What is social media engagement?
Engaging means putting the social in social media. It is liking and commenting on other accounts’ posts as well as retweeting and following new accounts on social mediaplatforms including but not limited to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Engagement can also mean how much other accounts interact with yours. The following will describe how engaging on your end will ultimately benefit your brand.
Who should utilize engagement?
Whether you are building a personal or professional platform, engagement is the best way to grow your following.Everyone can mutually benefit, and others will be excited to participate and increase engagement rates on their own platforms. Some viral (and millennial-focused) examples are @tacobell and @moonpie. These companies are engaging with their own audiences as well as other brands, leading to an increase in followers and audience engagement.
You don’t have to be behind the name of a giant brand to successfully engage with your audience. There are plenty of ways to engage with local audiences. As a Houston PR agency, we help our clients engage locally to help build brand awareness and recognition regionally and nationally.
Why should you engage with your audience?
Engaging is a key part of social media management, which in combination with media relations, event marketing, influencer programming andcommunity involvement, makes for a complete and thorough public relationsplan.
Engaging with your audience helps develop a voice, which is important in communicating your brand personality. It also creates relationships and loyalty with clients.
Engaging with other accounts can also increase your own engagement rate. An engagement rate measures the level of engagement that your content has received. To calculate engagement rate on a single platform, take the total engagements (for example on Instagram, you would take likes and comments) across all of the posts and divide that by the total number of posts.
*Pro tip: This is a great way to analyze an influencer’s effectiveness before beginning an influencer marketingprogram
How do you build your audience through engagement?
Make business personal. The best way to get other accounts to reply is to read their caption and reply to something specific. Commenting generic things like “Great!” or “Awesome photo!” are a really nice way to compliment someone but being thoughtful in your comments will show that you are genuine, and you are more likely to elicit a response this way.
For local audiences, one of the best ways to engage with relevant audiences is to search hashtags specific to your region. For example, as a public relations agency in Houston, one might search the hashtag #HoustonPR and engage with accounts that have posted relevant content within those search results.
Another method is to engage on popular accounts in the hopes that others may click on your handle when scrolling through comments. This is a unique way to utilize influencers. A lot of influencers will use hashtags that are local as well such as #HoustonBlogger.
One of the most effective ways to engage is to test your methods. Spend time each day utilizing a singular method (i.e. engaging with local influencers, likeminded accounts, posts with local hashtags or posts with non-location specific hashtags). At the end of the day, check to see what performed well for you. Did you see an increase in followers or receive a lot of replies or comments on your own posts? While this is not always a direct correlation, it is likely this is due to your method of engagement. Test different methods to see which one works best for you. Do this every quarter as your page develops because methods you’ve used in the past may not continue to work.
ANNA BAILEY, February 2019