- There are now 4.62 billion social media users worldwide (up 10.1% since 2021)
- That’s 58.4% of the world’s total population
- Users are spending 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media daily
- People use an average of 7.5 social media platforms each month
On top of this, algorithms are continuously changing, and new features are being introduced every day (or so it seems). There is a huge volume of content being published on social media every second, which only means that grabbing (and holding) user attention is becoming ever more competitive.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably familiar with that feeling. You know the one – when you’ve spent the time analysing your insights, brainstorming ideas, racking your brain for clever captions, and scheduling your posts, all to carefully curate the ‘perfect’ content calendar. Then you look at your engagement…*sigh*…a handful of likes, zero comments, shares, and saves and little to no growth. You might ask yourself, what can I do differently?
The reality is that you’re not alone. You need to play the long game to increase your social media engagement consistently, but the results can have a big impact on your business. Positive social media interactions with your brand can make customers more likely to make a purchase, choose you over your competition, recommend your brand to others, and develop a stronger bond with you. Did we also mention the holy grail, customer retention?
Before we get into our tips, it’s important to consider that good engagement looks different on every platform. According to Social Insider, the average engagement rates for organic content are:
- 0.13% on Facebook
- 0.35% on LinkedIn
- 5.96% on TikTok
- 0.83% on Instagram
- 0.05% on Twitter
With this in mind, the question remains – how do you create engaging social media content in 2022? Well, look no further because we’ve got the answer for you. Here are 12 content ideas (with some good examples) that will help to increase your social media engagement.
12 IDEAS TO CREATE ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
1. SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE
Don’t be a gatekeeper. No, we’re not telling you to share all your industry secrets with the world, but your social media engagement will benefit from an insider tip or two. Many people use social media to learn new things, and if you’re divulging useful information that people don’t already know, they’ll be more likely to engage – for example by saving the post or sharing it with others, helping to widen your audience and boost your reach.
Take Dr Julie Smith for example. Her engagement strategy involves consistently sharing her knowledge and expertise as a clinical psychologist. This has enabled her to gather a large following on TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, whilst maintaining a healthy engagement rate across all platforms.https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:ugcPost:6807271126452998144?compact=1
2. UTILISE USER-GENERATED CONTENT
User-Generated Content (commonly referred to as UGC) is original content created by customers, not the brand itself, and encompasses a variety of media types – think images, videos, or testimonials. This type of content helps reinforces your brand’s authenticity and trustworthiness, acting similarly to word of mouth. Don’t believe us? Research by Nosto reveals that 60% of people said UGC is the most authentic form of content.
If you don’t have any UGC to work with, get the ball rolling with a campaign hashtag or a competition. This may surprise you but 60% of consumers want brands to tell them what type of content to create and share. As the saying goes, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’
Top tip: User agreements differ between each social media platform and are constantly being reviewed and updated. When using UGC, it’s essential that you’re up-to-date with the latest rules or you risk losing your account. Instagram’s current guidelines require you to obtain written permission from the original creator before re-posting their content. For most other platforms, you don’t have to ask permission but you should always give credit.
3. LAUNCH A GIVEAWAY
Hear us out. Giveaways have gained kind of a bad rep…and for good reason. Sure, they can attract a large number of new followers, but are these users interested in your content, or do they just want to win something? If it’s the latter and they don’t engage with your content after following, this can damage your engagement rate and send the message to ‘the algorithm’ that your content isn’t very interesting.
If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering why we’ve still included it in this list. Well, when well thought through and executed, giveaways can be a great engagement tool. You just need to choose a prize that’s specific to your niche and of interest to your target audience, or potentially partner with an affinity brand that is complementary to yours and create a prize bundle for a giveaway,and use a Call to Action (CTA) that will benefit you in the long run. This way you’ll appeal to your target audience and attract potential customers rather than empty followers, as demonstrated by Eco Vibe.
Our final word on giveaways… you will always have ‘compers’ who won’t necessarily be your target audience (some even set up specific social media accounts to enter giveaways), so ensure that when you are planning your giveaway that you are clear from the start what you are trying to achieve (build your community with relevant people, get more people to sign up to your newsletter, give feedback on your products etc.) and what good looks like to you in terms of success. https://www.instagram.com/p/CdTZBMKoAwV/embed/?cr=1&v=14&wp=540&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk&rp=%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A1%2C%22os%22%3A1325.7000000029802%2C%22ls%22%3A981%2C%22le%22%3A1321.6000000014901%7D
4. CREATE A POLL
Everyone has an opinion and, more often than not, they love to share it (but if you have a Twitter account, you’ll already know that). Not only will a poll encourage people to interact by casting their vote, but many will also want to justify their choice by commenting or sending you a direct message.
Also, remember that your audience will want to feel involved, particularly if they’ve bought into your brand. So, if you’re using a poll to collect feedback about an upcoming decision – like preferred colours for a new clothing line, for example – you’re providing an opportunity for your audience to feel more connected with your brand.
Lastly, entertainment value is big on social media. Think of a humorous poll topic (but stay true to your brand identity, of course!) and watch your engagement increase. Check out this fun poll from the Twitter Marketing account instilling a sense of competition, for example:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NlbnNpdGl2ZV9tZWRpYV9pbnRlcnN0aXRpYWxfMTM5NjMiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoiaW50ZXJzdGl0aWFsIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd190d2VldF9yZXN1bHRfbWlncmF0aW9uXzEzOTc5Ijp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6InR3ZWV0X3Jlc3VsdCIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9fQ%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1510996113079296010&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F&sessionId=e6c92b4dce616954558d82ecacdccd06d4403f9a&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px
5. INTRODUCE YOUR TEAM
People love people and no matter whether you work in the business to consumer, or business to business sectors, , your audience will want to know who they’re dealing with. Put a face to a brand and all that – ‘About Us’ pages on websites for example are typically the most visited pages which speaks volumes. One of the best ways to introduce people to your social feed is through a Meet the Team series. Aside from being evergreen content, this works by humanising your brand, forging deeper connections between your brand, your employees, and your audience. If you can add in some personal elements too, you’ll be onto a winner.
Once you’ve introduced everyone, it doesn’t need to stop there. Positive news stories have a strong tendency to perform well. Why? Because they evoke emotions. Celebrate the promotion of a team member and you might be surprised by how many otherswant to celebrate with you. Or highlight the generous charity work of an employee and expect to find a great deal of support in the comments.
We love this example from Procreate; one of a series of videos introducing each of its team members using a ‘day in the life’ format which is popular on TikTok. 10/10 👏
BEHIND THE SCENES
Another way to humanise your brand is to share Behind the Scenes (BTS) content. Letting your audience ‘peek’ behind the curtains of your business allows them to gain a deeper understanding of your brand and what makes you tick. We’ve seen this work particularly well for small businesses on TikTok, with the platform itself launching a Small Wins initiative to further support them having recognised that being authentic plays a big part in their success.
LinkedIn is also a great platform for talking about your company values and culture. Not only to attract business but also potential candidates, too. The pandemic has caused a big shift in employee expectations – they’re seeking more flexibility and want to feel valued by their employer. And it makes sense why people find this type of content so engaging; social media was created to connect people, after all.
Plus, let’s be honest, we can all be a little nosy.https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:share:6917750364943310848
7. TRADE LENGTHY CAPTIONS FOR SNAPPY GRAPHICS
Despite Instagram making it clear that they are prioritising Reels (in an attempt to compete with TikTok), carousels are still the top-performing media type on the platform. But using multiple images works to increase your engagement on any platform. If the topic of your post requires a lot of words, avoid adding them to the caption and instead, spread the information across several slides. Think of it as a Slide Deck – include the main points in your images, then expand on the subject in the caption. Not only is it easier to digest, but users will also have to engage with your post to reveal all the information.
Top tip: this works particularly well for sharing expertise as we mentioned in #1.
Take it a step further by adding a Call to Action (CTA) on the final slide to encourage further action, just like this example from our friends at Ecologi.https://www.instagram.com/p/CcNDTSSOSr0/embed/?cr=1&v=14&wp=540&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk&rp=%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A2%2C%22os%22%3A1327.2000000029802%2C%22ls%22%3A981%2C%22le%22%3A1321.6000000014901%7D
8. USE IMAGES
We know this one might seem a tad obvious, and quite frankly, adding an image to your social media post has become common practice for many. Nevertheless, we wanted this to serve as a reminder that even on text-based platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you should be including a visual aid to every post. Why? Because the human brain processes images 60,000x faster than text, and when you’re competing for peoples’ attention in a world of information overload, you’ll want to use every trick in the book.
But as in any situation, some rules do apply. For example, you shouldn’t be posting any random images. Instead, it should be related to the topic of your post (no clickbait, thank you) and of good quality – no one wants to look at a blurry image! It’s also good practice to optimise the size of your images for each platform.https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fissuu%2Fphotos%2Fa.10150273188339627%2F10159554782819627%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=true&width=500
9. USE VIDEO
Well…this is awkward. We know we just told you to include an image on every post but we’re adding a caveat that when you can use a video instead of an image, you should do just that.
The pandemic, in conjunction with the rise of TikTok, has dramatically increased the amount of video content being produced and consumed. People watch an average of 19 hours of online videos per week and are twice as likely to share video content with their peers than any other type of content.
What does this have to do with engagement you might ask? On Twitter alone, Tweets with a video get 10x more engagement than those without. So, whether it’s an animation, GIF, an unedited clip filmed with your camera app, or a polished recording using high-quality equipment, you should be prioritising it!https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NlbnNpdGl2ZV9tZWRpYV9pbnRlcnN0aXRpYWxfMTM5NjMiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoiaW50ZXJzdGl0aWFsIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd190d2VldF9yZXN1bHRfbWlncmF0aW9uXzEzOTc5Ijp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6InR3ZWV0X3Jlc3VsdCIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9fQ%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1523063877688336385&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F&sessionId=e6c92b4dce616954558d82ecacdccd06d4403f9a&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px
10. START A CONVERSATION
Social media is conversational by nature.It was created for one-to-one communication as it’s important not to forget that. People want to engage and form connections, so it makes sense to harness this and create content that opens up a dialogue. Avoid talking at your audience (no one wants to follow a broadcast account) and instead encourage users to contribute to a conversation. You can either make this the focal point of your post, like the example below from Heinz, or you could start the conversation in your caption and prompt users to continue it in the comments.
But like anything we mention in this article, it’s all in the approach. For example, you should avoid posting spammy or clickbait content which encourages users to simply react to a post. Social platforms are taking note of this engagement ‘hack’ and aren’t happy about it. For example, Linkedin recently announced that it will no longer be promoting content that asks or encourages the community to engage with content via likes or reactions.
Our advice would be to ensure that whatever conversation you’re starting, make sure it adds value and aligns with your brand values and content strategy – be a helpful brand!https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NlbnNpdGl2ZV9tZWRpYV9pbnRlcnN0aXRpYWxfMTM5NjMiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoiaW50ZXJzdGl0aWFsIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd190d2VldF9yZXN1bHRfbWlncmF0aW9uXzEzOTc5Ijp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6InR3ZWV0X3Jlc3VsdCIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9fQ%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1520039959268319232&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F&sessionId=e6c92b4dce616954558d82ecacdccd06d4403f9a&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px
11. DEVELOP A CONTENT SERIES
A content series is a set of related posts that follow a theme or relate to a consistent topic. They can work in the same way as a television series, leaving your audience invested and eagerly anticipating the next ‘episode’ (if done right, of course). Creating multiple pieces of content that relate to each other also builds loyalty and familiarity amongst your audience, motivating them to keep coming back and engaging with your content.
A brand that does this particularly well is Farrow and Ball. Colour Consultant and Brand Ambassador, Patrick O’Donnell, became a regular face on the brands’ Instagram Stories, giving viewers inspiration and advice on combining paint colours. It became apparent that people were enjoying this style of content and it has now become a recurring video series on their feed. Each post receives a significant amount of engagement, with multiple comments denoting how valuable people find it.https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdItoy0p72Z/embed/?cr=1&v=14&wp=540&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fstationrd.co.uk&rp=%2Fengaging-social-media-content-12-ways-to-boost-your-engagement%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A3%2C%22os%22%3A1770%2C%22ls%22%3A981%2C%22le%22%3A1321.6000000014901%7D
12. ASK QUESTIONS
We’ve already mentioned this a little earlier, but if you take one thing from this blog, remember that people using social media want to feel involved and know that their voice is being heard by the accounts they interact with. An effective communication loop between you and your followers allows you to understand what you need from each other.
Research shows that 80% of customers expect companies to interact with them on social media. So, asking the right questions can seriously boost your engagement. This works particularly well on Instagram using the Questions Sticker, but it can be just as effective on any platform.
But remember, this is most effective when the engagement is reciprocal. If someone answers your question, try your best to respond. You can ask as many questions as you like but if your audience feels like they’re speaking into a void, they’ll likely stop engaging.
There you have it. 12 ways to create engaging social media posts. We recommend trying them all before reviewing your insights to understand which ones work best for your brand. Some may resonate more with your audience than others, and that’s okay. After all, giving your audience what they want is the best way to engage them.
If you’ve tried these ideas but still aren’t seeing the results you want, we’d be happy to help. Our in-depth social media audits and strategy workshops can give you clear benchmarks and help you refine your approach, messaging, content theme, tone, topic, timing, and content type to improve the chances of people interacting with your brand. We always THINK before we COMMUNICATE.
We can also offer social media training if you’d like to delve a little deeper into the topics we covered today.
So say hello, we’d love to talk!