4 clever ways to encourage more follower engagement on social media

smiling friends dancing in clubIt’s no longer enough to simply have a ton of followers on your brand’s social media channels; you need authentic and consistent engagement to get the most value out of your social media marketing campaigns.

After all, engagement rates are one of the best ways to measure the results of your marketing efforts because it’s easy to follow a brand but takes more time and effort to like/comment/share posts from a brand. If you’ve been struggling to boost engagement rates on your social media pages, here are some of the most successful strategies:

Ask Them Questions

What are your biggest obstacle when it comes to social media marketing? What is the No. 1 goal your brand is trying to achieve with its marketing strategy this year? What’s the biggest marketing mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?

Asking questions like the ones above (tailored to your unique audience, of course) is an incredibly useful strategy for encouraging more followers to engage with your brand on social media. It’s thought-provoking, it makes them pause and think about something related to both themselves and your brand/products/services, and it invites them to share their thoughts in the comment section on your post. This is also a valuable opportunity to get qualitative feedback from your followers, so don’t resign your posts to statement-only captions!

Tag a Friend in the Comments

This strategy is helpful for growing your follower and engagement rates. The “tag a friend in the comments” call-to-action is typically deployed with a fun/entertaining post, as opposed to more sales-y posts, which may get less traction on the engagement front because it looks like a brand is trying too hard to boost its own sales.

To avoid appearing desperate or overly sales-driven, mix up some of your product/service posts with light-hearted general content that relates to your industry. Great examples of this strategy include Lulus and BarkBox.

Story Polls

How often do you post new content to your Instagram, Facebook and/or SnapChat stories? If you’re not using the stories features or you’re using them sporadically, then you could be missing out on a great chance to get valuable insight from your target demographic. One of the most effective engagement-boosting strategies involves creating a poll with a question and two options for audience members to choose from.

For example, a financial company might post a poll asking if student loan debt or saving for retirement is a greater concern for individuals. The results of this hypothetical poll would be useful for determining the relative age and financial concerns/preferences of the company’s followers. You can do the same thing by incorporating polls semi-regularly into your stories (pro tip: avoid poll fatigue by posting a poll 1-2 times per week maximum).

Host a Photo Contest

Lastly, many brands get great engagement rates when they carefully plan and roll out a photo contest. This is an excellent opportunity to accumulate user-generated content, in addition to building hype for your brand among existing and potential audience members who want to win the grand prize. Many brands partner with influencers and/or other brands to rein in the costs of contest prizes, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to creative uses of photo contests for social media.