Social is all about sharing and the aim of that sharing is to boost engagement.

Sure, it’s carried out differently on different platforms – on Facebook, for example, conversations are usually more drawn-out, while on Twitter, short answers are preferred. On Instagram, on the other hand, it’s a good practice to pose a question/CTA in the first line of the photo caption itself, as well as comment on the feeds/images of those you want to follow you back.

If you’re looking to generate more engagement with your social media content, here are some tips that can help stimulate audience response.

1. Promote user comments on your social channel

An excellent example of this is The New York Times – they regularly highlight reader comments on their social channels, giving their followers another reason to click-through on their posts.

Instead of only promoting your own posts and products, comments you’ve received on your blog can also have their own value in a content sense. This puts the spotlight on the user and gives other readers a reason to not just comment but to consider the information from another perspective.

As with all user-generated content, you should ensure the user is aware their comments are being used in this way, but it can be a good way to utilize the engagement you’re already seeing to inspire further discussion.

2. Paraphrase third-party articles with thought-provoking commentary

Don’t just retweet or share, add your two cents to the articles that you like and which you feel would be pertinent to your own user base.

For examplee, instead of hitting retweet or the share button for an article, sum it up in your own words and in a manner that speaks directly to your audience.

Can you bring a new viewpoint to the article you are sharing? Can you detail why you like the article and want others to read it?

Give your followers a reason to click on the content you share, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. In general, wherever you post on social, make sure you’re giving people something worthwhile to mull over.

3. Summarize your own content with intriguing images

While it can be time-consuming to find the perfect image to go with a blog post, it is time well-spent. An interesting image can stop a user in their tracks while scrolling down their feed.

There’s plenty of research available to support this claim, and virtually every top blogger will tell you that the use of images, or any visual form of media, helps in getting more user attention. Even Facebook business Pages see 94% more views for articles with images than those without.

If there are days when you can’t find any images or GIFs to go with your content, look at creating a quote image. There’s a number of applications that can help with this – simply pull out the best quote in your blog post and put it on an interesting background. There’s something about a spotlighted quote that immediately grabs people’s attention, and these tend to perform well on all social platforms.

4. Stop making hyperbolic claims

Let’s be real – you’re probably not going to cure someone’s chronic insomnia with a single blog post, nor is it likely that yours is the only article they would ever have to read to learn everything there is to know about SEO.

Hyperbole in headlines may have been a clever new ploy at one point, but it’s getting stale. It annoys people and compromises credibility. An article might, with its superlative headline, get people to click, but if the content within the post doesn’t live up to that initial promise, readers will be disappointed. And if you do this over and over again, readers will catch on to your trick and will start to give your posts a pass in their feeds, or even unsubscribe entirely.

Keep the headlines and tweets truthful, even if you need to dress them up with marketing lingo. Find creative ways of grabbing user attention – headlines are, after all, very important, but don’t twist the facts just to get more clicks/views. Such an approach is short-sighted and will ultimately prove counter-productive.

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