Social media engagement is as hard to control as getting the second date. It’s psychological and personal more than formulaic and rational. Social media engagement means comments, shares, and click-through on post. So it’s more than a like and a view. It means that people are compelled to share a post with friends or leave a comment, or click on the product or blog post that the post is advertising. Writer and digital strategists may craft likable social media posts, but it’s a gamble whether people will engage.
Here are some successful trends in engagement right now that tend to lead to click-throughs, shares, and comments:
A cinemagraph is a picture with some video elements. For instance, it could be an otherwise static picture with just the movement of wind in hair to emphasize a headband. Or it could be a cup of coffee with the cream swirls moving but everything else still. They’re attractive because they catch your attention. You’re used to seeing a photo or a video as one or the other but not both. They’re also a good way to emphasize your product by making it the only thing moving in the photo. Pair them with blog posts or products for greater click through.
They’re still a gamble in terms of sharing and commenting as they’re more of an “ooh!” factor than something that spurs a question or extreme reaction. But they definitely pair well with product pages and work better than a mere stock photo image for a blog post.
2. Giveaways That Require Comment
An easy way to get engagement that’s a tad entrapping is for you to host a giveaway that requires customers enter by leaving a comment AND tagging friends to comment. This branches into a huge tree of comments, but of course it’s a little bit of bribery. But it’s an excellent way to get click-through to the products you’re giving away, and with current customers tagging their friends as well, you’re getting new customers and followers.
But do NOT have too many rules for entry or you’ll lose interest. Keep it simple (i.e. Enter the giveaway by commenting on this post and then tagging three friends as a comment.) THAT’S IT. I sometimes see 10 rules listed on an IG Giveaway and leave thinking, “Not worth it,” so do not overcomplicate a simple engagement tactic!
3. Create Your Own Memes
If you create a meme that’s funny or compelling without being an obvious pull for a brand then you have MASTERED engagement. Memes are synonymous with sharing and comments. If people like a meme, they tend to tag their friends BY writing a comment. So it’s a clever way to boost your engagement so long as you’re not overtly agenda-driven. If you’re a brand, leave this to a writer and a meme-creation app.
Memes are as infectious as taglines but more psychological and humor-based than typical advertising. They’re going to require you trust a creative rather than presume a formula. So let your creatives brainstorm and present memes and rejoice in the engagement boot you’ll receive as a result!
4. Instagram Stories
Instagram now offers a Snapchat-esque feature called “Stories” that allows you to make 15 second videos, employ filters, and create cinemagraphs, videos, and pictures that highlight or lead to your product or blog. The stories can be a fun way for brands to see how many people LOOKED, at what point they turned away, and whether they clicked-through to the links provided and adjust accordingly. You can see that that information on normal social media posts but IG Stories have a sense of immediacy because they last for 24 hours only and so the urgency created benefits giveaways and your current IG pictures all the more.
Be careful not to overwhelm and have TOO many products and too many IG story posts. Sometimes brands overdo it with an onslaught of information and products and it feels like someone opened their closet and is just throwing outfit after outfit at you without you getting a good look at the first one.
5. Dogs and Cats Using Your Product
If you ever need to boost engagement, using pets is a pretty safe bet. Despite the prevalence of seeing cats and dogs with a beer bottle or cake or sunglasses, it’s always fun to see our pets enjoying human products. These posts faire better for engagement than products in nature or products with people. We can’t get enough of pets acting like us! Find out What Cat Videos and Memes Can Teach Us About Content Marketing.
Social media strategists are writers and creative for a reason: social media is not a mathematical marketing formula. It’s psychological and even once there is a “surefire” trick like dogs with sunglasses and cinemagraphs, as customers get more accustomed and less surprised by these, they look past them. A creative can always think of fresh, innovative ways to catch someone’s attention. Employing writers as digital strategists and giving them clear boundaries but enough freedom to try original content is key to boosting engagement.
WriterAccess draws writers, editors, and content marketing strategists that think this way intuitively and can generate fun ways to continually surprise and delight audiences into engagement. Try these tips if you’re in a dry spell with social media content for a quick boost!
Samantha S writes direct, dynamic, digestible copy for any purpose and any medium. She has written for apps, games, websites, literary journals, trade magazines, newspapers, e-commerce brands and health//nutrition brands. Samantha’s most notable achievements are authoring a guidebook for College Prowler, interviewing Leonardo Dicaprio, Zac Efron, and Amy Sherman-Palladino for The Hollywood Reporter, reviewing books for Publishers Weekly, covering the World Series of Poker, teaching creative writing at Harvard-Westlake, and working as Editor-in-Chief of The Oval literary magazine.