Picture the scene: you spend a few hours coming up with content to post on your social media page or profile. You excitedly prep today’s post and hit publish. And then, nothing.
If you’re reading this guide, the chances are this has happened to you, and I suspect more than once.
And you’re not alone because generating engagement on social media is HARD whether we like it or not. Particularly ‘organic engagement’, which means interaction not influenced by any paid or promoted activity.
But whilst generating engagement can be challenging, there are a handful of things you are almost certainly falling foul to, which will help increase your engagement rate once rectified.
Engagement rate is a simple measurement of performance, often displayed as a percentage.
It combines the number of unique people who have seen your content and interacted with it in some capacity - perhaps by leaving a comment, a reaction (such as Like) or sharing your post on their page or profile.
So, to improve your engagement rate and start getting more people clicking on your posts, I’ll be revealing the five common mistakes that you need to stop making.
Mistake 1: You’re Using the Wrong Social Platform
Let’s start simple. One of the most significant errors many businesses make is spreading themselves too wide. They are either on the wrong social platform or, more often than not, too many platforms.
There’s this connotation that you have to have a social media presence because you have a business. Considering how many platforms there are, the likelihood of all of them being relevant to you and, more importantly, your target audience is slim. I discuss this further with Rob Dando - our CEO - on The Engine Room Podcast.
If you’re a B2B business, there is no better place than LinkedIn. The combination of profile posting and company page posting makes for a potent cocktail. LinkedIn’s professional network means you have a far greater opportunity to communicate with key decision-makers.
I provide LinkedIn training for businesses like yours, which helps them establish themselves to their audience and increase lead generation opportunities. If you’d like to learn more, click here.
Meanwhile, if you’re more B2C, Facebook and Instagram are likely your best bets. Utilise pages, groups, and profiles to promote your services, and lean on customer feedback and reviews for extra clout.
If you decide to use more than one or two social platforms, create a strategy and outline your expectations for each.
If you choose Instagram, prioritise brand awareness and exposure. If you opt for LinkedIn, focus on networking with your target and building authority in your sector.
My biggest advice here would be this: go where your customers are, not where trends are. Sure, the world and his wife might be on TikTok, but if your audience isn’t, then why waste time? Keep your target in your sights at all times.
Mistake 2: You’re Not Posting at the Right Time
“How can I be posting at the wrong time,?” I hear you ask.
Yes, defining exactly what the right time to post is isn’t entirely clear cut, but that’s where a bit of good ol’ fashion A/B testing comes into play.
One of the primary errors people make is thinking they can just post whenever. I’ve posted, so that’s all that matters, right?
While you certainly can post whenever you have to think more tactically if you want more engagement.
If you’re a 9-5 business working Monday to Friday, what’s the point of posting at midday on Saturday? Equally, why post mid-afternoon during the week if you all run away in 90 minutes?
Think about when your audience is going to be online. Most people use social media throughout the workday and after work (particularly LinkedIn), in which nearly 60% of its traffic comes from mobile.
Equally, think about what your audience can then do once they’ve seen or interacted with your post. If you’re only accessible between certain hours, then make sure your posts go out as early as possible within those hours to maximise both visibility and opportunity.
I always encourage businesses to post between 9 am - 10 am on weekdays. This ensures the longest possible window for their posts to gain interest and impact, as well as establishing a level of consistency. Over time, your audience will come to expect new content from you within this timeframe.
However, if you’d prefer a more custom approach, then I’d advise you to locate your Analytics on your social media platform of choice. Whilst you’re here, look at the performance of your past posts. Pay attention to the time of publishing, and note down the number of engagements (comments, reactions, shares etc.) Use this to make a more informed choice for your optimal posting time.
Mistake 3: You’re Over Promoting
A cardinal sin of social posting is this: companies posting about things that are important to THEM, rather than prioritising what’s most exciting or important to their audience.
A big reason why your engagement rate is low could all be due to how you’re using social media. If you are only posting about your products and services and taking a very “me, me, me” approach for lack of a better phrase, the sad reality is that people just won’t care.
Social media users are so hyper-sensitised to ignoring content that they consider ‘low value’, such as salesly posts, that it just falls on deaf ears.
A great way to rectify this is to adopt some simple changes. First, when showcasing what you do (which you should), make it conversational rather than corporate. Don’t be afraid to inject a little humour, pose questions, or even use an Emoji.
Additionally, consider adopting a simple posting rule, such as the tried-and-tested 80/20 System. This means that 80% of your posts are value-driven - meaning you are directly offering things of relevance, education and aid to your audience - and the remaining 20% is promotional or advertising-driven content, such as product posts.
If you’re wondering how you can offer more value, take a look at the resources on your website. Perhaps you have some great blogs and guides that could help readers or some industry news that gives them a heads-up.
Delivering more valuable content is not only critical for increasing your engagement rate but also for your authority. Value helps grow trust, and at the end of the day, we buy from who we trust.
For some extra post inspiration, consider using a social post planner - they are a handy tool for keeping your content on track and ensuring you always have something valuable to share. Best of all, we’ve made one for you, which you can access for FREE here!
Mistake 4: You’re Not Using Effective Calls to Action
It’s all well and good posting on your social page or profile, but if you aren’t activating your audience regularly.
Arguably the biggest weapon in your engagement arsenal is your calls to action.
Sure, there are plenty of traditional ones (which often come across as dull) such as “visit our website” or “click here”, but there’s also a whole host which, when implemented correctly, can be irresistible.
Something far too many businesses forget is this: social media is social. That means people using it want interaction. They want conversation and rapport. They want to be a part of the content - a contributor and a consumer.
With this in mind, encouraging comments is probably the greatest call to action of all. You can do this easily by always asking your audience questions in every post.
Comments are so valuable because they achieve two key things.
The first is you get direct feedback and communication with the customers who matter the most to you. This is critical, as it helps to grow that all-important trust as we have already touched upon.
The second, however, is a little more sneaky. You see, the more comments you get on a post, the more engagement you’ll generate. That’s because comments are held in very high regard on all social platforms (with LinkedIn and Facebook particularly loving them).
This love for comments tells the algorithm that you post is valuable and, therefore, sends it out to more and more people. This then broadens the number of people who become exposed to you and your business.
If you fancy trying other calls to action, here are some fantastic options:
- Retweet if you Agree: specifically for Twitter, but actively prompts users to post your content on their feed.
- Follow my Hashtag: very effective on LinkedIn, where you can own a hashtag which once clicked, sends a user to a page that solely showcases your content.
- Reaction Selector: a post that asks a question and then has several answers, which are each tailored to a reaction (Like, Love, Laugh etc). This encourages clicks.
Mistake 5: You’re Not Being Human
I cannot stress this enough - being human is the most critical thing about social media. Whether you’re posting on a profile, a company page, or a group, you will never generate quality engagement if you aren’t humanising yourself and your services.
When I train clients on LinkedIn, I often tell them to treat posting the same way you talk to someone at an exhibition or trade event. The end result is the same: you want to win their business, but in person, you wouldn’t dream of repeatedly harassing them with corporate sales information because you’d very quickly turn them off, so why would you do it on social media?
It’s so important to remember that there is always a person on the other side of the screen. Just because you might not talk to them physically does not mean you can’t talk to them personally.
A brilliant way to humanise your posts is to introduce more personality. This could be through humour or speaking organically in your tone of voice rather than a rigid business style. We always want our audience to like us because that reflects positively on our business. Another way is through more images of your people rather than your products.
As you explore the FINALLY website, you’ll notice something: there are pictures of our team everywhere. This is entirely deliberate. The more team pictures, the more human our brand looks and feels. We immediately become more approachable and likeable. At the end of the day, people like people.
As I mentioned earlier, by adopting the 80/20 System, you’ll be well on your way to a more human social presence, which will drastically improve your engagement. But whenever and whatever you are posting, always keep your audience in mind.
Think about how they would see what you post, how it would make them feel, how they would react. The reason for this is simple: these are all human responses to the things we are exposed to. The more human your content, the more people will gravitate to it.
If I can give you one final takeaway, it’s this: people often measure social media success based on the size of an audience. This is utter waffle.
The true measure of success is audience engagement. It’s far better to have a tiny audience who love your posts and your business than a large audience with whom you have no connection.
- Choose a social platform where your customers are, not trends.
- Make sure you’re posting when your audience is online, and you are open.
- Adopt the 80/20 System to slash boring sales-led posting.
- Activate your audience with quality calls to action and prioritise comments.
- Always talk to your audience personally, even if you aren’t with them physically.
Want to Learn More?
Why not connect with me on LinkedIn – I post lots of social media and content tips on my profile which I’m sure you’ll find helpful.
Better still, you can learn lots by joining my LinkedIn training sessions - register your interest here.
Don’t forget to claim your FREE social media planner which will help you create valuable content for your audience. Grab your copy here.
Also, be sure to get in touch with us here at FINALLY; we’re happy to help!