Social media is a useful and cheap tool for any business, but it is also a crowded field. While everyone and their grandma are using social media, only the top brands can draw their attention meaningfully. This is why content engagement strategies are necessary for cutting through the noise.
So, how can you optimize your presence on social media? You need to focus on the following elements:
- Content audits and content analysis on social media platforms
- Find your place in the engagement funnel
- Social media content pillars
- Know the best times to post and what designs are in vogue
This provides a process for developing an integrated model of social media brand engagement. We’ll explain further below.
Boosting Content Engagement
The first step to boosting content engagement is to conduct an audit of your own operations. Look through your platforms and examine how they are performing. It’s important to know what you are looking to improve since engagement encompasses a varied range of metrics.
- Shares or retweets
- Followers and audience growth
- Mentions (either tagged or untagged)
- Using branded hashtags
Next, you need to decide what the goal of your strategy should be, which will help you decide what you need to boost. Shares and retweets are great for getting the word out about products or events. Comments are great for gathering information or building rapport with customers. If you want people to visit your website, click-through rates are where you should be looking.
Each of these metrics aligns with a different strategy and different intent. Therefore, it’s good to know what you want and then look for the metrics you need to achieve it. We have a more comprehensive yet simple breakdown of different metrics in our SEMrush tutorial.
There are many benefits of a social media audit including properly analyzing your position, understanding what content works best, identifying whether or not your content is obtaining the right metrics, and adjusting the target group you’re tracking. Aside from in-built analytics, you can also improve your audits with the use of pixel tools.
Social Media Positioning Strategy
When looking over your content audit, you may not find your communication channels performing optimally. The remedy for this isn’t always in fixing the content. You can also adjust your positioning to achieve better reach for your content. Positioning comes before content.
Generally, positioning is about how you relate to the market and your product and where that places you in the minds of consumers. On social media, you also need to consider the format of the platform along with the consumers you are marketing to. Therefore, positioning yourself properly means knowing what style of communication is appropriate for the channel and scale.
LinkedIn communications are thus very different compared to Instagram posts. One can be more formal while the other more casual. Strike a balance while taking your company’s guidelines into account.
Local vs. Global Social Media Strategy
The first element of positioning is setting boundaries. If you are a local business or operating on a local level for each specific region, you might want to use the language preferences of your area, a specific communication style, or a frame of reference. If you are running a global account, then you need to be broad and more general towards a huge mass of customers.
Wheel of Social Media Engagement & the Funnel
Now for a bit of theory behind social media engagement and what drives it. While there are a number of diverse factors the main ones can be summed up by the Wheel of Social Engagement. Although there are many models, Anne L. Roggeveen and Dhruv Grewal proposed this one.
According to the theory, social media operates with 5 distinct effects that marketers can target.
- Connected effect: the connectivity social media offers along with the ability to convey social value to others through posts, preferences, tweets etc.
- Network effect: this refers to a person’s ability to grow their influence and network.
- Information effect: the actual content of the media which could be informational, humorous, exciting, enraging etc. All these tones count as information.
- Dynamic effect: back-and-forth interctions with producers, brands, or marketers.
- Timeliness effect: while social media can be accessed at any time, there are aspects related to posting times, recency, or FOMO.
Each company needs to decide what effect they are going for based on their operations. If you want to spread awareness, you should be targeting the information effect. However, if you’re looking for subscriptions or sign-ups to your pages, you might want to channel the connected effect.
Now you need to find your place in the funnel (based on your aims), so you can eventually plan what your strategy should be.
|Level 1||Aware||Aware||Also Aware|
|Level 3||Collaborate||Loyalty program||Participate|
|Level 4||Affect change||Strong preference||Lead|
The stages of the engagement funnel
Optimizing Content Engagement
So, now you’ve decided where you fit with regard to the previously shown elements. Putting these together can help ensure you’re using the right areas with the right medium and stage of the funnel. First, you need to pick what target group you’re aiming for and which media channels they use most.
From there, you can look at the tools the channels allow you to implement and see if they fit your strategy. For example, if your strategy needs to increase participation by channeling the dynamic effect, you may want to use interactive posts on Facebook or polls on Instagram. In this case, you may want to research good questions to ask on social media for engagement.
Platform & Design Tips
It’s here where we finally get to the aspects dealing with the content itself. With all of the pre-planning done, we can actually create content that has been poised for an effective launch. However, even with all your guns loaded, there is a need to understand that quality definitely matters here.
There is no set-in-stone standard for a good post and everything is contextual. It will depend highly on the industry standards, brand guidelines, and the specifics of the communication channel. That said, there are some particular guidelines that can be helpful.
Based on research by various content management and posting systems, images that succeed have some particular attributes (generally):
- Simpler images and text can be more catchy and less overwhelming
- Statistics can attract attention
- White or empty space can also help images breathe
- Premade templates provide a distinct feeling for brands
- Faces in thumbnails and images instantly attract more attention than posts without them
- While fonts should be easy to read, studies show that information conveyed with difficult, stylized fonts is easier for people to remember (this should, however, be kept in moderation at risk of annoying the reader)
- Blog posts should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well in search engines, however longer posts (1000 words or more) rank more easily than short posts. Social media posts should be easier to digest.
- Find the appropriate hashtags with a hashtag tool.
Best Colors for Social Media Posts
According to a study from Georgia Tech, colors can have a massive impact on engagement. Red, purple, and pink increase shareability for posts, while yellow, black, and green diminish it. Of course, these depend on context but as a general rule, they can be good for improving content engagement.
If you quickly want to know what colors work best aesthetically, you can check the color wheel. If you pick contrasting colors, i.e. the ones on opposite ends of the wheel, you can create eye-catching images. These can help you stand out from the crowd on social media.
In general, your color palette should have between 2 to 4 colors for simplicity’s sake. You can add different tones of the same color for additional flavor but it’s best not to overcomplicate an image. Similarly, with text in posts and images, do not use more than two different fonts (at least on standard-sized images).
Content Posting Times for Maximum Engagement
Optimal posting times can vary from platform to platform.
- The best time to post on Reddit is between 8 and 10 AM
- Between 1 and 5 p.m on Instagram
- 9 a.m on Facebook
- Between 8 and 10 a.m and 6 – 9 p.m on Twitter
- Between 10 a.m and noon for LinkedIn
If you’re interested in social media optimization services, check out the listings on our website. We provide content strategy services, production, and planning for businesses.