Most businesses have a social media presence or are planning to build one. In fact, 91.9% of marketers in companies with more than 100 employees say that they’re expected to use social media for marketing purposes.
But deciding to create a Facebook or Instagram profile is the easy part. Ideating and creating engaging posts is the challenge — and, let’s be honest, one that most companies fail at.
Modern social media is busy and fast-paced. How can a business — especially a small one — be heard through the noise?
The answer is dedicated social media engagement posts. Engagement posts aren’t just trying to market to your followers; they bring users into the conversation and encourage them to interact with your brand.
In this article, we’ll break down engagement posts and how to write them. Plus, we’ll share 16 easy ideas for posts that engage your audience.
What Are Social Media Engagement Posts?
Let’s start by defining social media engagement — engagement refers to any interaction your audience has with your posts on social media. It could be a like, a share, or a comment.
Different social media platforms will have different types of engagement. For example, you might track how many users save your pin to their boards on Pinterest, while on YouTube, you could track total watch time.
Social media engagement posts are posts specifically designed to encourage engagement. When you make one of these posts, you don’t just want to get eyes on it. You want your audience to participate.
Why Is Social Media Engagement Important?
Social media engagement posts have significant benefits beyond just bragging rights.
3.6 billion people use social media, and the average user spends 2.5 hours on social platforms each day. If you want to reach your potential customers, you have to go where they are, and that’s on social media.
But these days, most people follow lots of social media accounts across several platforms. There’s great content popping up every day, including from other brands. It’s hard to be memorable.
Social media engagement posts draw users into the conversation and make them more likely to remember you. By interacting with your customers and prospective customers, you’re also building relationships and inspiring loyalty to your brand.
What’s the Best Social Media Platform for Engagement?
Which social media platforms should you prioritize for your engagement posts?
If you immediately thought of Facebook, you’re not alone. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform with 2.9 billion active users.
It’s also the most popular with marketers. 93% of marketers said they used Facebook in 2021 — more than any other channel. But the social media landscape is changing.
But other channels, like TikTok, boast much higher engagement rates for organic posts. In 2021, micro-influencers saw a completely unheard-of 17.96% organic engagement rate on their posts.
The most important social platforms for your business depend on factors like your industry and the typical demographic of your customers.
For example, users aged 50+ only make up 11% of TikTok users, while they represent a much larger chunk of users on platforms like Facebook.
Not on all of these important platforms yet? We can help with that. HOTH Lock My Brand registers your brand name on all the top social sites in the world.
How to Write Engaging Social Media Posts
You can post anything on social media, but it takes a special type of social media content to encourage engagement. Here are our top nine tips for writing social media posts that get the conversation going.
1. Know Your Platform
As we mentioned above, the social media landscape is changing, and many marketers are turning to new platforms.
Make sure you understand the platform you’re using — it may be different than the social media you’re used to.
First, you should know what engagement looks like. Are you trying to get Facebook shares, or are you hoping for duets and stitches on TikTok?
You should also learn something about the platform’s algorithm or how it decides which content to show users. For example, Twitter will show the user more posts from the accounts they interact with most, while YouTube makes recommendations based on topics the user seems to like.
2. Discover What Works
There are lots of different things you can do on social media, from engaging video campaigns to social SEO strategies.
But every audience is unique, and the best way to find out what resonates with yours is to track post engagement and learn from the results.
Most platforms will have some way to see metrics like how many followers you have or how many people have watched your videos. You can also invest in a social listening or social analytics tool for deeper insights.
3. Develop a Brand Voice
Is your content formal and professional or casual and trendy? Do you sound like you’re 25 or 55? Do you have a sense of humor?
Answering these questions helps you develop your brand voice.
A consistent brand voice helps with social media engagement because followers feel like they know you. You’re the funny friend, the helpful expert, or the stylish trendsetter that keeps appearing on their social media feed.
The voice should be based on what your target audience likes. Document the rules for your brand voice so that different employees can learn how to take the same tone in social media posts.
4. Use Images and Video
Images and videos are much more popular with social media users than text or link posts. 68% of social media users prefer engaging with images, and 50% prefer video.
Some types of engagement posts are based on images or video. You can still find ways to include attention-grabbing media for the ones that aren’t.
For example, if you’re sharing a blog post from your website, don’t just post the link — people tend to scroll right by those. Instead, post it with a high-quality, relevant image.
If you’re specifically looking for new YouTube video ideas, we’ve got you covered.
5. Jump on Current Trends
Social media runs on trends. A clever hashtag or challenge can fill up every user’s feed for a week or two — and joining the trend can increase your visibility too. A famous example happened during the 2013 Super Bowl when the power went out in the stadium. Oreo quickly jumped into the conversation, tweeting an image with the words “you can still dunk in the dark.”
Don’t try to awkwardly insert yourself into every social media hashtag or trend. But keep an eye on fun trends and challenges on each platform and take advantage of opportunities you see.
It’s also important to fully understand the context of the trend before you hop on. For example, earlier this year, some brands joined the “West Elm Caleb” trend, which involved a group of women talking about dating the same man.
These brands ultimately experienced backlash for making a lighthearted moment out of a cautionary dating story and the ensuing discussion about online privacy.
6. Listen to Your Audience
When you’re talking to potential customers in real life, it’s important to listen as much as you talk. The same thing is true on social media.
Of course, you should pay attention to what people are saying on your profiles and posts. But you can also listen to conversations about your brand happening elsewhere on social media.
You can manage some of this just by searching for your brand name, but for better reach, get a social listening tool like HootSuite or Sprout Social.
If you find positive mentions of your brand, thank the user or even share their content. If the mention is negative, you can let the user know you’ll take their feedback under consideration. If it’s a current issue with your product, put them in touch with customer service.
Social listening works — 48% of marketers strongly agree that social listening has increased in value for their organization.
7. Pay Attention to Influencers in Your Niche
Which creators and influencers are popular in your niche, and what are they posting about?
If an influencer is getting great engagement talking about products similar to yours (or posting content related to your field), learn from their success.
You can also build relationships with these influencers by engaging with their posts and sharing their content. This will put you in front of their followers as well. If you find a creator whose content is likely to really resonate with your audience, reach out to them about working together.
8. Post at the Right Time
Social media moves at a fast pace. Content posted when your audience is asleep or busy might be lost in the shuffle by the time they log in.
You can find various studies and opinions about the best times to post (for example, Sprout Social data shows that Facebook users are most engaged on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.), but it’s highly dependent on your target demographic. The best way to find out when to post is to experiment and track engagement at different times in the day.
9. Cross-Promote Social Media Profiles
Most people are on multiple social media platforms. Don’t be afraid to post a “follow us on Instagram” on Twitter or vice versa.
Your followers may be more interested in engaging on one platform than another, so cross-promoting your accounts gives them options. Plus, you’ll be posting different types of content on each one.
It’s also a good idea to promote your social media pages on your website.
16 Ideas for Social Media Engagement Posts
A social media engagement post can be anything that entices users to interact with your post. Here are 16 tried and true ideas for posts that boost engagement.
1. Ask a Question
The concept is simple: you want people to reply to your post, so you give them a question to answer. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it’s best if it’s related to what your company does or your target demographic.
For example, a company that sells outdoor gear could ask, “what’s your favorite hiking destination?” or a pet supply business could ask, “what funny thing does your pet do?”
Like and respond to good answers.
2. Poll Your Followers
Many social media platforms allow you to create a poll. People like responding to them and seeing if their choice is the most popular.
Polls can also help you learn something about your customers. But the best ones are usually lighthearted. “Do you like pineapple on your pizza?” is more likely to attract attention than serious market research.
3. “Caption This”
Post a funny or strange picture and ask people to make up captions. You could even make it a contest and give the winner a special offer.
Any kind of photo post is likely to do better than a simple link, which is the least engaging type of post.
4. Go Live
Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and others let you stream live video.
Hype up your live session before it happens. Let followers know when you’re going to be live and what they can expect — will it be a question and answer session, or are you making a big announcement?
You can do anything with your live stream, but remember that people who tune into a live video rather than watching pre-recorded content often want to interact with you. Answer their questions or respond to their comments during the session.
5. AMA (Ask Me Anything)
The AMA format was popularized on Reddit. It’s exactly what it sounds like — people can ask you any question, and you answer it. Usually, it happens in real-time for a set period. For example, you spend an hour letting followers ask questions and answering as many as you can.
Don’t tell your followers to “ask you anything” unless you mean it. If your followers see a long list of unanswered questions in your AMA, they won’t want to engage next time.
6. Contest or Giveaway
Two things that everybody loves: winning and free stuff. You can hold a giveaway for prizes, small or large.
It could be an actual contest, like a photo or video competition, or you could automatically enter users into a giveaway if they like you, follow you, or fill out a form. The important thing is that you clearly publicize the rules.
Promote your contest widely — your goal isn’t to give away a single prize but to get as much engagement as possible.
But don’t start promoting random contests for things unrelated to your brand. Irrelevant content is one of the biggest reasons for unfollowing brands on social media.
7. Expert Interview
Film a video interview with an expert in a field related to your product. This is more interesting and authoritative to users than simply promoting your products.
The expert could be someone from your own company. If you’re selling a product or service in a particular field, you probably have people on staff with expertise in that field.
You can also reach out to popular social media personalities in related areas and see if they would be interested in working with you.
8. Customer of the Week
Reward your fans by putting them in the spotlight. Feature a customer each week or month with a photo and a brief Q&A or story about how they use your product.
An easy way to do this is to find customers that have already posted about your products or mentioned liking them on social media.
9. Post About Charitable Work
Let followers know about the good things your organization is doing.
82% of consumers would pay more for a product if the brand’s values aligned with theirs. That means you might catch the attention of some new followers if you showcase what you value — like your local community — in a social media post.
10. Share a Review
If you’re getting good online reviews from customers, promote them on your social media.
But make sure you’re engaging with your audience. Thank the person who left the review and everyone else who’s taken the time to do so. You can also ask your followers to join the conversation.
For example, if the review tells a story about how the reviewer uses your product, ask people to comment and let you know how they use it.
11. Introduce The Team
Your followers like to know that your organization is made up of real, relatable people. Feature your team or an individual team member in a post.
These posts can be boring if they’re just a picture and a few facts about the person. But if you post an interesting story about the employee or let them share some unique experience or expertise, it humanizes your brand.
12. Ask For Recommendations
Ask people to share their favorite book, movie, or ice cream flavor. Bonus points if the topic is related to your business.
Don’t forget to react to comments and thank users for their recommendations.
13. Ask For Suggestions or Feedback
Customers love brands that listen. Show that you’re paying attention by letting social media users give you feedback about your product or service. Or ask them for suggestions, like what new features they would most like to see.
If you act on any feedback or suggestions, make another post to let customers know.
14. Offer a Social-Only Deal
Who doesn’t like a good deal? Promote a special offer that shoppers can only take advantage of if they like, follow, or comment on social media.
15. Share Something (Mildly) Controversial
We’re not recommending that you wade into big current debates. You can stir up a little controversy while keeping it lighthearted and fun.
A funny “unpopular opinion” post is sure to get people talking, even if it’s about something trivial — like how winter is the best season.
16. Post a Challenge
You remember the viral ice bucket challenge. There are new challenges trending on social media every day.
You can take part in existing challenges or create your own. For example, Chipotle started the Lid Flip Challenge, which asked users to take videos of themselves flipping a lid onto a burrito bowl.
Anyone can follow our tips and post engaging social media content.
But you and your team have a lot on your plate. Plus, it’s not just social media you have to deal with, but an entire digital marketing strategy, including SEO, paid advertising, content creation, and more.
Let us give you a hand. If you want to drive more customers with digital channels, schedule a call with a HOTH marketing expert today.