Are you struggling to get noticed on social media? Is your audience engagement low? Could you take additional steps to address this? Never fear, we’ve got a great article here today on five of the most down to earth steps one can take to get their social media numbers up. From simple posting ideas all the way to harnessing trends, here are a few of the ways you can stand out in an increasingly saturated social media market.

Step 1: Content

Engagement starts with content. To capture the attention of people scrolling by who might be given the opportunity to see your post (algorithm willing), you’ll need content that attracts attention, seems trustworthy, and has an informative or educational edge. To use a pretty washed out phrase, it’s all about being ‘funducational’. Around half of social media audiences watch online video every day, so in an ideal situation you’ll want to do this using images or video content to stand out as much as possible.

The best content gets clicks because it has a mild entertainment value, most of the time people scrolling social media are somewhat bored. If you are a company that has aspects to it that can be made into content, say, you sell mountain bikes, do not hesitate to get out there with a camera and make something out of it that can inform, educate and entertain.

As for how to post – post often, but not too often, but by all means, post. If a post doesn’t work, you can always delete it and try something else. If posts are cluttering and haven’t attracted much reach you can also delete them. If posts are doing really well, pin them to the top of your page, boost them into an advert, or otherwise promote them further.

Step 2: Audience

Building your engagement is also heavily reliant on building an audience. For Facebook pages, this usually comes from making content and then letting it get shared organically. As your posts make it to different corners of Facebook, say to people’s personal pages, or onto other business pages, you’ll see your audience grow. You’ve got a massive audience of people to potentially attract, with overall social media users estimated to top 3 billion by 2021.

Most of the time new fans arrive on your page in ones and twos, but suddenly you may have a post go viral and experience a large uptick in your audience. When this happens it’s a good idea to find out why, and where this influx of people came from, and maybe even change your content slightly to reflect this.

Your audience on social media platforms, as a rule, goes up and down a lot. After getting a large influx of followers some may depart for whatever reason, and you may not always have a consistent upward trend of followers – instead you might even lose followers, then gain en masse, then lose slowly again. It’s important to monitor your audience count and how it changes based on what you are posting, because this helps inform your overall marketing strategy.

Step 3: Targeting

Who is your audience? What do they like best? On social media, especially Facebook, there are great ways to break down the demographics of the people who follow your business pages, so never forget to dip into those and jot down some figures on a notepad. You can surmise your next move based on the age, gender and tastes of people who follow you, and aim to target content towards your existing base, as well as looking for brand new fans. Studying research articles can help you target too – for example, statistics show that Facebook’s users are predominantly aged between 18 and 44.

If content isn’t attracting enough attention from the demographic you’ve tried to target, don’t fret – you can always change your strategy and try something different. Great ways to understand and target your audience better often come from ideas that have worked for others online. For example if you were looking to market your page to younger people, a bit of desktop research on marketing campaigns that have worked can go very far. Marketing isn’t really about copyrighting techniques and tricks, and industry standards are constantly changing based on trends, so don’t hesitate to deploy or adapt approaches which have worked for large brands or popular marketing bloggers recently.

Step 4: Adverts

As your brand, page, or other social media presence grows it begins to look more trustworthy, and this is probably the point you’ll start considering expanding artificially, by using adverts. The difference between ‘organic’ reach and paid reach on social media is all about targeting. As we’ve mentioned above, successful targeting means greater numbers of people arriving on the page, which of course when handled properly means you’ll be able to convert some of those numbers into sales or business engagement. Advertising on social media therefore needs to be targeted very carefully. Users on Facebook are estimated to click only around 11 adverts per month, so standing out is even harder.

Some of the common do’s and don’ts of ad targeting revolve around variables like location, but another oft-overlooked aspect of putting out an ad, especially on Facebook, is the time you’ll spend creating the ad, and researching the parameters, before you put it out. Some people spend weeks in the research phase before crafting a properly done ad – the platform Facebook uses is complex and if you skim through it your ad might not target the audience you want. Case in point, you might target an advert to ‘Europe’ and have it only reach people in Bulgaria – not great for a UK based business, and money wasted. Plan accordingly.

Step 5: Trends

For the hippest young social media aficionados trends are probably the easiest way to achieve high organic reach, and often exist as one of the few ways to beat the algorithm and have a post go viral. Any and all trends, even the most nonsensical, contain some elements which can be capitalised on, and if you’ve got an ounce of savvy you can (possibly) make something of it.

The trickiest part about trends is finding ways to make them relevant to your page or presence, without alienating your existing audience. If funny cat videos are trending it’s arguably difficult as the mountain bike company we discussed above to capitalise off them – especially without making regular page viewers wonder what’s going on. But then again, some marketers go above and beyond and reap the rewards. Some may even propose attaching GoPros to cats, and taking them on mountain bike rides down Mont Blanc. It’s an extreme example but the thing about trends is that there’s always an opportunity within them for marketers to unleash their creative side, usually with unpredictable results.

Cat videos aside, the easiest way for small businesses to use social media trends to their advantage is to stay informed. If something is trending that is of a high amount of relevance to your page, don’t hesitate to capitalise off the trend. Stay informed of hashtags, topics, viral videos – anything popular that you can segway into your business somehow.

What To Do Next

If you’re a company doing social media marketing for whatever reason and you’d like to know where to go next, we’ve got you covered in checklist form below.

  • Examine your audience, what they like, what they dislike, and why they followed you.
  • Find trends and industry insider blogs, and use these as much as possible.
  • Build adverts slowly and methodically, making notes as you go.
  • Keep on posting, little by little your audience will show you what works best.
  • Introduce new content and new ways to market yourself, such as video.