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11 ways to improve engagement on social media

13th July 2016

Social networkingWe are always very pleased to welcome work experience students into our offices here at Cosmic and they always launch head first into the challenges and tasks that we set for them. Last week we had Mara with us in the office and discovered she had an amazing talent for designing visuals, as well as the written word. We asked her to write us a blog to put out on our website and this great blog about improving your engagement on social media was the result.

If you would like more information on our work experience opportunities, or would like to apply to come and work with us, please visit our page here.


Engagement on social media is key. It allows you to connect with customers, past and potential alike. It also cements your reputation, increases awareness of your company and makes you more visible. Engagement strengthens trust in your brand and will bring you closer to your social media aims. With perseverance, and these 11 tips your engagement can be vastly improved.

1. Firstly, there's nothing people love more than the chance to win something.

If done carefully and correctly, contests can be a great tool to spread awareness about you and attract new potential customers. Firstly, what is the aim of the contest? Is it to get you name out there, or to attract more people to your website? There are many things to consider when planning a contest. Think carefully about what people have to do in order to enter, where and how they'll enter, how long the contest will run for, how you'll announce the results, what they'll win and what will happen afterwards. Before you start, look at some examples online and analyse them. What works well for them? What doesn't? How could that be applied to your contest?

2. Engaging with a current event or social cause can have huge benefits for your reputation as well as bringing new customers to your profile.

This can allow customers to relate to you personally, especially if the cause connects with your business. People searching for the event or cause could also easily stumble across your company, therefore reaching new people. Oreo does this really well on Twitter by theming their posts around a 'day', for example 'National Basketball Day', but still involving their company and brand.

3. Do your research about the best time to post.

Think about your target market and when they're most likely to be online, and then post accordingly. Are they stay at home parents? School kids? Business men? Tweriod is a great tool to help with this. Research says the best time to post for optimum shares and clicks is both lunchtime and early evening. The exact days and times seems to depend on the social network in question so spend some time researching. Analyse your own stats using, for example, Twitter analytics. This will help you determine when your audience is online.

4. Posting both regularly and consistently will help people pay attention to you and know when to expect your posts.

It can also keep you fresh in the minds of your followers. On the other hand, don't post too often or people may judge as spam. Planning and scheduling in advance will help with consistency and there are a huge amount of tools such as Hootsuite to help you out. 

5. If you share curated content (presenting someone else's content) be sure to tag the original creator.

Not only is this respectful, but it will be highly appreciated and hopefully they'll return the favour, therefore exposing your own content to a wider audience.

6. Find businesses in your area or industry and explore how they're using social media.

Are there things they're doing that could work for you? If they're a complimentary business, why not start a mutually beneficial relationship? Share each other's content and help raise each other's digital profile.

7. Like, comment and share content from customers, competitors and strangers alike, so long as it's relevant to you and your company.

All of this will help raise your online presence and possibly create some useful associates in your area. Equally, respond to comments etc. on your profile. All of this will help engage customers.

8. Posting a wide variety of content will spice up your profile and makes it visually dynamic.

The more interesting your profile, the better. Experiment with photos, text, humour, video, questions etc. and see what your followers respond to best. Buffer recently found that sharing images on Twitter increases retweets by 150%.

9. Emoticons help convey your tone and hint at the playfulness and personality behind the keyboard.

According to Hubspot, "Something as simple as a smiley face emoticon in your post can increase likes by 57 percent, comments by 33 percent and shares by 33 percent over posts without them.”

10. Analyse any data about your profile that you can get your hands on and learn from it.

The more information you have, the better you can adjust what you're doing currently to increase engagement, raise awareness, reach out to customers, or whatever might be your goal on social media. Tools such as Twitter Analytics, Google Analytics, TweetDeck, and Sprout Social can provide you with valuable information such as follower demographics in addition to making it easier to track and monitor social conversations.

11. Hashtags make your content easier to find and makes you more visible, especially to non-followers.

Particularly on Twitter, try not to spam your post with too many hashtags. A good rule is 2 for Twitter. This doesn't apply so much on Instagram.

With these 11 tips now under your belt, have a go and experiment. Always keep an eye on your followers and how they're reacting to changes. If they're popular, keep it up!