Driving Engagement On Social Media While Maintaining Creativity

Although engagement should not be the only objective of organic content, the positive momentum that brands can achieve from sustained healthy engagement is essential

Social media has evolved from being a convenient way to keep in touch with friends and family to being used in ways that significantly influence society. It has attracted massive users, with an estimated 4.62 billion users worldwide. It has changed the way brands advertise themselves and engage their audience. A brand's social media engagement can help it reach a wider audience.

Social media engagement is a statistic that measures how frequently the audience interacts with a brand's content on social media. The platforms include interaction options such as likes, shares, comments, mentions, views, retweets, etc. Some content formats provide additional opportunities for interaction, such as Instagram stories that can feature responses, emoji reactions, clickable links, and dynamic components like poll stickers. According to industry standards, the engagement rate on Instagram between 3% and 6% is considered good.

While assessing and evolving content according to the dictations of weekly/monthly ER calculations allows us to optimise brands’ performance on social media, creativity shouldn’t lose out. Finding that balance is the challenge. For a brand like KFC, just delicious shots of fried chicken bring in ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ by the numbers. Overly clever posts have the opposite effect. The balance then lies in matching creativity with relatability while still staying on-brand. Finding those hooks that make your audience go - “oh, that’s so me!” and the client - “that’s perfectly the brand!” KFC’s Hacks Premier League campaign during IPL - bano champion of getting the last piece of chicken - found that massy connects with fans by playing on the age-old fight for the last piece. Who doesn’t want to keep the last piece of fried chicken all to themselves? Roping in an influencer like Focussed Indian amped up the relatability factor and, in turn, the engagement.

Brands can see some engagement activity on Instagram in-feed posts (likes and comments), offering them the benefit of social proof. It helps brands boost conversions, analyse content quality, and work with Instagram's algorithm. A healthy engagement is essential as it indicates the audience's interest, relevance, and social credibility of a brand.

How to Drive Engagement on Social Media?

B2B brands require a robust social media presence for long-term growth. A practical social media marketing approach can help generate leads, trial sign-ups, and demand for the brand. If the regular posting has little or no influence on the brand's bottom line, it could be due to the lack of social media engagement. Several measures can help brands boost their engagement.

Understanding the Audience/Targeting the Correct Audience - Understanding and identifying the target audience is the first step to driving engagement. Building an Instagram persona is a helpful tool for increasing brand engagement. Creating content that the audience wants increases the chances of interaction. Brands should analyse their audience statistics and modify their content as needed. They can also utilise Instagram analytics to learn about the demographics of their target audience, such as age, gender, geography, and so on.

Maintaining Consistency- There are several tactics that brands can undertake to maintain consistency. For example, they can ensure uniformity in visual content, post formats, backgrounds, and typography. The profile becomes aesthetically appealing when the content appears identical, and the audience can recognise the images as consistent branding. It also boosts the brand's reach and product offerings on its other social media platforms.

Take into account the innumerable topical days that come around. In some cases, it’s best to let go of a topical post and show there is merit in restraint. There is also the matter of subjectivity. So, it may work wonders doing something as simple as an internal dipstick by floating the idea by colleagues from other teams who won’t mince their words or reactions. It opens your mind to the many possible ways people can perceive a single idea and give you a glimpse into how your audience may react.

Furthermore, posting regularly and knowing when to post for the audience are equally important. Brands can use Instagram insights to determine the best time to post. Since quantity does not equal quality, brands must create relevant and authentic content.

Using Calls-to-Action (CTAs) - A call to action (CTA) is a picture, hashtag, line of text, or swipe-up link designed to entice the audience to take action. Brands should determine the particular action to request from the audience keeping in mind its offerings.

For example, brands can inform their audience about a special offer or sale by adding a swipe-up link in the story or inviting them to tag a friend in the comment section. Although links to other websites have no direct influence on Instagram engagement, they require the audience to spend longer on the profile, which further helps brands convert them into leads.

Way Forward

On Twitter, for example, even a simple 'like' can spark a cascade of interaction, leading to increased visibility and a more substantial brand reputation. Brands can leverage a range of additional strategies to ensure healthy engagement. These include incorporating user-generated content into brand strategy, creating mixed and shareable content through videos, reels, and stories, using hashtags and relevant captions, responding to comments and messages, and, most importantly, tracking statistics regularly.

Tapping into regional content also drives a healthy engagement rate for a brand. However, one shouldn’t force-fit terms to follow a mandate. Although engagement should not be the only objective of organic content, the positive momentum that brands can achieve from sustained healthy engagement is essential. It can make it easier for brands to carry out other marketing objectives.

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