HOW TO: Boost Engagement Without Touching Your Content

By Charlie Balk As Facebook continues to manipulate its algorithm, unpaid reach will continue to plummet and social media managers will need to do everything they can to combat the trend. The most direct solution is improving your content. But a lot can be done to create a community where people actually want to comment, without changing the content. Higher engagement rates lead to higher reach, so getting one-time commenters on a post to engage more than once can pay dividends in terms of reach. And, showing your community you care can go along way in building brand loyalty. According to one study, your brand's likeability accounts for 80% of whether your brand is remembered later. People don't like to buy stuff from jerks, so be charming, witty, and nice in every way you possibly can!

Here are just a few way to encourage people to engage with your brand on social media.
Be Funny
Every brand voice is different, but if you're not showing SOME sense of humor as a company, you're missing an opportunity. This should first come through in your content, but then should be echoed in your brand's personality. Even just appreciating jokes that your community makes is a great first step. They'll notice.
Have a Personality
In order to know when and how to be funny, your brand needs to have a personality. That personality should come through whenever engaging with your community. Realize that your brand's personality doesn't have to be quite as corporate on social as it is elsewhere. Loosen that top button. You can do it. Trust me. It's not only appreciated, it's expected.
Be Personable
Having personality doesn't just have to mean impressing people with your wit and charm. Show your community that you're listening and that you care care. If they took the time to leave a comment, you should take the time to read it and respond with something that shows you you listened. Here's a great example.
Give Away Stuff
People love free stuff, and it doesn't matter how cheap it is. Next time you ask your community a question, offer to give a free piece of swag to the best comments. Facebook rules allow this. And it doesn't hurt to surprise people with free stuff without telling them first every once and a while. If your community is aware that they might be surprised with a gift for any comment they leave, they're more likely to engage.
Dish Out Flattery
People love being complimented. Surprise them with how nice you are. Show your community that you care, that you're listening, and that every comment they leave is being noticed. It's especially valuable to compliment influencers in your community or people who engage with you a lot. Say thank you. Compliment their taste. Customize your responses to them. Send them a funny animated gif. Being nice isn't that hard!
How do you engage with your community of fans? Leave a comment and I promise to respond!