Don’t buy fake likes, comments and followers - focus on increasing your engagement naturally over time
It’s hard trying to increase engagement on your social media channels and there is always temptation to skip ahead fake likes, comments followers and subscribers. But don’t be fooled, as these illegitimate engagements will have significant impact in the long run. Plus, savvy brands and consumers can see right through it.
Instead, focus on increasing engagement naturally and don’t let the changing algorithms and competition from other creators get you down. Think of it as an opportunity to challenge yourself to create fresh, innovative content that your audience will get excited about and will naturally want to engage with.
Why is it important?
As brands (finally) move away from superficial metrics like reach and followers, engagement and engagement rate will continue to become a key data point used to determine whether an influencer is a suitable partner for a brand. Engagement (e.g. how many likes and comments your content receives) and engagement rate (the percentage of your audience that is engaged with your content) is important to brands as it gives an indication on how engaged the audience is and provides a benchmark to compare and consider. Engagements and engagement rate can also be used to detect influencer fraud, so it’s super important to brands and it is in your best interests to work on increasing your engagement naturally.
Whether it is Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, here are some tips on how you can start increasing engagement on your social media channels naturally and encourage your audience to become an active member of your community.
Create engaging content
Original, high quality content goes a long way on social media. Not only do social media channels and algorithms favour high quality content, it’s also a great way to capture the attention of your audience and increase engagement on your content.
With over one billion users on Instagram as of June 2018, it's never been more important to stand out from the crowd, and high quality, engaging content will help you do that. Make sure you challenge yourself and create content that is unique, creative and in line with your personal brand.
If you really want to take your content to the next level, consider investing in professional photography equipment and editing software, or at the very least, update your smartphone to the latest model to ensure the camera is as powerful as possible.
Find your voice
Finding your tone of voice and personal brand goes hand in hand with creating high quality content. You can’t do one without the other. Spend time defining who you are, your tone of voice and the type of content you want to create - whether it is video, photography or written. Once you are clear on this, keep it consistent in your content and across all of your social media channels. Your audience will become more engaged with you and your brand when they can see more of your character and personality in your content.
Interact with your followers
No matter how big your following is, always make time to interact with your audience. Answer their questions, reply to their comments, engage with their content and make sure they know you appreciate their support, as this will encourage them to be more engaged with your content too.
Another way to interact with your followers is to create content that encourages interaction. For example, use the poll or questions feature on Instagram Stories to ask questions, get feedback and bring your audience into your content strategy.
Share your story
Social media consumers engage with content that is authentic and with creators who are personable, so share more about you with your audience to build a strong connection with them. Give them an insight into your life, what you do on a daily basis and your highs and lows. On Instagram for example, your audience sees a very small, sometimes “staged” aspect of your life and it can be hard to connect on a more personal level through this channel if you don’t make an effort to share more of your own character and personal story. YouTube on the other hand, is a great way to really connect with your audience and share more of who you are, which is not always possible in an Instagram post.
Opening up to your audience makes them feel like they can trust you in return. As trust and authenticity is a huge part of influencer marketing success, it’s important to be open with your audience.
Network in real life
Take advantage of opportunities to network with other influencers, brands and your audience in real life. Whether it is at an industry networking event, an influencer activation you are attending or someone you have met on the street, take advantage of these opportunities in real life, as it will benefit your engagement online. Social media is great for forming connections, but nothing beats real life networking and it builds a stronger relationship quicker. The people you have met in real life are probably some of your most loyal, engaged followers, so take advantage of these opportunities to help increase engagement on your social media channels.
Cross-promote your social channels
Every time you upload a new piece of content onto one of your social channels, you should cross promote it on your other channels. If you posted a new YouTube video, create a short snippet or trailer to post on Instagram, Instagram Stories or IGTV. Your audience might follow you on one social channel and not another, so make sure they never miss an update and you never miss an opportunity to reach them with engaging content. Plus, you might attract new followers to your Instagram (for example) who are already engaged with your video content on YouTube, so cross promoting your social channels is a great way to encourage your audience to follow along on all channels, not just one.
Use relevant tags and hashtags in your content, and make sure you tag brands that you feature, locals you visit and people you meet. Getting reposted by another social media account is a great way to reach a new audience and get exposure, which can translate into engagements on your own content.
There we have it… a couple of tips to help you increase engagement on your social channels naturally. Remember, it’s all about the quality of the engagement, so don’t be tempted to buy fake comments, likes and follows because it will hurt you in the long term. Instead, focus on creating high quality content, sharing more of your personality with your audience and cross promoting your social media channels to reach more people who already engage with your content.