opportunity to present an intimate, personalized, and behind-the-scenes look at your business. If you’re stuck on what videos you should be posting online, check out our tips here! Now, if you really want to see your engagement skyrocket, try broadcasting a live video! Going live results in getting six times more interaction than pre-recorded video posts. Live broadcasting is one of the most (if not THE most) cost effective and impactful ways to curate an engaged audience.

Ask Fun Questions!

Asking questions is a classic way to kick off an active thread in your comment section, but there’s definitely a better way to do this than the average Joe… The key word here is “FUN”! I see brands frequently beg their audience for comments by asking “what do you think?” after posting a picture. Quite frankly, that doesn’t entice me to voice my opinion… However, if brand posts a specific & fun question, I’m much more likely to engage! For example, if a company asks, “Which team are you cheering for in the Super Bowl?” or says “In honor of the Oscars, tell us your favorite movie in the comments below!”, I’m much more likely to give that post some engagement.

**BONUS TIP: Even though it’s tempting, make sure you engage your audience with questions without practicing “engagement baiting” which will be flagged by Facebook and demote your content in the news feed. Posts that shamelessly beg for clicks with calls to action such as “Share with friends to win a $100 Amazon gift card” or “Like if you’re a Gemini” will get less visibility in News Feed. Basically, Facebook wants to stop people from using reactions for anything other than sharing a genuine and honest reaction to a post.

Quality (And Simplicity) Is Key

With thumbs scrolling quickly through smartphones, there’s hardly time for engaging with average posts. But quality content doesn’t mean complex content! In fact, Facebook advises that simple posts with clean creatives are the best at capturing an audience’s attention. A great place to start is with keeping a consistent color scheme, including recognizable and clear images, and using minimal text. If you need a good place to start, try stock image websites like Pexels to find free photos shared by talented photographers. Don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful photo to get more likes and comments!

**BONUS TIP: Did you know that photos with faces get 38% more likes than those without? You might share a post of the team you work with, someone using your service, or success stories with past clients! People-pictures help humanize your brand and bump up your engagement.

When Someone Engages, Engage Back!

With SO much being shared online, it’s a compliment when someone takes the time to engage with your post in a sea of other content! When someone comments on your post, definitely take the time to reply. After all, nobody enjoys being ignored, and people who appreciate your content will want you to engage in return. As a bonus, when that person gets a notification that you replied, that increases the chance of them returning to visit your page. In a year where users will focus on the “social” aspect of “social media”, these simple (but meaningful) social conversations will snowball into a top-of-mind awareness and genuine interest from leads.

Implementing these pro tips will supercharge your engagement rate, keep your audience interested, and attract new business to your social media accounts! Want help with putting these tactics in motion? Back At You Media can alleviate your social media pains by providing tools to immediately amplify exposure of your brand, distribute engaging content, recruit top talent, and provide transparent analytics to measure the impact of our efforts! Back At You Media is the ONLY social media company that is backed by the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR Benefits® Program, AND is a badged Facebook Marketing Partner with ad Technology and FBX specialties. If you’re not using our full-service system yet, schedule a call today!