On your social media pages, there are at least 1,000 ways to get people to engage, such as asking questions, offering daily tips, or posting quotes and fun facts. You should definitely post video along with photos: Pictures and videos are shared 40 percent more than text. Contests can also be a tremendous way to engage for two reasons: People like the idea of winning something, and if you give away a $100 or $200 prize and 10,000 people have shared or retweeted your post and spread the word about the contest, you win.
You want to put content out there that's useful, helpful, and makes you a resource or reference; you're essentially baiting people to participate. So your content must be clever, creative, entertaining and, perhaps, a little controversial. You want to achieve that wow factor that comes from people seeing something new and unusual that they then want to share with others.You need to devise a plan that incorporates all forms of content: conversation, pictures, videos, blogs, and links between your platform and your website. For instance:
While you'll want to post often, you'll realize in short order that quality content can get used up quickly. Your social media team will need to have sources at the ready. If you have 10 people on the team, some will be engaging while others are scouring sources of interesting content, whether it's quotes, jokes or the latest news story. Some will be brainstorming about how to educate and share your company's expertise and how to be helpful, while others will be positioning photos for your Pinterest page or editing a video for YouTube.If you're on your own or working with a partner, you may need to have a simple plan of simply jumping in and engaging in conversations on the various platforms with your fans and followers, rather than continually posting content.
Current events, news stories and trends are marvelous sources of content, and commenting on news stories that are relevant to your industry is smart. You can easily add links for integration across platforms. You want your customers or potential customers to follow you everywhere, so it's crucial to present content in a way that's specific to each platform. For example, if you run an animal shelter and a major oil spill is the story of the day, Tweet something about how that spill will affect wildlife. On Facebook, you might ask people to join you on your visit to the areas affected by the oil spill and let them know how they can help endangered animals and ocean life. On your Pinterest board, you might post photos from other sources, as well as your own photos once you arrive in the affected area. Then you might go back on Twitter to tell followers that you have new photos of how the oil spill is affecting wildlife.
Excerpted from an article by Scott Levy for Entreprenuer