If you do any form of marketing for a business – a start-up or your own personal brand – you’ll probably be on at least one form of social media. While everyone is jostling for a slice of the audience-attention pie, there are probably many times you scratch your head and wonder, “How on earth can I get more engagement, and ultimately more business, on social media?”
The key is great visual content. This is the case for almost every social media channel: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Showing is always better than telling, and visuals invite your audience into an emotional connection with your brand.
So here are seven ways to create and post great visual content that will boost your engagement and have you kicking social media goals all over the place.
1. Monitor your content
First things first: how will you know how to improve, or even if you have improved your social media, if you aren’t monitoring it? Get to know what people like, what posts have the highest engagement, and what people are saying about your brand.
There are some great free tools you can use to get started:
2. Show your personality
Whether you’re an individual promoting your pet psychology blog, a start-up kombucha company, or a fully fledged linen bedding brand, you can share images, videos or blogs that speak to your brand values or reveal a bit about your own personality. Quotes, fun pictures from a team outing, or reposting an inspiring photo (with credits) from another account, will give your audience an insight into what inspires, motivates and moves you or the brand.
Have fun and don’t take things too seriously. But remember, social media is all about other people, so make sure that at the front of your mind, you’re there to solve their problems.
3. Create some visuals
Research has discovered that images can result in an 85 per cent interaction rate on Facebook, and increase retweets by 35 per cent. So if you aren’t using awesome visuals, you’ll want to start straight away.
But don’t worry, finding and creating great visuals doesn’t mean forking out thousands for photographers and graphic designers. Thanks to apps and online programs, those of us who lack a graphic design degree can quickly create visuals with a few clicks.
For photos, text overlays and infographics:
For great (free) photos try Unsplash and Pixabay.
WordSwag is a handy app which overlays text on an image. (Described as a graphic designer in your pocket. Sign us up!)
Canva is a free, online graphic design tool for non-graphic designers.
Pablo is another free online tool that helps you create words over graphics.
Infographics are a great way to tell a story. Infogr.am, Piktochart and Venngage have free and premium options.
Facebook loves videos. You can share someone else’s video with your own caption, or use programs like these:
Adobe Spark is an app and web-based tool which is an easy way to create videos with text.
Legend creates GIFs or you can find GIFs on Giphy (GIFs are a few seconds of footage that loops. Here’s a quick guide to GIFs if you’re new to them).
Boomerang app lets you create quick and fun videos that loop without sound.
Screencast-o-matic is fast and free recording.
4. Repurpose content
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest all serve different purposes and audiences. If you spend a lot of time creating a piece of content for one platform, think about how you can repurpose it for another platform and audience. You could create a How-To blog post (and include GIFs to convey emotion or the steps) to share on LinkedIn and Twitter. Then convert that post into a graphic or infographic for Instagram or Pinterest.
5. Ask your audience questions
Asking your followers questions is a great way to get them engaging with you on social media. Ask them to provide advice, give feedback for a new product, suggest content ideas or ask what they would like to see from the brand in the future. You could start by asking general questions like “What are you up to this weekend?”
6. Run a competition
People love receiving free stuff so this is a great way to boost engagement by inviting people to engage with your content, give you feedback, share your profile and get others talking about you. Jay Baer from Convince and Convert has some great ideas for social media contests.
7. Use hashtags
If you aren’t posting on Twitter or Instagram with hashtags, now’s the time to start. Hashtags help people find you. But they’re also a great way to get your audience engaging with you by hash-tagging a hashtag unique to your brand. Here’s a great guide on of to use hashtags well.
Have you got any other tips on what’s worked for your social media engagement? Share your tips in the comments below.