“If you want engagement, be engaging. Be conversational. Ask questions. Leave room for your audience to add their voice.” – Darren Rowse
Is it easy for brands to engage their followers on social media nowadays? No, it isn’t. You may post a number of attractive ads presenting your new products, informing about discounts or special offers, and yet, people won’t be engaged. Why? Because nobody likes being bombarded with marketing messages all the time. You need to know what to post on social media in order to drive engagement.
To draw people’s attention and engage them, you need to post other types of content than primarily ads. You need to show your audience that your business isn’t focused only on selling, but also on providing help, support and… entertainment. That’s right! Entertainment. No matter what your business is connected to – gastronomy, tourism or merchandising, you need to be able to entertain your audience.
Are you ready to learn how to do that? If yes, scroll the page down a bit.
What To Post On Social Media For Higher Engagement
Let’s be honest: there aren’t many strategies to use that guarantee boost in engagement on social media. In fact, there is one main strategy, which doesn’t cost much, gives great results and anyone can take advantage of it. All you have to do is to regularly create and share posts, which are:
- … and, above all, non-promotional.
Once you start doing it, you’ll notice a difference in customer and brand engagement on your social media page. Now, to give you an idea of what types of posts I’m talking about, here are ten creative posts that will make a difference and improve your social media strategy:
#1 User-generated content.
User-generated content can be defined as any type of content (such as blog posts, videos or images), which was created by users (i.e. unpaid contributors) and posted on social media platforms. In other words, it’s a situation during which users promote your brand, and not you.
Although user-generated content is to a certain extent promotional, it feels more natural and native-like than traditional ads.
Here are a few statistics about user-generated content that you may find interesting:
- According to a survey, 51% of Americans trust user-generated content more than information on a company website or news articles about a company when they search for information about a brand, service or product.
- As much as 98% of Millennials are more likely to engage with a post created by a friend than by a brand.
- Brand engagement receives a 28% boost when users are exposed to both user created product videos as well as professional content.
Thus, user-generated content can have a huge positive influence on the relationship you have with your customers: it can build trust with your customers, improve customer loyalty and increase engagement.
Now, the question is: how can you take advantage of it? It’s simple. Find user-generated content and share it on your social media page. Check how GoPro does it on Instagram (also, look at the number of Likes):
Let me guess what you want to say now: it all sounds and looks wonderful, but it’s easier said than done. I understand you. Completely. If you’ve never heard of user-generated content or never used it before, you may find the whole idea complicated and have a lot of questions. Thus, let me try to answer a few of them and so, start you off:
- How can I find user-generated content? The best way is to use hashtags.
- What if nobody promotes my brand? Take matters into your own hands and start encouraging users to post videos, reviews or images of your products, for example, by creating a user-generated content contest.
- How often should I share it? As often as you find appropriate. Make sure there’s always a variety of posts on your social media page.
Final tip: remember to always give credit to the user.
#2 “Stay Tuned!” posts.
Did you know that, according to a study, we’re happier to anticipate and desire a product than actually acquire it? Thus, by the same token, we’re more excited and engaged when we wait for something unexpected to happen rather than when things just happen. Where’s the fun in receiving everything immediately, after all?
Now, let’s see how you can use this knowledge in practice to increase engagement on social media. Check this Facebook post by Tupperware:
Can you see the genius in it? Basically, Tupperware informs their audience that something big is going to happen soon and asks them to keep in touch for more information. That builds tension, a sense of anticipation as well as excitement. Take a look at the number of Likes. Over two hundred – pretty nice, right?
Now, to maximize the effect of a “Stay Tuned!” post, you can start a discussion. Ask people to guess what’s going to happen and share their thoughts in comments. You can also offer a reward for first correct answer.
#3 Memes and inspirational quote posts.
A meme can be defined as a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or an idea. In other words, it’s a captioned image intended to be funny by ridiculing human behavior, common rules or situations.
What you need to know about memes is that:
- They are like an infectious disease. They travel from person to person through social media within a second.
- They help us remember. Did you know that when you hear an information, you remember only 10% of it three days later? But, if that information is accompanied by an image, you remember 65% of it?
- They produce an immediate reaction and so, can be extremely engaging.
Here’s an example of a meme post on Instagram:
Do many brands use memes in their marketing strategies? No, not many, because not everyone succeeds to drive high engagement with them. Creating and using memes requires some practice. However, it can give marvelous results. Lego, as you can see above, received over 23k Likes for their meme post. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you decide to try to drive engagement on social media with memes, remember to make sure there’s a connection between your meme and your brand, products or services. Also, make it funny and memorable.
If you’re not convinced about trying memes in your marketing strategy, you can always create inspirational quote posts:
They also boost engagement and add variety to your social media page. So, use them as well.
Why do we love stories? We love them because they are one of the most powerful forms of communication, they can be told in various media (images, movies or text), and above all, because they evoke various feelings and emotions in us, such as empathy, compassion and cooperation.
Since we like stories so much, many brands decided to focus more on storytelling than traditional marketing strategies. They find that storytelling develops deeper and stronger relationships with your customers.
- 92% of consumers want brands to create ads, which feel like a story,
- Brand storytelling has an enormous influence on engagement on social media. According to a study, it can boost shares even by 585%.
Thus, using storytelling in your posts can be a great way to increase Likes, comments and shares regardless of the channel. Check how Oreo tells their story on Twitter:
If you don’t know what story to tell your audience, think about recent events. Was there any party in your company? Maybe you took a trip together? Or, perhaps you did something creative? If yes, tell your followers about it.
#5 Helpful content.
I believe this point comes with no surprise, right? Sharing helpful, high-quality, thought-provoking and compelling blog posts on social media can have an enormous positive effect on brand as well as customer engagement. No wonder, then, that according to statistics, 66% of marketers reported using blog posts in their social media content and 65% planned to use blogging more often in their marketing strategy in 2017.
Have you? If not, it’s about time to start. Take example from Neil Patel:
Also, remember, you can share various types of content from various sources:
- Share new content that appears on your blog. This way you not only engage your customers, but also, drive traffic to your blog, generate more leads, increase brand visibility as well as awareness.
- Share other people’s content. This way you also provide entertainment for your audience. Moreover, you show them that you’re not scared of your competitors. That builds trust.
#6 Discussion posts.
Discussion posts, or, in other words, posts that ask questions are a perfect choice if you want to strengthen relationships with your customers and build a community. Remember, people love to talk about themselves, their experiences and share their opinions with others, so asking them a question is a great way to increase social media engagement.
Here’s what you may also find interesting:
- Sprout Social discovered that 79% of Millennials as well as 84% of other generations prefer those brands that let their personalities shine on Facebook.
- 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on a social media platform at least once a month.
Thus, starting a conversation on social media can be a great way to boost engagement by interacting with your audience. Let them speak. If you’re wondering what questions to ask your followers, take example from other brands:
You can also challenge your audience, just like Tucan Travel does it:
There are many possibilities, so be creative!
#7 Contests (or competitions).
Are social media contests powerful in 2018? Yes, they are! They can increase engagement (since they are exciting and fun events), build your email list as well as inspire virality.
Still, many brands are not sure whether to include social media contests in their marketing strategies. Why? Because they believe that although a contest can increase customer engagement, it can discourage people to share brand’s content, fail to inspire purchase decisions and fail to encourage participants to recommend a brand to their friends. Is that true? As a matter of fact, no, it isn’t. According to a research by Tamba:
- 5% of people who enter contests continue to share brand’s content after the promotion ends.
- Contests do influence purchase decisions for 3 in 4 participants.
- Almost 3 out of 4 people are more likely to recommend a brand, which runs contests and offers giveaways.
As you can see, running social media contests doesn’t have a negative influence on your marketing strategy. In fact, it can improve it. So, give it a try, just like Ikea does it on Twitter:
#8 Seasonal posts.
Another great way to engage your audience is to show off with your creativity. That’s right! People love to see that you can create a unique and fun post, which evokes positive feelings and emotions, such as happiness, amusement, love or inspiration. Remember, your audience doesn’t want to see a corporation behind your brand, but a human being who is compassionate, authentic, honest, generous and has a good sense of humor.
Now, a great way to show your personality is to create and share fun seasonal and holiday-themed posts about your brand. Check how Renault rocks with their seasonal content on Instagram and follow in their footsteps:
#9 Infographic-like posts.
A few words about infographics: they are visual representations of data as well as information, they allow you to convey a message quickly and in a visually attractive way, and they educate, entertain and provide valuable information to your audience.
No wonder, then, that many marketers include infographics in their blog posts. In fact, when asked which type of visual content had the highest engagement, 40% answered that original graphics (ex. infographics).
So, since most brands know that infographics work, why don’t they create short infographic-like posts and share them on social media? My best guess is that most brands haven’t thought about it, yet, or find the idea ridiculous. After all, an infographic has a bigger size than a standard social media post. Right… But, who said that infographics on social media have to be long? Take a look at this creative image post from EcoFriendly Life:
Does it drive engagement? Looking at the number of Likes and shares, it definitely does. So, would you give it a shot and create your own unique infographic-like post? If you’ve never created any infographics, check free online graphic-design tools, such as: Canva, Piktochart or Venngage. Use them to your advantage.
#10 Video tutorials.
Video tutorials (DIY projects and crafts) are another type of content that can increase engagement on your social media page. How come? Well, video tutorials teach your audience something new and help them improve their skills. They also send your audience a message that you’re serious about giving them the best content possible.
What’s more, video is a great tool to entertain your audience. According to research, more than 50% of users prefer to see videos from brands rather than other types of content. So, creating video tutorials may be the right strategy to use to drive more engagement on social media.
To give you an idea of how a video tutorial can look like on social media, check Instagram posts by CraftFactory. Their video tutorials are creative and fun:
Conclusion: What To Post On Social Media For Higher Engagement
Since we don’t live in a world of magic, nothing can ever be done by itself, unfortunately. Thus, engagement on your social media page won’t grow by itself. It needs your help. So, it’s about time to start acting! Check the ideas discussed in this article again, make a good use of them and observe how your posts go viral.
Also, remember, nobody Likes, follows, shares content and buys from brands that don’t post interesting content on social media regularly. So, to see results, spend more time on creating and posting original content on your social media page.
Your effort will pay off.
About the author:
Emily Johnson is the founder of and the content strategist at OmniPapers. She writes insightful articles about digital marketing, social media, remote work and productivity. Her blogs about content marketing and blogging help writers improve their skills. Feel free to follow Emily on Twitter.