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Having a business on social media is a good business decision. Posting on your social media profiles may be wasting your time. In the next few minutes, we’ll help you understand and improve your social media engagement.

Social media remains the best way to reach potential customers online. Why? Because chances are, that’s where your customers hang out. The social network your customers use will depend on the demographics of the social network. To find out what social media platforms are the best for your business, read What Social Media Platform is Right for Your Business?

Social networks have come a long way, but with the depth of their algorithms it has become increasingly difficult to “fool” a social network.

“What does that even mean?”, you ask.

There are plenty of apps and tools to help you manage your social media accounts. Apps that will schedule posts, create posts, repost, comment, like, share, follow, unfollow, direct message, and more… ALL on your behalf. Yes a computer program can do this all for you, but the problem is, as sophisticated as these programs are, they can still be detected by social media algorithms as computers.

Most social networks have policies and strict guidelines for using third party software to manage your social media profiles. In fact, when you post through a third party platform to Facebook, they know and their algorithm restricts the percentage of people who see your posts, even more than usual. Post directly to Facebook and you will see greater engagement.

The Importance of Social Media Engagement

All this to say, organic is always best. Take time each day to comment, like, share, send messages, etc. When you are investing time in your social profiles, it shows. The average person can tell when a bot comments on their post versus a human. Human interaction and engagement can be the slowest way to grow, but the quality of fans and follows can never be matched by computer programs. Quality always trumps quantity when seeking new customers on social media.

The biggest advice I can give any small business owner regarding social media posting, is to never post for posting-sake. In other words, make your posts count. If you are posting just to fill space or to be active on social media, forget it. It’s useless to post something that isn’t going to improve your social media engagement.

Engagement is the name of the game.

For example, when you post something to Facebook, their algorithm shows your post to about 2% of your fanbase. If there is engagement in the form of a like, comment, share, etc., in the first few minutes after posting, the algorithm says “Hey, this is an engaging post, let’s show it to a few more people and see what happens.” If the post receives more engagement, the ball starts rolling.

It is imperative as a small business owner that you find content that is engaging and enjoyed by your audience. This can be tough because you want to post content that matches your brand and message. Therefore, videos of cats and babies may not cut it. It takes time to find the type of content that resonates with your fanbase.

Here are a few types of posts that tend to gain more engagement:

Ask for an opinion.

People love to give their opinion. Whether it’s a poll or a simple question, you will find this to be a great source to improve your social media engagement.

Post memes about your industry.

Tasteful humour makes people smile and share. Why not put a smile on their face and some joy in their hearts? Emotion always gets huge interaction.

Helpful information.

An obvious choice, but often difficult to gauge what will engage and what won’t.

News that affects your industry, hacks, tips, etc, can all entice interaction, comments, shares and likes. Well done infographics are also a great way to get shares and likes.

Share other popular posts.

If you see a post that is going viral on a similar page, share it, but only share posts from companies who are not your direct competition.

Use visual media.

Use images, videos and gifs to grab the attention of the audience. Media tends to get more interaction than text and links.

User-generated media.

Get your fanbase to send in pics using your products, assuming you sell a product. Post it and thank them. They will share it with all their friends.

Give something away.

If you have a product, maybe encourage sharing, liking commenting in exchange for an entry to your giveaway. Depending on the product, this can be huge for engagement and page growth!

Most of all, BE YOU! People relate with “real” conversation and personality. If you put forth the best version of yourself, you will draw people. Just avoid weightier topics like religion and politics and you’ll do alright.

If you choose to use a third party plugin to manage your social media accounts, make sure to mix in some human interaction to get better engagement. Social media advertising is always an option to improve your social media engagement.

Have a trick that you found works for your small business? Message us, we’d love to hear it and even include it in a future edit.

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