What Is User Engagement?
User engagement is the interaction between a user and your brand.
When a user likes a post, comments, tags, downloads, shares, or more, they are engaging with your profile. Furthermore, every time a user interacts with your social media, you are gaining traction in your social media presence!
User engagement is an essential part of generating brand awareness, gaining consumer consideration, and establishing a relationship with consumers.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of interactive stories, the gamification of posts, the power of Q&As and more tips on establishing meaningful customer relationships online.
5 Tips to Increase User Engagement
1. Speak With Them, Not at Them
A) Ensure you have defined your audience
The first step to creating engaging posts is understanding your audience better. If you haven’t already, start by defining your target audience:
- What is their age?
- Where do they live?
- What do they value?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What about your company benefits them?
Once you dive into who your audience is, you can start considering what they want to see on social media.
B) Create an engaging post
Creating a post that speaks directly to your audience’s wants and needs is a simple and effective way of increasing your engagement. When a user sees an image or reads a copy that doesn’t relate to them, they generally aren’t going to interact with it. Instead, you should represent them in imagery and speak to topics that they might be interested in.
For example, a shoe company might post about their “Eco-Friendly Shoe Launch” if their audience values eco-friendly practices. On top of that, they’d ensure the image reflects the copy. For example, discussing eco-friendly shoes and having a runner with a plastic water bottle is contradictory and will affect perception.
Please note, every social media platform has a different tone. On LinkedIn, everyone maintains a professional tone; people establish themselves as thought leaders, they share other people’s thoughts and more. For Instagram and Facebook, users often venture there to share their experiences, to entertain themselves, and see what is new in the world.
Consider this when creating posts and ensure that you optimize your user engagement strategy on every platform.
Still unsure how to creatively speak to your audience? Check out our blog to learn how tools like Buzzsumo, Text Optimizer, and Hubspot can effectively support your creative direction.
2. Provide Insights into Your Industry
Educating your users is a great way to build trust and overall improve engagement. This is due to several reasons; the two largest reasons being it is informative and transparent. User’s want to feel looped in, so they appreciate informative and transparent posts that make them feel like an expert.
Educating your consumers is essential to meaningful customer interactions. This way, they are engaged by your company in a means that can minimize their concerns while increasing their trust! This can also be applied to improve the visibility and effectiveness of your blogs when applied correctly.
How does this improve user engagement?
It’s simple. Users are more likely to engage with it, but also, they are more likely to share the post with friends! Furthermore, by educating users, there is less dissonance between the awareness stage and the consideration stage. Users who trust your company, and understand what you do, see more value than a company they don’t trust!
3. Share Interactive Content
Instagram and Facebook both offer interactive ‘stickers’ that you can place on your stories. These stickers are a quick and effective way of generating engagement with your brand. Sticker types include quizzes, submit questions, polls, rate a post, and more. These stickers help with gamification which is more enticing to users! For example, a company could do a fun trivia quiz series to get users engaged and interested in their industry.
How to Create Interactive Content
To effectively create an interactive story, one must first consider what the topic will be. Next, you will consider which type of sticker will best interact with users on that topic. Finally, they would choose or create an image that supports the topic the sticker will highlight. For example, to find out an audience’s favourite sport, a company would post a quiz with multiple options. Another example is to use the question submission sticker to encourage users to get their industry questions answered. Overall, the gamification of your stories will improve user engagement while also benefiting brand consideration.
4. Host a Video Q&A
Q&As are a phenomenal way of interacting with consumers, minimizing concerns, and establishing personability. As mentioned above, informing consumers can reduce the dissonance between the awareness and consideration stage. However, by adding a face to requested information, a company’s profile becomes a customer service resource for users.
There are a couple of effective ways of running a Q&A:
- A live Q&A via Instagram Live, Facebook Live and/or TikTok Live. This method requires a few factors to make it effective. First, this requires a host that feels comfortable answering questions while being personable. Second, confirm how questions will be submitted. Questions can be received via question stickers or in the live chat. However, ensure all questions are noted to ensure they aren’t being missed. Finally, people will need to know it’s happening! Create posts that will promote the date and time of the Q&A. Providing details on how to submit their questions, who is hosting, and why it’s occurring also adds further value to the consumer.
- A pre-recorded Q&A. A pre-recorded Q&A can easily be uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok to optimize your exposure across multiple platforms. A pre-recorded Q&A allows more flexibility in the timeline and the host’s ability. First, determine when the responses will be posted to your story. This could be a one-time event or can be ongoing based on submissions. Second, all questions would need to be submitted ahead of time via direct messages or the question sticker. This allows the host to prepare and record the response for when it gets posted. Finally, again, make sure users know it’s happening! Event posts or reminder posts are an important part of ensuring the engagement levels are worthwhile.
5. Entice Users to Tag You in Posts
Consumer-generated content is one of the most effective ways to build trust with consumers. By having users post about your company, or simply tag you in a related picture, you receive free promotion. This is especially important considering 81% of consumers trust friends over businesses. Consumer-generated posts as an informal review and provides the credibility required to be trusted.
It is clear that consumer-generated content is an important user engagement, but the difficulty is enticing users to do it. An efficient way to have users post about a company is by creating a contest around it. A contest that offers incentives to get users to post about them will provide value to both the company and the user.
For example, let’s look at what a yoga company might run as a contest. A yoga company could offer free sessions to 5 users that tagged them in a post about their methods for healthy living. By providing incentives, the yoga can easily engage with users that will also expand their promotions reach to followers of the users who share the post. While this marketing technique is effective, being selective in what contests are implemented is required so to not dilute your overall marketing strategy.
Decide Which Techniques Work Best
In marketing, there is no ironclad way to generate user engagement. Every brand requires an assortment of unique methods that match their brand, their voice, and their audience. Meaning, not all of these examples will be effective at improving your customer interactions. Instead, evaluate each of these options in relation to your audience, implement a few, then re-evaluate! Re-evaluating is a key part of any marketing strategy. The best marketers constantly learn, are not complacent, and adapt for optimal results