With access to tools that track metrics marketers didn’t even know about 10 years ago, social media managers are challenged to constantly boost numbers as they build brand influence.
Easier said than done, right?
At the end of the day, it’s up to your audience to interact with you. But there are certainly ways to grow your following and encourage action.
Think of engagement rate as a way to measure and benchmark a post’s popularity.
There are two steps to calculating this number. First, add up the likes, shares or comments a given post receives. Second, divide the sum by your amount of fans or followers.
Studying more than 3 million user interactions, Forrester research concluded these were the average engagement rates:
- Twitter: 0.03%
- Facebook: 0.07%
- Instagram: 4.21%
1. Post links more often
Including links in your social media posts is the best way to boost shares, according to Microsoft researchers. A small team analyzed more than 200,000 retweets over a two-month span, finding that only 18% included a hashtag and a mere 9% had an @mention. But 52% contained a URL. Just make sure you’re linking to informative, well-written content.
2. Limit your posting schedule
Platforms with lots of business activity and user-to-brand interaction, such as Twitter, demand a busy posting schedule. But what about platforms that are comparatively slower, such as Facebook? A study by Buddy Media suggests you should avoid frequent posting. Posting less than five times a week can lead to a 71% increase in likes, shares and comments.
3. Ask for shares
Believe it or not, simply asking for a share may boost your engagement rate. According to research by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, tweets that contain “Please Retweet” and “Please RT” earn an average of 51% and 39% more shares, respectively.
Reach is a post’s potential audience, generally based on the poster’s fan or follower count. When someone shares that post or it appears on a search results page, its reach increases.
1. Post during non-peak times
Sharing content during peak time (when the bulk of your audience is online) seems like it would increase reach. Research from digital marketer Jon Loomer shows that’s not always the case. Posting the same amount of links, he earned an average reach of almost 13,000 during non-peak hours compared to an average of less than 9,000 during peak time.
2. Leverage hashtags
Using relevant hashtags is an easy way to reach an audience beyond your fans and followers. For example, social media marketers can join Twitter chats. These include #SMBiz, #SMChat and #SMManners, to name a few. You also shouldn’t be afraid to jump into a trending hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Often with thousands of users contributing, you’ll access an expanded audience. And with witty or thoughtful content, you may even improve engagement:[Embed: https://twitter.com/CocaCola/status/686354739768987648]
3. Boost your posts
Low reach on the major social media platforms is a documented issue. For example, a study by Cision says the average Facebook post reaches less than 2% of fans. If all else fails – and you have some funds to use – consider using targeted ad campaigns.
Average Growth Rate
Compare your current number of fans or followers to last week, month or year. Write down how many you lost or gained. Then, track this metric at least four more times.
Average the resulting numbers, and you’ll get your growth rate.
Your growth rate should increase if you work to improve reach and engagement, but the suggestions below will also help.
1. Offer a “thank-you” to new fans and followers
People expect incentives for following you, according to HubSpot data. On Facebook, 58% of users want access to exclusive sales, events or content. The same percentage of people hope to receive discounts or promotions. Keep your growth rate trending upwards by meeting these expectations.
2. Hold contests
Look to Qwertee, a limited-edition t-shirt maker, to exemplify a contest’s potential. With a goal of surpassing 100,000 Facebook fans, users had to like the company’s page and submit their email addresses for a weekly chance to win up to 30 shirts at a time. The contest succeeded, and Qwertee has almost 350,000 likes.
What can we learn from this example? Make the contest simple, yet worthwhile.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
A click-through is recorded whenever a user follows a link you share. Measure a post’s clicks against your number of fans or followers to determine CTR.
1. Place links earlier in posts
The links you share will earn more clicks if they’re included near the start of your posts, according to research by Zarrella. Studying 200,000 tweets, he discovered users are most likely to follow a link if it appears a quarter of the way through.
2. Fix your call-to-action (CTA)
Avoid crafting CTAs that start with nouns and adjectives. Doing so has a negative effect on CTR, says Zarella. Instead, begin your CTA with a verb (learn) or adverb (quickly).
3. Share more photos
Complementing links with catchy copy is effective, but the results of a HubSpot study say using a picture works better. Facebook posts with photos and links yield 84% more clicks than posts that include just text and a link.
When someone achieves a result you desire, it’s a conversion. It could be submitting an email address, signing up for a free trial, downloading a white paper or any other goal you’re pushing.
To boost conversions, most social media campaigns involve guiding prospects to a landing page that’s tailored to meet your goal.
1. Determine the best headline with A/B testing
It all starts with the headline. If your copy doesn’t command a potential customer’s attention, she’ll likely bounce off your landing page.
“The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be just massive,” Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley told Wired. “When we test headlines we see 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.”
2. Use more white space
A cluttered landing page can confuse prospects. That’s because if there are too many elements, they won’t easily find the conversion point. Instead, surround the conversion point with white space. Doing so will make it seem more prominent, naturally capturing a visitor’s eyes.
3. Limit forms to 4 fields
Using forms on your landing page with too many fields can exhaust visitors, says research from Formstack – a program for building web forms. You can increase conversions by 120% if you limit a form to 10 fields or under. Better yet, forms with less than five fields see a 160% increase.
Use these tips and stats to boost your key social metrics. But don’t shy away from new ideas as you build your brand’s online presence or aim to fix falling numbers.
If you’re successful, social media marketers may start following your example.
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