Social media can be a great way to generate leads and customer engagement for your small business, but with all the platforms and algorithms to understand, it can be hard to know where to start. In this blog post we'll walk you through 7 ways to increase your social media engagement on some of the top platforms including Instagram and Pinterest. (Most tips in this post are generalized for Instagram and Facebook, a special section for Pinterest is included at the end of this blog as the Pinterest algorithm works a bit differently than the rest).
In this Blog:
UNSGND's Social Media Content Pillars
Best Times to Post on Instagram and Facebook
Creating Compelling Captions
Using High Quality Images and Videos
Understanding Instagram Reels
Demystifying the Pinterest Algorithm
Resources & References: Content Creation/Scheduling and More information
1. Social Media Content Pillars
At UNSGND, one of the biggest questions we get asked when developing small business social media strategies is "How do I come up with ideas for content?". We've come up with 4 social media content pillars that help generate content ideas that keep viewers engaged.
2. Best and Worst Times to Post
It's proven that posting consistently will attract new followers and establish a community that is familiar with your voice and message. Since Instagram and Facebook prioritize new content on people’s feeds, your best shot at getting your content in front of your followers is by posting when most of them are online and scrolling the app. Check out the visuals below from Later.com that outlines the best and worst times to post on Instagram in 2022 according to 35M posts.
3. Creating Compelling Captions
When creating your captions want to ensure that they are compelling and attractive and will invite your community to take action on whatever you'r
e presenting to them.
This includes the following:
An Engaging Opening Line
60-70 Words as an Ideal Caption Length
An Engaging Call-To-Action (CTA) ("Share this post with a friend, Visit the Link in Our Bio, Visit our Website etc)
Use Hashtags and @ Mentions to Increase Discovery
Define Your Brand Voice
Cross-Promote Other Social Channels
Add Structure and Line Breaks to Your Captions
4. Engagement Hacks
Create conversations through IG story stickers and polls: Collect data and get your audience excited to engage with you through asking questions using IG stories
Use the Countdown filter for any exciting announcements (or even upcoming classes/course launches)
Share interesting stats and data that your audience will be interested in learning about
Use IG Quick Replies to send introduction messages to your new followers (Make it personal, this shouldn't feel like an automated message!)
Assure you respond to comments on your posts and DMs daily
It is important to test out a variety of different content and post types as you build your following and regularly check in on your analytics to see what content performs the best and adjust your content strategy accordingly. To learn more about ways to boost engagement read Later's article here.
5. Using High Quality Images and Videos
High-quality social media images convey to your viewers that you are professional. You care about your business and the way it is presented to the world, which means that you're going to care about your customers, too. Some great places to get free high quality photos are:
(Tip: If you find a photo you like, click the photographer's name to view other photos that may not have appeared in the search results)
10 Sites for Free Business Stock Photos (2021)
6. Understanding Instagram Reels
Reels is a new Instagram feature similar to Tik Tok that is aiding many content creators gain new followers regularly by showing up more frequently on user's Explore pages. It can be tricky to get started but the key to reels is having the confidence to give it a try, taking advantage of being an early adapter to the feature (Instagram is doing extra work to make sure it's new features are being used on the platform which gives you an extra boost). Posting 3 to 5 reels every week has proven to be the most effective as the algorithm will begin to favour showing your reels among other related content.
Pro Tip: The Instagram algorithm will always prioritize content that uses their newest features (they want more people to use these new tools and features, so your content will be placed in front of more eyes by default)
The Benefits of using Reels
Creating quality 15 seconds of video content. ...
Range of filters, audio files, and AR effects. ...
Get your content on the Explore page. ...
Increased engagement from your followers
7. Demystifying Pinterest
Often left out of the conversation, it can be easy to overlook Pinterest as a way to reach new audiences because it works differently than the Big 3 social media platforms. Think of Pinterest as more of a visual search engine where 75% of content comes from brands. Users on Pinterest are looking for — versus — That means your content on Pinterest should be actionable and informative (think, infographics!). When creating content for Pinterest, factors like keywords, high quality visuals and knowing the right time to post will all be important to your success on the platform.
1. Keyword Research
Since Pinterest functions as a visual search engine, keywords are an important part of your posts showing up for the right people. A great way to find relevant keywords is to type a few words related to your post in the search bar and take a look at the guided suggestions that appear underneath, these are generated from real search terms and you can begin building your post headlines from these search terms. Pinterest Trends is another great way to find keywords, you can compare up to four keywords and find trending topics.
2. High Quality Visuals
Since Pinterest boards scroll vertically, tall images are more effective than wide ones. The ideal image size is 725px wide by 1102px high, they can be larger or smaller but studies show that this is the best size for better engagement. Below are a few image guidelines as suggested by eCommerce Fastlane:
Images with more than one dominant color get re-pinned 3.25 times more than images with only one dominant color.
Roughly 1/5 of all images on Pinterest feature a face. Brand images without faces in them are 23% more likely to be re-pinned.
Users are twice as likely to re-pin images with red, orange, or brown colors than those with blue.
Images with less than 30% background are more likely to be re-pinned than any other image. The more background an image has, the less likely users are to re-pin it.
3. When to Post
Pinterest recommends posting at least one new pin per week, but for the best results, it's best to post at least 1-4 new pins daily (I know, I know) but consistency is key to building a following on any platform. Whatever schedule you set for your posts is what will perform the best as long as it is consistent. To help you determine what that schedule will look like, take a look at the best times to post on Pinterest below:
A study by CoSchedule found that the best pinning times are:
8 to 11 p.m. (with a 9 p.m. peak)
2 to 4 a.m.
2 to 4 p.m.
1 to 3 p.m.
Plus, Fridays and Saturdays generally have the most active users.
These times are not set in stone, testing out your own times and reviewing your analytics will be the most effective way to determine your ideal post schedule.
Resources and References
Here is a list of our team's favourite apps and resources for post scheduling, high quality stock footage and design tools, as well as our references for this blog post.
Below are some great resources for finding high quality stock images, mockups and icons for your social media and branding projects.
Creating Compelling Instagram Captions
Benefits of using Instagram Reels
Thanks for reading!