Yes, Social Media Engagement Is Changing – for the Better, with these 3 Tips

Noticing a drop in your brand’s social media engagement? You’re not alone. (insert sigh of relief here).

While low “Like” counts and quiet comment sections might make it seem like consumers no longer care for your brand, that’s not necessarily the case. Truthfully, they just don’t have time for it anymore (insert gasp of horror here).

Between posts, stories, TikToks, Reels, tweets, live streams—and everything in between—there’s literally an endless supply of content to be consumed, and people only have so much time in their day to take it all in. In fact, it’s estimated that we are exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads every day. That doesn’t even include organic content, and we’re supposed to sort through ALL of it!? Impossible! Social media usage is constantly changing, so it only makes sense that social media engagement is changing along with it.

Key Insight -> It’s getting to the point where many users only have the capacity to consume content, not interact with it. 

Gen Z is a huge leader in this trend. While most generations report primarily using social media to connect with friends and family, Gen Z is mainly using it to kill time, making them far more likely to keep scrolling if they aren’t immediately entertained. They are also far less likely to engage.

GenZ has set the new pulse for social content, and other generations have started to follow suit. So even when you break through the noise and get more eyes on your post, you’re not likely to see the number of likes and comments your brand saw just a year ago.

While this shift may seem alarming for brands, it actually presents an opportunity for marketers who understand how best to utilize social media in today’s environment—and how their content strategy needs to adapt accordingly.

3 Tips to Improve Your Social Content Strategy

  1. Make it SnappyWith all the noise, it’s harder than ever to make sure your content stands out and gets seen by your target audience. That, paired with humans’ attention span supposedly now being shorter than that of a goldfish (so, less than 8 seconds) poses the ultimate content challenge. Here at The S3 Agency, we like to call it passing the “The Goldfish Test”.To capture attention and keep it, you have to be quick and give people a reason to stick around, which means delivering a concise message and offering value upfront.Content consumers are looking for quick nuggets of information that they can digest on the go, and they have no problem scrolling right past anything that doesn’t provide value quickly or at least make them chuckle. This is why short-form video has taken over social media engagement – especially on TikTok and Instagram. They’re a convenient and enjoyable way to get a lot of information across in a minimal amount of time.
  2. Make it RelevantIf you really want people to engage with your brand’s posts, give them content that actually means something to them.  That starts by showing consumers who you A.R.E.: engaging content must be differentiated in a way that is Authentic to your brand, Relevant to your target market, and Easy-to-understand. (Easy, as in an “instant get.” Wait – you didn’t forget the goldfish test already did you?)We’re not just talking about huge, newsworthy topics (although that is becoming more and more common to see on brands’ social pages). This also applies to memes, life hacks, pro tips, etc. that show you really get your audience – and that lets them get you. Really dig down to truly understand them, their needs, and their interests beyond your brand.The end goal is for them to feel “I care about/can relate to this and I have friends who care/can relate too, so I’m going to share this with them”. That is the gold standard for social media engagement.You would think this is an obvious thing to do on social media (your brand knows your audience better than anyone!), but so many comapnies are still talking at their social followers instead of inserting themselves into a conversation in a way that is genuine (and brand-appropriate). 
  3. Make it ConvenientIt’s not enough to simply tell consumers that they need to take action. You need to make it easy for them take action, too.
    For example: if you want your post to drive people to shop for a product, you need to make sure the customer journey is as clear and effortless as possible. This means making links easy to find, easy to remember, and shareable. And with social commerce on the rise on Facebook and Instagram, giving consumers a way to shop from your brand’s posts without even leaving the app is a gamechanger! In addition, be sure to provide options that don’t require a lot of effort. (Minimal clicks!) When someone sees something they want, it’s important to maximize that opportunity for instant conversion since the window of interest may be even shorter than our attention spans. Offering a frictionless path to purchase in real-time, one that doesn’t require interacting with another human, will help make that social media engagement pay off. 

In short, the way consumers use social media is constantly changing, and brands need to stay agile to meet their needs. Social media marketing has gone far beyond the realm of just being about engagement and interaction. While those metrics are still important to consider, winning brands will focus on making content that is fast, convenient, and delivers value to their audience. 

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