For small business owners, few aspects of digital marketing can be more frustrating than social media. While paid ads and boosted posts can help you build an audience, there’s no real way to succeed on platforms like Facebook and Instagram without a strong organic presence. And unless you have a secret inner influencer, that’s not something that comes naturally to most of us.
Thankfully, you don’t need to moonlight as an influencer to build an organic presence on social media. Instead, you just need proven strategies to boost engagement. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in this post!
#1: Ask a Question
The easiest way to start a conversation — whether in person or online — is to ask someone a question. So if you’re looking to increase organic engagement, why not try this strategy with your followers? You can ask them how they use one of your products, pose a question related to topical/seasonal events, or solicit feedback. Either way, you’ll get the conversation rolling.
#2: Fill in the Blanks
If you’re looking for an alternative to posting a question, you can try the fill-in-the-blank format. This involves posting a simple statement with one word or section left blank for customers to fill. These posts are like catnip for social media, especially when they lend themselves to surprising or funny answers. Follow up that post with a recap post sharing the most impactful, funny, or interesting answers.
#3: Conduct a Q&A
Rather than ask questions for customers to answer, why not try the other way around? Announce a Q&A at a particular time and date. Have your customers supply the questions, and you supply the answers. This can be done via a simple text post, but it also lends itself well to live video.
#4: Create a Poll
Facebook makes it easy to create simple polls and post them to the newsfeed. This can be another simple but effective way to invite your followers to interact with your page. It’s also a great way to get customer feedback if you’re trying to choose something like a new product name or a seasonal promotion.
#5: Run a Contest
Social media is ideal for running contests and giveaways. It provides free exposure for the promotion, and the chance to win encourages engagement. Together, this can create a feedback loop that does wonders for your business: the more people engage, the more exposure you get, resulting in even more engagement.
#6: Preview New Products
Your social media feeds act as a kind of mini-broadcast system for your brand. So when you’re introducing a new product or promotion, there’s nowhere better to give customers a sneak peek. Previewing these products on Facebook or Instagram can build early buzz and generate anticipation.
#7: Go Behind the Scenes
Social media’s great strength is its ability to show off the personal side of your brand. Many small businesses do this successfully by going behind the scenes, posting photos of fun moments at work or pictures of staff away from the office. This allows you to put real faces to your brand and it can help them see where your work comes from.
#8: Be a Little Vulnerable
Too many brands are unwilling to showcase even a hint of vulnerability on social media. That’s a shame since a little bit of vulnerability and humility can go a long way. Candid shots of the days when things don’t go quite right or stories about how you overcame unexpected setbacks can be a great way to show a different side of your brand and engage on a deeper level with customers.
#9: Punch Up Your Images
Whether you’re on a photo-centric platform like Instagram or a mixed platform like Facebook, visual media is the best way to attract attention and engagement. So, it’s worth taking the time to fine-tune your photos and images. Get your pictures just right, crop them just so, and apply a filter to achieve the tone you’re looking for. Even better, add a distinctive border or your logo as a visual signature!
#10: Craft Compelling Copy
A lot of businesses will share web content on social media without taking the time to craft a compelling post. Instead, they hope the link will do the talking for them. Unfortunately, it won’t. If you’re stuck on what to write in the body of your post, try writing a few different versions and running them by your staff.
Social media is one of the best (and easiest!) places to experiment with different strategies. You can try posting different formats. You can rotate through different styles of content. You can post at different times of the day or at different frequencies. And at the end of the day, you can track the results through analytics. If your numbers are underwhelming right now, it might be worth simply trying new things to see if something sticks. Sometimes, all it takes is one small tweak to make a difference.