Five ways you can use social media to build more engagement

social media engagementIt is important to note that not all social media posts are created equal.  As anyone with who has used Facebook or Twitter knows, some posts get completely ignored, while others thrive.  What makes for a post that gets engagement, and what will lead to a post which flops?  Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Images.  Studies show that the top way to build engagement on social media is to use an image.  Images can increase engagement by as much as 150% on Twitter.  It is for this reason that 75% of all Facebook page content is images.

2.  Ask. This might be the most obvious tip of all: if you want engagement, ask for it.  Have a specific call to action at the end of a post or tweet, asking people to like, comment, share, RT, whatever.  Yes, calls to action do work.

3.  Time your post right.  Every social media post will be different in terms of what timing works best.  There are two specific pieces of advice here to give.  First is the generic: on Facebook, posts get the most engagement when they are at made between 1 and 4pm.  On Twitter, that number changes to Monday – Thursday, 1-3pm.   Here’s the thing: generic advice frequently isn’t too helpful.  For your best results, check out your page and account analytics. Facebook and Twitter each have very robust analytics pages, and they can tell you what times your posts get the most engagement.  Each audience is different, so using your analytics as a guide can be absolutely critical to your success.

4.  Keep it brief.  Keep tweets under 110 characters and keep Facebook posts under 40.  Keeping a post brief on Twitter makes it easier for a post to be retweeted so that others can add their own comments.  I’m not quite as sure about the logic on Facebook, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that no one has long attention spans, and keeping posts brief allows for people to spend more time engaging with the content, rather than reading.

5.  Use the right words.  Yes, it comes down to this: the use of the right words.  Some words rank higher than others in terms of building engagement.  Examples include words like you, please, free and help.  There are lots of ways that these words can be useful to government and elected officials, so make sure to use them to increase your engagement!

Any tips you’d like to share?  As always, I’d love to hear them – let the world know your thoughts in the comments section!

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