For many businesses, getting consumer engagement on social media posts can be a real struggle. It’s usually hard to tell what is and what isn’t working within a single social media post, and even more difficult to decide on what to tweak about it.


At Pikle, we are experts on all things social media so we took time to lay out a few issues that may cause a lack of engagement many businesses face and tips to overcome it.


Content clutter on every social media user’s feed is a huge problem because it’s blocking your posts from reaching the target consumers and decreasing organic reach. This clutter is due to the amount of users on each social media platform, as well as, the frequency of posting or uploading on the different platforms. Statistics show that social media users, each day, upload approximately 350 million photos to Facebook, post approximately 500 million tweets on Twitter, and upload approximately 85 million photos and videos to Instagram.


Many businesses can get overwhelmed by the statistics and your ability to develop reach and engagement in social media. We know that the statistics can be discouraging, but there are ways to make your posts visible in your follower’s feeds. Businesses must raise the bar and take the time to plan posts to get the desired engagement. This means taking some time to understand your target audience and your needs.


The First Tip:  Personalize Your Imagery.  Overall, images in general boost engagement by 2.3 times more than a regular text only post. Images are what immediately catch the consumer’s eye and prevent scrolling. Many businesses have figured this out, but they do not realize that they are using the wrong types of images.


Social Media users aren’t going to divert attention for any plain old stock photo when there are the always humorous memes to compete with. An easy way to combat this is to use more personalized images on your company’s social media accounts. This ensures that your posts are unique and personable ,as well as, help increase engagement. It is proven that pictures containing people’s faces get 38% more likes than pictures without them. It’s a proven fact that people are more apt to do business with people they know. This does not mean to take lessons from Kim Kardashian’s Instagram and post an abundance of selfies. It just means to stop hiding and show the real people behind your brand. Every post doesn’t have to be of people either. In fact, engagement of single posts actually increases when the entire feed is well balanced. So maybe filter in a few pictures of the employees with what you might usually post.


Second Tip: It’s About The Tease.  It is human nature to want to learn more and become more knowledgeable about things in the world. When curiosity is created, it creates intrigue; stimulating an action to learn more about the subject at hand. Your can use this curiosity as a tool in order to increase engagement on your company’s social media.  Curiosity can be achieved by simply teasing your followers and enticing them into learning more about your company and what it has to offer. You can do this by hinting that a new product or service is coming out soon, but not specifying the day or even time it will come out. Another easy way to build curiosity is to post pictures of your new product or service when it is still a work in progress; these are called sneak peeks and are very effective. In simple terms, don’t give too much information away all in one post. Keep the suspense going, have fun with it, and drag it out as long as you can.


Tip Three: Fear of Missing Out, aka, ‘FOMO’.  Believe it or not, #FOMO is real. Social media users experience distress when they see pictures of others having more fun than them or indulging in experiences they aren’t a part of. This drives users to log on more frequently throughout the day so they don’t miss out on anything.


A user’s fear of missing out and frequency of use can be an advantage for businesses in order to push your company’s agenda. Instead of showing users the benefits of your company’s product or service, businesses should spin it around and show users what they’re missing out on by not using your product or service. This makes the users feel a true fear that they are missing out on something big.


Statistics confirm that people hate losing something or the illusion that they are losing something twice as much as the enjoyment of gaining something. This explains why people fear missing out so much.


Tip Four: Showcase Inclusion.  It is human nature to want to be included in a group or feel like a part of a bigger whole. When people don’t feel this, they tend to feel like they are alone and become depressed. This is why we try to surround ourselves with people with similar interests and values than our own and why we look for this connection when searching for friends or significant others. The invention of the #hashtag has made inclusivity easy on social media with the ability to search through people’s and businesses accounts matching a user’s interest.


You can easily factor this into your social media strategy by letting users know the numbers of customers they have or how many people have already purchased your product or service. This can also be achieved by using phrases like “Join the Party!” or “Join the crowd!” because it makes potential customers feel like the are becoming a part of something greater. This explains why it is natural for people to purchase items based off of the “what’s popular” filter on ecommerce websites.


Tip Five: Create a Sense of Urgency.  This relates back to the concept of FOMO… people fear that if they don’t act on something fast enough then they will end up missing out. Your need to create the sense of urgency by stating a small window of time that a product or service will be available.  Doing so, customers will feel like they have to act immediately or else it might be gone forever.


The best way to use this strategy is to immediately engage users in your post then really talk up and explain the details of your product and service, leaving the limited time offer at the end. This makes the users want the product or service or want the deal so that they become afraid that they will miss out on the opportunity.  This strategy doesn’t only boost engagement, but sales as well!


Tip Six: Return The Favor. Just like FOMO is part of our human nature, so is the need to return the favor. Research shows that people react to small gestures made by others and therefore feel the need to reciprocate them in some way. Whether it be with a larger than normal tip after an individual has completed a service, or some kind of physical engagement, we act on this feeling.


Your can incorporate this into your social media strategy by giving your viewers valuable content in order for them to reciprocate with the even more valuable engagement.  This way people will subconsciously like, comment, and even share the posts. An easy but efficient way to do this is to create a challenge, competition, or give away for your followers. This would allow users to engage with your posts in order to reach your intended goal or prize without them even knowing that that was your intention.


These are just six quick tips to help driver better social engagement for your company.  There are many more tips and tricks that can be utilized, but it all takes time and attention.  If you are strapped for time and need help with your social media program, give us a shout, we’d love to help.