In the early years of social media, brands were obsessed with getting as many followers as possible, but more recently the focus has moved to engagement. While it’s great to get likes on your posts, the most valuable form of engagement is comments.
The extra time required to make a comment proves that your followers are more invested in your brand, and comments help you to create a genuine community around your brand.
Here are our top tips for increasing comments on your online content:
The most obvious way to attract comments is to ask for them. Ask questions about topics relevant to your brand and target audience. Avoid yes or no questions or anything too complicated. The best questions are ones that give users the chance to share an opinion they’re proud of, but won’t require them to think too deeply.
Bring up hot topics
The questions that get a good discussion going are ones that people feel strongly about. This will undoubtedly make some of you nervous, as it can be risky to mention a controversial topic. However, if you don’t want to take a side you can remain neutral by focusing on encouraging discussion rather than sharing an opinion on behalf of your company.
Engage with them first
People are more likely to reply to posts from familiar accounts. Engage with users from your target audience by commenting on and liking their posts, and following them. This also proves to the user that you are responsive, which means they’re less likely to spend their time writing a reply to you, only to have their comment ignored.
Share the best comments
Set an example of the kind of comments and replies you want to receive by sharing them, such as retweeting them on Twitter. Seeing other people commenting will make users feel more comfortable to participate themselves, and knowing that you often retweet comments will act as an incentive.
Ask your team to join in
If you’re struggling to get comments on your content, it can be a catch 22 - users won’t comment because they don’t see any existing comments. To get the ball rolling, ask your employees, friends or close business contacts to respond to some of your recent posts.
One tactic that many brands employ to encourage more social engagement is to use comments as a competition mechanic. This means that users need to comment in order to enter to win a prize. The better the prize, the more comments you will get. This can also have a viral effect, as commenters’ friends see them entering, and want to take part themselves.
Reply to comments
When you receive comments, don’t forget to reply to them. You might have to get a bit creative to think of a reply sometimes, but it’s worth it as this enables you to turn a reply into a conversation. It also helps to build a positive reputation for your brand, demonstrating that you care about your customers.
Arrange social takeovers
The people who get the most engagement on social media are celebrities and influencers, whose fans respond to everything they post, hoping to get noticed. Therefore, if you’re working with any famous faces as brand ambassadors, one of the most valuable activities you can get them involved in is a social media takeover. Ask them to post from your account for an hour, or a day, and watch the comments roll in.
Join in with trending topics
Many industries have weekly discussions on Twitter, such as the young adult book community’s #ukyachat, or #newmusicfriday in the music industry. By participating in these discussions, you can raise awareness of your brand among a relevant audience who are already active and often influential on social media.
What did you think of our tips? Get involved in the youth marketing community by tweeting us at @Voxburner.