So you have your social media channels all set up and you have managed to get a decent number of fans and followers. Now comes the next question, how do I get more engagement from them (as in more likes, shares, comments, retweets, forwards or just some sort of reaction to your posts)?
Before we delve into this topic, let’s consider some facts – the latest stats say people are spending on average around 1.7 hours a day on social media or to put it another way, 28% of all online activity is spent on social media. I predict this figure will only increase going forward.
Now that may seem good news to you but let’s also remember this – the average number of Facebook friends that adults have is around 338. With Twitter the average number of followers is 208 and Instagram shares around 70 million photos a day. So your messages are competing with a hell of a lot of other stuff as well.
And consider this, with Facebook, you do not see every post or story in your News Feed. For example, of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays around 300. So your posts may not even be appearing on your fan’s News Feed.
To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person. As to how this is decided, well like Google, it is a bit of a mystery but I can tell you this, the more engagement a person has with your posts, the greater the chance your future posts will appear in their News Feed so this shows the importance of getting some action to your posts.
So if you want people to sit up and take notice, you have to make sure every post or tweet is interesting, relevant, personal, unique and timely.
Make it interesting
First every single post you do must have at least a picture. Humans are visual creatures – we enjoy looking at things. Social media is the perfect medium for using pictures and photos. And here is an extra tip, for most social media channels, pictures of women, happy, looking in the camera resonate the best.
If pictures are good then videos are even better. Videos will give you more organic reach than photos alone. So think about all the ways you can use videos in your social media – a personal message from you, video blogs, interviews of members, demonstrations of workouts, a video of your studio and facilities, a video of you cooking a meal, and so forth.
With your posts, people don’t have a lot of time so make sure you are not writing the equivalent of War and Peace – keep it short and to the point.
Content is always king so ensure your posts grab their attention, get people thinking or get them excited. It should motivate people to want to comment and share their thoughts too.
And if you want a reaction, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask people to “like” your post, share it with friends, ask for their comments – have a strong call to action to get the desired results. Consider adding an incentive to increase the chance of a comment.
Make it relevant
When thinking about your posts, make sure it is appropriate and important for your fans and followers. Think of the acronym – WIIFM – what is in it for me? If the content does not bring some benefit to your fans or if they can’t relate to it, they are barely going to read it let alone make any comment.
Consider what is trending on social media – if it is relevant to your business, then jump on board. Find and share timely content – what are the big trends or topics in fitness at the moment you can use? What are people talking about? Ask whether your fans and followers would really find this interesting and if so, start a conversation.
Use hashtags as well – the hashtag is one of the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest.
Make it personal
I have always said that social media is like a two way relationship – if you want more reaction from your fans, you have to show them more attention.
Hold regular competitions to win prizes – ask your fans to write a caption for a funny picture, ask your followers questions, ask them what they think, get them to take and post photos, ask them to fill in the blank – you get the idea. If you don’t ask anything from your followers, then don’t expect them to pay much attention to you.
Look at running some polls and surveys – ask people their thoughts on a range of relevant topics. People appreciate it when you want to know their opinion and what they are thinking. It makes them feel special and more important and you do actually care what they are thinking. You may learn some surprising facts in the process.
And don’t be afraid to bring out more of your personality in your posts – let your fans get to know you better and they will be more willing to share more about themselves.
Make it unique
As I have mentioned in a previous blog, it is critical your fitness or sports business be positioned differently compared to your competitors. This should be the same when it comes to your posts.
If you are posting the same old stuff that everyone else does, well people’s eyes will just glaze over whatever you are saying. Ask yourself, will you posts differentiate you from everyone else or are you just being a “me too” brand.
It’s fine to share an article written by someone else if it is relevant but don’t make this a habit – your content you come from you – people become a fan of your Facebook page because they want to hear from you and get your point of view.
Look at your blogs (as you should have a blog and all of your blogs should go on your social media channels). Blogs are a great channel to express your opinions and thoughts – provide exclusive and exceptional content which people haven’t read about before.
Don’t be afraid to share your opinion – it may be controversial and some people may not agree but this will get you noticed (I am not suggesting you go down the path of Donald Trump but let’s face it, whether you love him or loathe him, he gets a reaction). Start a dialogue and get people thinking and talking.
Make it timely
Let’s face it, timing is everything. First you need to know when your fans are most likely to be online. It doesn’t matter if you have killer content, if you are posting when your fans are not online, then you are wasting your time.
For example on Facebook, check out the Insights info and find out when your fans are online as this is when you should be most active.
Make sure your posts are fresh and on topics that people are talking about now, not six months ago. No use talking about Christmas when the New Year has come and gone. Stay on the cutting edge when it comes to the latest and greatest.
And if someone does comment, make sure you respond to it promptly. Responding quickly to comments on your posts will let fans know you’re listening to their feedback and opinions and their questions are important to you.
The bottom line is your strategy should always be to produce high quality content for greater engagement and reach. Build credibility and trust with your audience – ask yourself “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others? or “Would my audience want to see read this?” If the answer is yes, then the chances are your posts will get the reaction you are looking for.