What is social media engagement?

Social media engagement involves measuring how your audience interacts with your business page on social media - these metrics can include comments, likes, and social shares of a piece of content. In parallel, a good social media engagement strategy requires you to communicate, listen to, and understand your audience.

The importance of social media engagement

A solid social media engagement strategy encompasses creating a benefit for both your business and the audience you’re speaking to. Businesses that build a solid social media engagement strategy can benefit from greater reach, return on investment, and brand awareness and attraction.

Many marketers focus too heavily on follower counts and likes - while these are important indicators to measure, the true insights are what actions your fans and followers take. After engaging with your social media efforts, what outcomes does it bring for your business?

Benefits of social media engagement

Social media engagement goes beyond delighting your audience and gaining more followers. Some of the powerful benefits of a strong social media engagement strategy include:

Reach & Cost-Effective ROI

Interacting with what your users say and post about your brand is an excellent way to build trust with your current audience, while reaching others with your replies. A promotion in your social media engagement strategy can drive a lot of attention to your social presence and business.

User Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is one of the top trending topics in marketing because it gets others to post about your brand, in addition to cutting your content effort down by providing you with authentic, curated content to reshare.

Brand Advocacy & Social Sharing

Brand advocates talk positively about your brand and are your strongest word-of-mouth marketer. Often, they’ll generate content and share your newest updates with their peers.

How contests benefit social media engagement strategy

Promotions such as contests and sweepstakes fulfill the two most important pieces of social media engagement: Giving your target audience incentive to interact with your brand.

By encouraging new leads and current customers using exciting prizes, you can accelerate your social media engagement efforts, collect new insights about your audiences, and curate new content for future strategies.

Planning a successful social media promotion

Set your goals

Decide what actions you will incentivize users to take (and be sure they are legal with that social network’s Terms of Use). Looking to curate fresh, authentic content and expand your reach? Perhaps a UGC contest best suits your goals.

Trying to drive new leads to your website? Send your audience to a micro-site or registration page on your website to enter your sweepstakes and provide an opt-in field for future marketing goals.

Instant Win Games, UGC Campaigns, Hashtag Campaigns, and Sweepstakes all have unique benefits, and even stronger engagement when paired with other add-ons. Be sure to explore the strengths of each to understand which game would support your goals.

Keep it simple (and legal)

The ease at which entrants can interact with your contest, sweepstakes, or promotion has a significant impact on the engagement rate. We refer to this as the ‘barrier to entry’. With your goals in mind, you want to find a balance between easy participation and driving meaningful brand interaction.

For the most part (and especially on your first social promotion) keep your user flow simple and be sure to include a clear path to your official rules (must be within 2 clicks off your social profile or landing page link).

It’s recommended that you speak to a professional legal administrator to ensure your promotion is compliant with national and international laws, including state-by-state variances and tax requirements for winners. No matter how large or small the prize, sweepstakes and contests must adhere to these laws.

Choose Your Social Channel(s)

Many times, brands have a social channel that is more engaged or “better performing” than another. This is a great indicator of where to focus your promotion for the most growth on your goals. Not only will this give you an indication of how far your promotion will reach, but it gives you a benchmark of how a promotion can add incentive to actions on that social channel. Additionally, through promotions you can begin seeking influencers who may also help you maximize engagement.

Promote

Promoting a contest or sweepstakes in a post on your social channels has a profound effect on increasing click-through and interaction rate on your social channels. Launching a paid social ads campaign that leads to a promotion microsite or page is a great way to get active social followers into your marketing database. Provide users easy-to-follow landing pages and use registration info to collect new leads. and fans, while giving an added incentive for customers to interact with your ads.

Paid social spend is certainly the primary way to kickstart your promotion’s participation, especially if all actions to enter are directly on social. Beyond paid social spend, what many brands often experience is an even greater organic social reach from the @mention of friends by users or the sharing of a referral link from a promotion microsite. This drives media efficiency, effectively gaining you more social impressions for less social media spend.

Steady Engagement

Keep a steady level of engagement with your audience through the duration of the promotion. This can be as simple as a countdown to the winner announcement date, or reminders that users can enter daily or weekly. For even further engagement you can add instant-win prizes alongside your contest or sweepstakes. Add-ons such as instant win promotions can keep users returning for smaller prizes or additional entries.

Collect Qualified Entries

With the right promotions management and administration, you can have the resources in place to take anti-fraud measures and verify quality leads and entries.

Reward

The cornerstone of a successful contest or sweepstakes is the prize. Be sure to spend time on deciding your prize strategy. Sweepstakes management companies will offer expert services including sweepstakes or contest development, prize strategy planning, prize fulfillment, and legal administration for contests with large-scale needs.

Conclusion

Social media engagement is a wide topic encompassing many goals and KPIs - however they can turn these smaller engagements into larger actions for your business or brand. Promotions can help you drive targeted results on your selected social channels and support your social media engagement strategy.

It’s recommended that you seek a professional firm that can help you manage these promotions. As noted earlier, there are full-service solutions available that can assist your business from start to finish with multiple contest and sweepstakes promotion options - from strategy and development, legal and administration services, and prize procurement and fulfillment.