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5 Golden Rules for Social Engagement

Looking to boost your social media engagement and build a thriving community around your platform? There’s so much noise in the world of digital and social media at the moment – so I want to make things simple and give you 5 tried and tested tips on how to build more engagement and interaction on your social media content. Here’s my golden rules for social media engagement in 2021:

1. Remember it’s ‘social’ media

When planning your social media posts, you want to think about what content will spark conversation and create lively discussion. There are some classic ways you can do this, such as asking questions at the end of your captions and using a prompt for your audience discussion. Beyond this, it’s helpful to think of your social media channels as a community within themselves. Make your page feel like a safe space where people can express their opinions freely, without judgement or criticism, and be supported – the more you nourish your community, the more they will give back to you.

2. Use Instagram Stories to show behind-the-scenes

Stories are a great way to deepen that connection with your audience – and show the more personal side of your brand. Overcoming your Imposter Syndrome and showing your face to camera on Stories is a really beneficial way to build connection and rapport with your audience.

Try to use the features of Stories as much as possible to drive conversation – use the poll function to hear more from your audience, pose questions and answer them on your stories, use the countdown to tease your audience for new product launches and use the quiz function to have a bit of fun. Remember: Stories are the fun bit of Instagram, so this is where you can afford to be more playful and personable. 

3. Instagram is all about collaboration, not competition

The best way to boost your channels and grow your audience engagement is to think about ways you can collaborate, not compete, on the platform. There’s lots of amazing ways you can collaborate on Instagram – whether that’s doing Instagram Lives with other entrepreneurs in your space, creating a takeover on your Stories, or doing a weekly round-up of other accounts you love or content you’ve enjoyed. You raise your profile by raising others’ up – in Instagram and beyond. You want to be thinking beyond engaging solely with your audience, but also other creators in your space that you admire or would like to work with – this is a good way to set yourself up as an authority, by aligning yourself with successful individuals in your industry. 

4. Focus on content that gives value to your audience

If you create good content, the audience will come. Rather than stressing out by trying to grow your numbers overnight, nurture the community and audience you already have on social media – no matter the size. If you can’t consistently show up for that audience, how are they going to show up for you? Focus on creating rich, valuable content for your audience – that they will want to save and share for future reference and has a strong aesthetic appeal. Instagram has turned into a more value-led place – beyond pretty pictures and travel snaps – so you really want to be thinking about how you can offer value to your audience and provide content that inspires them.

5. Think beyond the Instagram bubble

Instagram is perhaps the most powerful platform for brand-building, but don’t overlook the other social media channels when it comes to boosting your engagement and audience. Get clear on what your goals and objectives are for social media and work backwards to understand where your ideal client or consumer is hanging out online. You might find that LinkedIn is a great networking tool for your business, or you’re able to create a thriving community through a private Facebook page. You don’t have to be across every platform – work out the ones that work best for your business and focus your energy on being consistent across 3 max. 

Angelica Malin

Angelica Malin, award-winning entrepreneur, editor in chief of About Time magazine and author of new book She Made It, Kogan Page, £14.99