How to Gain More Engagement on Social Media in 5 Minutes a Day
Social media users are a large and growing segment that no small business owner can ignore. But you can't just put content out there. To make your social media efforts effective, you also have to engage. The benefits: A more loyal following and insights that help you respond to what your audience wants.
If you're a busy business owner with a gazillion other things to do, taking time to increase social media engagement can seem like one thing too many. But the truth is that social engagement doesn't have to be a time sink. There's a lot you can do in just five minutes a day.
1. Check Your Engagement Stats
Social media isn't just a numbers game, but there's something pretty satisfying about knowing you've got a lot of engaged followers. All social media platforms include a way to check what content people are responding to, which will help you decide what to share next.
On Twitter, click or tap on your profile icon (top right) and choose Analytics in the drop down menu. You'll see a summary of recent metrics, including your top tweet and top mention. Make sure you respond to that mention, and consider sharing that tweet again. Twitter's so busy you might reach new people with that info. You can find similar stats for your Facebook page — look for Insights at the top of the page.
On LinkedIn, you can see stats for who's viewed your profile and content — go to your profile page and tap or click on the numbers for more info. Start a conversation with people who check out your profile or engage with a post.
For Instagram, you'll need a business account to get stats, but it only takes a couple of taps. Just go to your profile, and look under settings until you find "Switch to Business Profile". Tap it, then add business information such as a an address and phone number.
When you've completed all the information, tap "Done" and your Instagram business account is ready. Note that you can also connect your Instagram account to a Facebook business page as part of the process.
2. Keep an Eye On Mentions
One of the quickest ways to start engaging with your social media audience is to respond to people who've mentioned you.
Every social media site notifies you of mentions, whether via web or in-app notifications, or email. But you can save time — and keep your inbox less cluttered — by using a tool to find these mentions so you can respond.
One of the best tools for this is appropriately named Mention. Tie it into your social accounts and you can easily spend a couple minutes each day checking and responding to the recent mentions via the web app.
Alternatively, set up a Google Alert for brand mentions and choose how often you get email notifications.
3. Share and Respond to Followers' Content
Twitter is a constant stream of information, and it can be hard to see the stuff you need to see to keep building engagement. A good shortcut is to cut through the noise by creating a Twitter list. Add your most active followers to it, then check that first every time you log into Twitter.
Next, tweet a couple of thoughtful responses to the content that list members have shared. You can also retweet content but make sure to add a thoughtful comment. It's better to spend a couple of minutes drafting one useful comment than to leave a dozen comments that amount to not much more than "nice post".
The point of this is to stand out from the businesses that are simply broadcasting and to get a reputation for being interesting and engaging.
What about the other platforms? While you can't create lists like you can on Twitter, you can still use the same techniques:
- Find one good piece of content from followers in your feed or stream.
- Write a comment or response.
- Tag the original writer so they're aware you've engaged with their post.
You can also use this technique for Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
4. Add Hashtags and Locations to Instagram Posts
The easier you make it to find your content, the more likely it is people will engage with it. On Instagram, that means adding locations and hashtags.
Users rely on hashtags to find content on a specific topic, and they can also follow a hashtag. That means using the right hashtags (Instagram allows up to 30) helps you expand the potential reach of your content. Adding a location helps showcase your content to people interested in a particular area.
Go to any of your posts, click or tap the three-dot menu, and select edit. You'll see a link to add a location at the top, and you'll be able to edit the caption at the bottom. You can also add hashtags by creating a comment on your own post with the hashtags you've chosen. Don't be afraid to go back and edit these later, depending on what's trending. You can find trending Instagram hashtags on Hashtagify.
Need some extra help getting started on Instagram? Check out these articles for more information on Instagram and your business:
5. Talk to New Connections
On all social sites, it's easy to see when someone new has followed you or added you as a connection. Many people follow this up with an ineffective automated welcome message or they don't do anything at all. However, this is a great opportunity to connect with someone who's interested in hearing from you now. So use it. Thank the person for following or connecting, and ask them a question to help you get to know them. That's all you need to do to start a conversation and begin to build engagement.
As you've seen, building engagement on social media doesn't have to take long. Spend five minutes implementing one of these tips daily, and see what difference it makes.
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