ALEXANDRIA, Va.—How do you convert your social media followers into customers? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) offers four ways to boost engagement with your followers and make your business stand out.
Respond to Your Followers: One way to boost engagement is to simply engage.
“As a simple rule, try to reply to every comment, DM and story reply that you receive. If people are willing to engage with you, it means they care about what you’re posting,” wrote Later, a social media content platform.
Instagram changed its algorithm in 2020 to reward engagement over impressions, so the platform will show content that a user engages with more frequently over other content. Smart and simple captions, asking questions in your stories and/or videos and responding to comments (good and bad) can all boost engagement.
Post Video: Video is king. Tweets with videos see 10 times more engagement; Instagram posts with videos see 38% more engagement; and in 2019, users spent an average of six hours and 48 minutes each week watching online videos, according to the USCC.
When it comes to advertising, video is more powerful. A recent report found that 35% of TikTok users surveyed discovered a food and drink product via a video on the “For You” feed versus 23% via an ad and 20% through a video from a particular brand/company.
Share Audience Content: If someone is using your products on a social media platform, share it, and make sure to tag that account.
“It’s tempting to treat your Instagram account like a one-way street, but social media is a conversation, not a broadcast,” wrote Hootsuite. “Make sure you’re listening and engaging with fans when they reach out.”
The USCC says that even nano-influencers (those with less than 10,000 followers) can be brand ambassadors and deliver big results for your brand and to look for “local celebrities” who you can leverage to gain more engagement on your own channels.
Seventy-two percent of TikTok users find ordinary content creators more interesting than celebrities, and 78% have discovered new products while watching content creator videos, according to the report.
Host a Contest or Giveaway: Hosting a contest is a way to boost your engagement quickly. Ask users to share a post, tag their friends in the comments or follow your business’s account for their chance to win a product or experience. The USCC warns that although a giveaway can give you a big boost of engagement, it’s a short-term solution, and that you should work to keep that engagement rate high.
NACS offers social media resources for retailers on how to leverage social media’s impact.