4 Posting Considerations to Optimize Social Media Engagement

If you are doing social postings for a brand, do you ever stop to think about what your target audience values or are you just posting a product-push? I am still surprised at the amount of pure and blatant product push brands post on their Facebook and other social channels.

Just stop and think of your own personal use … you are catching up with friends, looking at photos of their night out on town, their family, or something of that nature, and then you see a post in your newsfeed that reads “Doctors report that ___ deodorant keeps you 90% dryer.” That will really motivate you to take action and buy the product, right?

And the sad reality is that “Your Average Facebook Post Only Reaches 12% Of Your Friends.” But all is not that bleak. You can post compelling content AND increase the number of likes that see your posts. Facebook uses edge ranking to determine what posts are seen by what users. One of the key factors of post visibility is whether or not particular users engage with the brand. Engagement is such actions as liking posts, commenting, or posting on the brands page.

Engagement is key to social success – both from a strategy and empirical approach. I have stated this numerous times. But three things happened this week that motivated me to hit this topic again.

First, I read a pretty straightforward article on digiday.com titled, “5 Most-Liked Brand Posts on Facebook.” Second, my article last week about my sister’s strong motivation coming from social engagement as she fights cancer, “Tell Me You Don’t Think Social Connections Matter After Reading This” was read far greater in a week’s time than any other post in the same time period. And the clincher was that someone I work with asked me for examples of compelling posts as we prepare to help one of our existing clients.

There is no “known” formula for good posting (although the edge rank site referenced above does provide strong guidance). But there are things to consider to optimize your audience engagement. Here are four considerations:

1) An inspirational human story – everyone loves a story of the underdog winning. Highlight a customer that deserves kudos.
2) Tap the passion of your target audience – whether it is a sports team, music group, charitable organization, or some other aspect of your market’s passion. Talk about them. Highlight them. Tie your company values or product position to something they stand for.
3) Nostalgia – everyone likes to be taken back to the “good old days” when they remember a show, concert, moment in history. Something that stirs a strong positive feeling. Go back in your history and tie it to an important date.
4) Breaking news – CNN is not the only source for breaking news. You can be too. Try to align it with the interest related to your offerings or your audiences’ interests. Curate pop culture events.

Think about the posts that interest you the most. Are they human interest stories? One that captures your emotions and passions? Something that takes you back in time or gets you in the know first? Think beyond product promotion … social marketing is best for socializing, not promoting.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

7 Comments

Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, Facebook, marketing, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

7 responses to “4 Posting Considerations to Optimize Social Media Engagement

  1. Jim Matorin

    I think you are making a lot of valid points, but I think that we are beginning to witness the decline of engagement. I am going out on the limb here Steve, but people are on sensory overload. Too many platforms out there, too much clutter. Two cases in point: 1.) I started blogging in 2008. People, make that close friends, people who I have gone to dinner with, even visited in their homes, always used to comment, no longer comment. Too busy. Feedback I have fielded lately: Love your blog Jim, but I do not always have time to read it. 2.) I started a LI discussion group a few years back. Everyday we had engagement. True engagement was created by a few people. The engagement has totally declined. Why? Not sure since I go in everyday to plant content. And yes Steve, engagement will only continue to decline. Why? Mobile. We now have 3.9 trillion megabytes of mobile data going to 40 trillion by 2016! Engagement is an art. Few brands/people will master that art going forward thanks to sensory overload.

    • I think there are more and more places to engage. In 2008 I had 20 minutes to engage – there were X places to engage. Now in 2012 I still have 20 minutes to engage, but there are 100X places to engage. We must find ways to stand out – at least brand better.

      • Valid point by Jim, but still some platforms, blogs, pages, profiles are very active and engaging. People are engaging as ever but importantly where it’s relevant to them and makes a difference whether large or small.

        Making it simple for people if something makes them want to engage they will regardless of time. It may not be as easy as that but it is part of human nature. For me business is about people no getting away from that and we will always have to engage with each other to go forward, technology will never change that only make it more possible in more places.

        Standing out is good as is taking time to understand better those people who are relevant to us as people who are in business, as they are the ones who will share our message with the relevant people we don’t know.

        I am not trying to reinvent the wheel and neither should anyone else. Technology will change people will develop new ways to be active but at the end of the day it will always be engagement that fulfills all business objectives.

  2. Jim Matorin

    Steve: I understand your point. Now that you reach more places, what is the quality of your engagement or do you believe that just being on new platforms constitutes engagement . To your point and Mark’s – it is key to standout, but is that truly engagement. In classic terms: To me engagement is the difference between just attending a conference (showing up) vs. actively participating in a conference by speaking, working the crowd pre & post speech. Again, I am beginning to witness people just showing up on some platforms. Why post something and not engage. Sorry I do not get it.

  3. Personally I think you do get it JIm, the people who don’t will let you believe you don’t get it. So they can carry on doing what they have always done just because that’s what they know.

    The change for me is to do what people have done since they were able to communicate and build communities. Engagement needs interaction, participation and response. Without that we can’t build relationships that have trust and loyalty – the most important aspect for the engaging to spread wider than our own community. After all with a friend you have trust and loyalty that can be shared with their friends.

    All that from someone slightly too young to be involved with Punk in 1975/76 but living through that culture since then. We are all able to create and produce by oursleves, now we have the means to do that globally. Just standing out isn’t going to make others engage though, being different is not for us to say like going viral is not for us to make.

    The whole awesome thing helps, but being good at not just giving birth to a product. Being good/awesome/amazing in every way possibe connected to the people who you’re connected to. If they have little time, make them want to use that time telling people positive things about what you do or did. Simply because you show you care.

    We all like to share something we enjoyed whether we are overloaded or not, and now more than ever before people not just connected to us will hear too.

    So don’t just show up and don’t just work the crowd, show genuine interest before during and after – be sociable.

  4. We need to first understand what trigger people emotion before do posting. Martin Lindstrom has two great books – buyology and brandwashed. These two books help a lot in understanding our consumers.

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