We often review the social media profiles and strategies of new and potential clients - to identify strengths and weaknesses before creating a new strategy that helps them get the most from their social media presence.

One common problem that I encounter is poor engagement. Social media, by definition, is about social interaction and engagement online; if no one is engaging with your social media strategy then you need to go back to the drawing board.

So how can you ensure that your followers are engaged with your brand?  Well, you may be surprised at just how easy this is to achieve. All it takes is time and effort on your part and an understanding that to succeed at social media, you need to be social in return.

This post will help you increase your own social media engagement through five simple and easy to do tasks that you can do every day.

Create an engaging profile

What are people seeing when they arrive on your social media profiles? Are you inviting them to follow you, or are you sending them away?

All social media channels now allow you to fully customise your profiles, so take some time to ensure that your brand is clearly represented and that you utilise all of the features and functions to make sure you are not turning people away from following you.

Is your cover photo appealing? Does your profile image stand out? Does your about section sell your brand and tell a compelling story? Are all your brand details included? Do you have a well-organised photo and video section? Do you linked clearly to your website and other social profiles and apps?

Follow others

Don’t be one of those brands that never follow back! Following others on social media is not only a great way to build an audience, but you can gain valuable insight into what works for other brands and competitors by following and monitoring what they are doing online. Following someone on social media means that you essentially get an opportunity to say “Hey, we like what you do, check us out too!”

Spend 15 minutes every day, searching for relevant pages and accounts to follow. For example - if you are a brand that specialises in ski holidays; follow ski brands, ski resorts, ski communities and professional skiers.

Like, comment and share

Another very simple task to complete whilst as you sip that first morning coffee, is to Like, Comment and Share. Again, this is the perfect opportunity to get your brand in front of those who perhaps have an influence within your industry and start a discussion that will engage your audience.

This only takes 15 minutes, but will go a long way to help boost those engagement levels.

On Facebook go to the Home tab of your Facebook page, this will bring up a feed of all the pages you follow and their latest status updates. On Twitter this process is easy; simply scroll down your home news feed to see all the accounts that you follow and their latest statuses.

What you want to do is simply Like the statuses that you enjoy; but go further, leave a comment too - something that will hopefully spark a discussion, like a question or opinion. In some cases you may wish to even Share the statuses – such as to show support of a charity or good cause - but make sure that these fit with your brands voice and strategy. 

Post interesting and engaging content

This may sound obvious, but I frequently find myself face palming at the content I see brands posting on social media.

When it comes to posting engaging content, I often hear the same tired excuse:

“But my business isn’t that interesting”

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard this, I’d be living on my own private island in the Caribbean by now.

Every business is interesting to someone; the key is identifying these people and understanding what it is that interests them about it. Once you know and understand this, you can get to work creating content and posts that appeal and stimulate them.

Think of social media like a dinner party; if you work as a solicitor, you wouldn’t refrain from talking to someone because you thought you were boring would you? – I certainly wouldn’t. You would find all the things you enjoy about your job, the parts you take pride in and find interesting and you would express this to the others around the table and help them get as excited about law as you do! – apply this same approach to your social media strategy.

Pay for that engagement

Finally, it is no secret that social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have started to decrease the organic reach of brands; making it vital for brands to pay if they wish to reach their full audience.

This isn’t going to go away; if anything its going to become fundamental part of how brands approach social media – so it’s time to jump on board and embrace paid social media.

Organic reach is now below 6%, in order for your audience to see that engaging content we just spoke of, you need to put some money behind it. Done well, these costs can be kept very reasonable– the key is to understand exactly who to target with each post. Don’t assume that everyone who follows you is going to find value and interest in the same sorts of content – use targeting to make sure that your posts are seen only by those most likely to engage with it.

Final word

By implementing these 5 simple tasks into your social media strategy regularly, you will begin to see your engagement levels increase. As they increase, you can analyse the performance of your activity and identify the types of posts and content that perform the best for your brand on social media – because a social media strategy is ever changing which requires attention and dedication to get right and maintain an effective online presence.