10 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Strategy and Boost Community Engagement Promotion
- Laura Trappett
- April 26, 2023
- 12 minute read
Are you taking advantage of social media to promote your online community engagement efforts? From keeping your community informed on your newest projects, promoting opportunities to participate, or closing the loop – social media can be incredibly helpful. However, using it effectively is another story… and it can be discouraging when your posts dwindle in engagement. Here are our top 10 tips to improve your social media presence to nail your community engagement promotion.
Social media has provided individuals and businesses with various platforms to connect with their desired audience on a personal level, enabling them to create and share content globally. When utilized effectively, social media can be a powerful asset to help grow an online audience and keep your community updated in a more informal environment.
Despite the benefits, it can be challenging to differentiate oneself from the crowd. A lot of the time, you’re vying for people’s attention in the vast sea of users, so understanding how you can increase your social media engagement is beneficial.
For community engagement practitioners, social media can be both a cost-effective and efficient solution for promoting new or ongoing projects. And, by connecting your community engagement platform with your social accounts, you are directing your online audience to interact with you in a safer, moderated space – rather than opening up the conversation in the Facebook comments.
Before diving into our top tips, we first need to understand the impact of engagement on social media presence and how this can make or break your social media strategy.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is the process of monitoring and analyzing the content you distribute by seeing how your target audience engages with your content. Companies can track specific metrics, including likes, views, comments, and shares, while analyzing them within a selected timeframe.
Why is Social Media Engagement Important?
There are several reasons why social media engagement is important to track. Firstly, it can enhance your company’s visibility by increasing brand awareness and expanding your reach. This means that your community will see your content more regularly and be more enticed to interact, all whilst helping you to improve outreach to a wider audience.
Secondly, it allows you to connect and engage with your audience, leading to better relationships and increased loyalty and trust. Engaging with your audience can provide valuable insights into their preferences, needs, and opinions. By identifying what content your audience likes, shares, and comments on, you can better understand what their likes and dislikes are, what they’d like to see more of, and what they’d like you to improve.
How Does Social Media Engagement Boost Project Promotion?
By improving your social media presence, you are instantly creating more opportunities for your audience to connect with you. And, by providing helpful, valuable, and consistent content to your community you can enhance the quality of those interactions as well.
So, how does social media engagement boost your project promotion? As you continue to increase your social media engagement, you should see a snowball effect on the amount of engagement and interaction your posts receive. Therefore, the visibility of your posts, and therefore your projects, will also increase over time.
To ensure your social media content is working for you (and not against you) here are 10 ways you can improve your social media strategy to boost your community engagement promotion.
10 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Strategy
Now that we understand the impact of engagement on our social presence, here are 10 ways to help you stand out, effectively engage your audience, and improve your social media presence:
- Pinpoint your audience
- Creating quality content
- Stay consistent
- Engaging with your audience
- Using hashtags
- Utilizing video content
- Analyze your performance
- Paid advertising
- Viewing examples
1. Pinpoint your audience
One of the first steps to improving your social media strategy is to pinpoint your target audience. Identifying your audience helps community engagement practitioners make quicker decisions, as you can base your choices on a clear understanding of your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs. You can then use this information to tailor your content to their preferences, increasing user engagement.
For instance, community engagement experts can use audience insights to determine the most suitable social media platforms for their target audience. Suppose the target audience primarily uses LinkedIn, for example. In that case, you should focus on creating content and engaging on this platform rather than spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms. This targeted approach can result in higher engagement as it allows you to reach your intended audience where they are most active effectively.
2. Creating quality content
Whether it’s a compelling image or a catchy headline, it’s essential to grab your audience’s attention online. To do this, you must create visually appealing content that provides value to your community, whether educational, informational, or entertainment.
For example, as an engagement planner, you might create content that showcases urban design concepts, sustainable development practices, or case studies on successful community projects. However, it is essential to highlight that the quality of your content is more significant than the quantity. Focusing on the quality of your content rather than the quantity will significantly reduce your workload and your audience won’t feel overwhelmed by the information they digest.
Quality content can also be meaningful content. This means, that as long as your content is valuable to your audience and is helpful then this can be deemed high quality.
3. Stay consistent
Consistency is essential when engaging with your community as they rely on knowing when to expect new content from you. Therefore, a content calendar may be a useful method to ensure a consistent amount of content is available and ready to post down the track.
One of the significant advantages of planning and scheduling your posts in advance is that it frees up your time for other tasks. Instead of constantly brainstorming new content or scrambling for post ideas last minute, you can allocate time for brainstorming and creative thinking.
By planning ahead and creating a schedule, you can ensure that your content goes live at optimal times and maximize reach and engagement. The more your audience knows when to anticipate your content, the more likelly they will engage with it.
4. Engaging with your audience
By sharing updates, news, and announcements, you can use social media to effectively communicate with your audience and keep them informed. This allows time-poor individuals to stay engaged quickly and remain informed on projects of interest without requiring an extensive time commitment.
One effective way to engage your audience is by asking questions to initiate discussions and demonstrate that you value their opinions and feedback. Knowing the right questions to ask can give citizens the power to lead the change process, resulting in positive changes. Sometimes asking fun and engaging questions for social media, you can make people more likely to respond and share their thoughts and experiences, thereby improving community participation.
In addition, by being active listeners, you are demonstrating that you are recognizing the needs and concerns of your audience by hearing from a diverse range of voices, which builds better relationships, loyalty and trust. This can be as simple as responding to comments on your posts, involving community members in content creation, or even using social media to close the loop on your engagement projects.
5. Using hashtags
Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is a practical approach to help expand your reach and visibility. By using relevant hashtags in social media posts, you can quickly organize your content and make it discoverable to users interested in similar topics or causes. Hashtags can help save time manually categorizing and organizing content, as they are a convenient way to group posts and discussions.
It’s best to use specific hashtags that your audience can effortlessly search for, as overly generic hashtags can make it harder for people to discover your content due to the volume of others using the same hashtag. For example, if your site is called ‘Shape Social Pinpoint’ using the hashtag #shapespp could be an easy way for your community to find relevant posts.
How many hashtags are too many? Using too many hashtags will not help you get additional distribution and can make posts appear spam-like. More recently, Instagram Creators have suggested keeping the number of hashtags between 3-5 – this is also way more efficient.
Another way to increase your engagement is by collaborating with influential community members who are relevant to your audience. For example, joining forces with these members to help promote your project can be highly advantageous. Within the community engagement space, this could be local experts, community group leaders, political members, or even some famous community members!
Collaborating with influential members allows you to share the workload while working towards a common goal, creating a win-win situation for both parties. This can involve co-creating content, hosting joint events, or leveraging their expertise to provide valuable insights or advice to your community. In addition, by tapping into the influence of relevant professionals or influencers, you can leverage their reach and credibility to amplify your message and engage with your target audience meaningfully.
7. Using video content
Videos are incredibly popular on social media. You might’ve heard of the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, after research it has been proven that the human brain can process visual content 60,000 times faster than text and that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Videos can be used as a fun and engaging way to distribute information without overwhelming your audience whilst eliminating the need to write lengthy explanations or documents.
Community engagement practitioners may use videos as a visual tool to keep their community up to date on the progression of particular projects they might be interested in. Or to even showcase the benefits of what it will bring to their community. Videos allow practitioners to successfully convey crucial information in a captivating and simple-to-understand format, making it easier for community members to understand the goals and outcomes of a particular project.
8. Analyzing your performance
Social media metrics can help you track the performance of your engagement to truly understand what your audience is interested in and how they’re engaging with your content. This could be as simple as viewing your follower growth or the number of views, clicks, and shares on your content to see what posts are performing well.
Discovering what matters to your target audience can influence your decision-making process to help guide the content you should create and distribute. In addition, real-time monitoring lets you gather meaningful insights to understand your audience’s needs better. As a result, if you notice that certain types of content perform better than others, you might adjust your community engagement strategy accordingly.
For example, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) integrated Social Pinpoint across social media channels to increase visits, responses and comments. Social Pinpoint’s responsive design has allowed DPIE to instantly direct specific community audiences to their dedicated Parks for People project on any device, at any time. As a result, DPIE was able to increase its engagement rates drastically.
9. Paid advertising
Another way to increase social media engagement may be by implementing paid advertising in your marketing campaigns. Many social media platforms offer paid advertising, including sponsored posts and ads. Utilizing paid advertising can help increase the engagement and reach of your content, particularly if you’re only starting out or have a limited audience.
Paid advertising can help you target your desired audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This allows you to focus your efforts on a specific audience segment more likely to be interested in their initiative and accelerate the process of reaching a wider audience. In addition, this targeted approach can save time by avoiding efforts on audiences that aren’t as relevant or interested in the project or initiative.
10. Be inspired by examples and trends
It’s also recommended to stay up-to-date with how other similar organizations are using social media. This could involve doing a quick visual analysis of organizations you look to for inspiration and seeing what posts are performing well. A few organizations that share fantastic posts on community engagement projects are City of Melbourne, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, and Sunshine Coast Council.
By viewing examples, you can also gain valuable insights into the latest trends and best practices that relate to community engagement. This can help you identify new opportunities, brainstorm creative ideas, and fine-tune your content. Staying informed about the latest trends also allows you to proactively respond to shifting audience preferences, emerging issues, or timely events.
Establish a Loyal and Engaged Online Community
Improving social media engagement is essential to build a solid online presence and effectively connecting with the target audience. By following these steps, such as creating valuable content, leveraging visual elements, engaging with your followers, and analyzing metrics, you can enhance your social media presence and reach your business strategies. With consistent effort and a strategic approach, you can increase your social media engagement and establish a loyal and engaged online community.