The page you requested is not available in your language.
Learn how to increase social media engagement for your brand | Emplifi

How to increase social media engagement for your brand

Social media engagement can be elusive for brands. When you chase likes, reactions, comments, and clicks, sometimes it doesn’t pay off. Posts don't get shared, followers don’t increase, and your social media engagement rate falls to uncomfortable levels.

But fear not. There are tangible steps you can take to increase social media engagement. As a brand, you have to remember that social media is a conversation. Everything you do across your digital channels is part of a relationship you build with your audience.

Before you start sharing social media engagement posts, it’s extremely important to look at that activity through the lens of a larger engagement strategy. Social media engagement is not one viral post. It’s not only posting Instagram Reels just because those have the highest interactions across all content types. And it’s not setting up an entire social media calendar of gimmick posts driven only to tap into trending topics.

Social media engagement is the result of a deep understanding of your target audience, content that’s tailored to those followers, and regular measurement.

How to increase social media engagement across your brand accounts

There are many ways to boost the success of an individual post, and you should absolutely consider different types of social media engagement posts within your plan. Let’s assume you want to increase your overall social media engagement for brand accounts.

That means you need to consider these steps before you start making a TikTok dance video that you’ll regret later or polling a group of followers who may not be inclined to answer.

Define your target audience for each social media channel

Are you a brand that speaks in terms of persona, target audience, or an ideal customer profile? That information is a helpful start, but you might not have everything you need. The key is to understand – as best you can – who your audience is on social media. That means answering questions like this:

  • Which social media channels do they frequently use?

  • When are they most active on social media channels?

  • What are topics that interest them?

  • What are topics that don’t interest them, and in fact, may drive them toward negative sentiment for your brand?

  • Do they trust, follow, or regularly engage influencers?

  • Do they follow you, and do they follow your competitors?

Naturally, your existing customer or audience profile might include some of this information, as well as valuable details like demographics and psychographics. What’s likely to happen is that you discover your target audience uses each social media channel in different ways.

If you struggle to find detailed customer data, when in doubt, look at how other brands are using social media channels. According to Emplifi’s social media benchmarks report, Instagram has led all channels for brand content activations over the past two years, which means most of your competitors probably are finding their audiences on the Meta-backed app.

When you translate that activity into engagement, you can see that more brands find success on Instagram and TikTok by looking at paid and organic brand post interactions (per 1,000 impressions) over the past two years. This means it would be worth an investment into social media engagement posts on these channels, but you still must determine who you’re trying to reach there and what you know about them.

Think about your own use of social media. Are you dropping industry advice on LinkedIn during the day, and then doomscrolling dog videos on Instagram at night? Which channel is your source of news? Where do you still connect with family and friends?

These questions matter when approaching social media content because, while a suit and tie might make sense on LinkedIn, you may need to consider capturing and filming a raccoon to truly engage a portion of your audience on TikTok. Demographics of the channel matter, but almost equally important is what your audience uses it for.

Emplifi Data: Brand content activations across Facebook, Instagram, X (Formerly Twitter), and TikTok in 2023.

Each social media channel is different, and your audience’s activity, interests, and frequency should be something you understand when trying to engage them. Can you know this completely? Likely not, but the more you know about it, the better chance you have to improve engagement.

Establish social media listening dashboards and reports

Your understanding of your audience will only improve over time. How they react to your social publishing gives you a set of data points; however, the added layer of social media listening is a foundational element to make social media engagement stronger.

If your target audience analysis gives you one set of data, listening may fill in some gaps. This is real-world activity, meaning you’ll peek into the interests, topics, and channels that your audience values most. Paired with social media monitoring – which tracks how an audience specifically feels about your brand – you’ll have the necessary tools to round out your audience picture.

Emplifi social media listening custom displays for sentiment analysis

Here are questions that social media listening can help you answer to inform social media engagement:

  • What are trending topics that drive interest for my audience?

  • Which influencers does my target audience follow or engage with?

  • What is the sentiment of conversations around my brand and competitors?

  • Which types of content generate the most engagement from my audience?

  • What time of day and days of the week does my audience engage the most?

  • What are common pain points or issues mentioned by my audience?

  • How does my audience's engagement compare with industry benchmarks or competitors?

  • What language or terminology does my audience use when discussing my brand or products?

  • What are the key demographics (age, location, interests) of my engaged audience?

A well-organized social listening process can lead to immediate opportunities for surges in engagement. That’s what happened to Hardee’s, whose social media team reacted to a social listening spike alert, leading to 8,000 new followers, more than 8 million impressions, and almost 18,000 shares. That’s all a direct result of listening to their audience.

How Hardee's increased social media engagement with Emplifi

Create and source content specific to each channel

If social media is a conversation, make sure you’re having the right one on each channel. This is one of the biggest mistakes brands make, as content production can be costly. There’s efficiency in simply posting the same thing across each brand social profile. But there are consequences to that, and those are felt most directly in engagement.

As a brand, there are things you feel like you have to say, products you want to sell, or news you feel compelled to share. The truth is that none of those things might matter to your target audience or potential customers. The key to the modern consumer is meeting them on their own terms.

How does that translate to content? Buckle up, because it’s time for some hard truths. Many things that you want to say or sell to an audience are not welcomed by that audience.

  • You want to show off your shiny new product, great. But does your audience care about it or the problem it solves? You need to think about that difference in what becomes your social post.

  • How many times have you posted a press release, and the only people that seem to react are your own employees? That’s because press releases are for the media, not the audience you hope to reach.

  • The greatest example of a misunderstanding of content and channel is usually when brands try to piggyback onto a viral trend, and the results can be rough unless you really know your audience.

If you want to increase your social media engagement, start with two things: Authenticity and relevance. Your brand must create and source content that’s true to your brand, the products you offer, the people you hope to reach, and the social media arena you play in. Then what you post and share across your accounts must be relevant to your target audience.

This doesn't mean you have to be boring. You simply have to think through the criteria of what content matters to your audience, and build a system to regularly share that content. Here are ways that brands tend to successfully create or source content to improve authenticity and relevance:

  1. Collect and share UGC: Data shows that most social users start with their peers when considering products. According to Emplifi data, 54% of consumers always or regularly research online pictures or videos of real people prior to purchase. UGC is critical for engaging modern audiences, and it will influence how much you can increase your overall engagement if it’s part of your social media content.

  2. Utilize influencer marketing: Influencers will add reach and relevance to your content, whether it’s sharing their posts on your channels via a partnership or having your brand present on their social media accounts. Influencer marketing can deepen the relationship with your audience if you pick the right partner.

  3. Prioritize visual content: Visual storytelling and content is the clear leader among all content types for engagement, according to Emplifi data. Modern audiences have limited attention spans, and this type of content is critical for grabbing that attention.

Develop a measurement plan

Every social media action must be measured, and more than likely iterated. Social media analytics are your partner for increasing social media engagement, and it particularly helps if you have access to unified customer data because the key to calibration is knowing more about your audience.

Unified data analytics provides actionable customer insights. Those insights could provide new content types to deploy or tweak, topics to address in your social calendar, or new channels to emphasize as part of your plan to increase engagement. Here’s the key things to look for that impact social media engagement:

  • What is my social media engagement rate? Track this over time to understand the overall health of your accounts and social activity. There is a formula to do this, but make sure your social media management tool does this for you.

  • Am I growing followers on my social accounts? There are direct metrics through likes, comments, shares, and clicks, but if those things are really working, you’ll gain followers. That means your overall channel – and the conversation you’re having there – is worth continued attention.

  • What is the sentiment around my brand? This matters for social media engagement because you want to make sure the comments and mentions are positive. If not, you have another problem.

Emplifi Unified Analytics Dashboard

There are tactical metrics to consider, but don’t chase increased engagement without a social analytics platform and dashboard organized to help you understand the impact of your activity. You’ll want and need daily views, periodic reports, and quarterly assessments on growth to really understand what’s working and what could use improvement.

Where to start to increase social media engagement

The path to improving or increasing your social media engagement is through a comprehensive social media management tool. There are tactics you could and should use through social media engagement posts, but make sure you’re approaching this effort with a platform to help publish, listen, and track the impact of your work.

We offer social media management through our best-in-class tool to deliver authentic content at scale and boost engagement across all of your social media channels. If you’re interested in a demo, please let us know.

More great insights and news from Emplifi

Emplifi Tool kit — Visual Storytelling

[Tool Kit] Visual storytelling on social media

Emplifi - What brands can learn from the Met Gala

What brands can learn from the Met Gala

Top image: UGC collaborators: What your brand should look for

UGC collaborators: What your brand should look for

Emplifi - UGC Do’s and Don’ts

7 do’s and don’ts of UGC curation and management in 2024

Hero: Why your brand needs a UGC platform

Why your brand needs a UGC platform

Emplifi: Why you need UGC in your marketing mix

[Infographic] Why you need UGC in your marketing mix

EMP115 UGC Guide 625x417

[Guide] How to Unlock the Power of UGC

Top image: 4 ways to use UGC beyond social media

4 ways to use UGC beyond social media

Emplifi - 5 ways to use UGC to boost your bottom line

5 ways to use UGC to boost your bottom line

Top image: How to deploy social proof within your marketing strategy

How to deploy social proof within your marketing strategy

Emplifi Press: Emplifi Reveals Nearly 90% of Consumers Say Customer Ratings and Reviews Have the Biggest Impact on Purchasing Decisions

[Report] Meeting the demands of the modern customer

Emplifi Blog: The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

[Infographic] The influencer marketing stats you need to know this year

Emplifi newsletter

Sign up for the latest insights and best practices to elevate your social marketing, commerce, and care.