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Sarah Haston: 5 ways to increase social media engagement

Sarah Haston • Updated Jul 25, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Let’s increase our social media engagement. Are you asking yourself if you are wasting your time when you are looking for a cool new pic to post on Instagram or a clever tweet to lighten the mood of the daunting newsfeed? Do you find yourself disappointed with the amount of “likes” you get? 

Maybe you are still not even sure the difference between a “like,” “follower” or “retweet?” In my previous columns, we went over some basic social media and hashtag tips. Today, let’s talk about engagement. 

Here are five simple steps to increasing engagement:

• Highlight an employee on Facebook to reach your fan base… We all know that the heart of any organization is your employees. So, highlight the one’s that make you proud and show them off. It doesn’t matter if it’s their excellent customer service skills, loyalty with their longevity or a recent promotion. These are all awesome stories about your organization that will resonate with your audience. Expressing your gratitude with your employees will not only help further employee engagement, but will help you connect with your audience in a more personal way. Keep it light and simple. And don’t be afraid to use pictures. It can always be fun to participate with #ThrowBackThursday and post a “then and now” pic of your employees.

• Create an event on Facebook and have your followers RSVP. This is the easiest way to create interaction with your audience. They will not only receive reminders of the events, but they will also be notified of other “friends” going to the event as it’s pushed out in the newsfeed. They can also share the event and mark that they are interested in attending. Creating an event also allows friends and followers to “check-in” once they are attending the event. The Facebook events section is under-utilized. Try to use Facebook events for ribbon cuttings, open houses, sales events, seminars, conferences and charitable events.

• Get personal with videos. It doesn’t matter if you are on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook – it’s super easy to create a video and even go live. You could easily do a quick tour of your facility – show others what new inventory is going out, talk about how many are there for your open house. It could be as simple as reaching out to your followers and thanking them for following you or for being a raving fan. Maybe you want to highlight a fan with a contest and announce the winner on your social media site with a video. 

• Always respond to engagement. If you are going to take the time to be on social media, please take the time to respond to your followers. It can be as simple as liking the tweets you are mentioned in. If your tweet is retweeted – you can very easily thank them for retweeting you. If you are a location and someone tweets how much they enjoyed visiting your site, tweet them back about how happy you were to have them. Keep it brief, polite and light. An example of a brand that is awesome at this is @southwest – if nothing else look them up and learn. They respond to complaints, compliments, and silliness. This personal interaction goes a long way and helps create not only customers for life, but raving fans who will continue to market on your behalf.

• Invite your customers to chat with you on social media. Promote that you are on social media to your customers and then talk to them once they are following you. It can be as simple as “check-in” for an extra 10 percent off, but don’t miss the step to go online afterwards and “like” their “check-in” and remind them you were happy to see them. This all comes together with our innate nature to belong to a community and today that community for better or worse includes social media. 

Remember, social media is a two-way street – initiate conversation and join the existing conversations. 

Sarah Haston is the economic development director for the city of Lebanon. 


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