Posts’ comments, and in fact, all of the major social media factors, have become an integral part in marketing, advertising, and accruing an audience. Whether that audience is necessary for your fresh, new small business or you want to progress to influencer status, comments on your social media posts are crucial to getting you there. Oftentimes, people navigate to the comment section before they have even fully digested the post.
The comment section is where most people formulate an opinion on what you are advertising in your post. People naturally want to know what everyone else is saying who has interacted with a post, and then they base their opinions off of opinions of others. Even if it is simply a picture of yourself that you want a lot of people to comment on, there are certain tips and tricks that may make your wish for more engagement plausible.
Social media engagement is critical in many circumstances. It can make or break careers, cause internet drama, and create entire narratives depending on the positive or negative comments beneath a post. Knowing how to address and respond to comments puts the power back in your hands.
Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have prioritized engagement through their comment sections, creating algorithms that place certain comments higher than others to feed into the concept of strengthening communities across their platforms. Most advice is given to increase likes or clicks, but the comment section can be just as important.
Here are 10 tips to increase your engagement on social media posts as well as encourage your audience to post more comments beneath your content.
1. Reply Quickly to a Post’s Comments
Based on the algorithms behind social media sites, something that indicates whether a piece of content will boost to the top of a feed is how recent the post is. Because of this, being able to reply quickly and post comments in response to others is very beneficial in getting your post to the top of the timeline.
The algorithm works so that the posts that reach a high index on a news feed are posts that are interacted with the most compared to others that may have been uploaded around a similar time. Replying quickly to the comments that are left on your post also contributes to the number of impressions that you will receive.
The faster you can reply, the more likely it is that others will see your content on the top of their feed. This increases your reach, engagement, and visibility on the app or website that you are trying to excel on. Amongst hundreds and thousands of posts daily, you can trick the system into making your post show up at the top.
If your friend posts comments on a selfie, all you must do is quickly engage with it so that others are more likely to see it. Having more comments will give you a sort of social proofing to the people who may have scrolled past your post otherwise. It gives them subconscious signals that your post is legitimate, encouraging them to post comments as well.
This has been termed the “swimming pool principle”. If you find that more people are swimming in a pool, you are more likely to want to jump in yourself. But if there is no one in the pool at a party, being the one person swimming alone is not something most people will want to do.
2. Encourage Back-And-Forth Commenting
People typically shy away from comment battles beneath their posts, but they are more beneficial than you may think. Commenting on Facebook requires little to no energy or time but keeping up with a back-and-forth comment battle after a distant relative shares an unwanted opinion beneath your post might not seem like the best-case scenario. Surprisingly, however, it can work in your favor.
A comment battle is when you initiate a discussion or argument between two opposing sides in the comment section. This is more likely to occur on Twitter or Facebook. By asking people to decide between option A or option B, you are boosting the post by targeting both groups. It may get a little messy, but your post will be popping!
You can do this easily by posting any two things that both have die-hard fans behind them. For example, try posting a picture of Harry Potter movies and Marvel movies. You then target pages on Facebook like “MCU Maniacs” to involve Marvel fans along with “Harry Potter Houses” to include Harry Potter fans. After this, ask them to choose between the two.
This method works in spiking conversation in the comment section and generating more engagement to improve your business or branding. Fans will feel obligated to post comments in support of their respective sides. It increases the likelihood of your post spreading to other groups and boosting your engagement drastically.
3. Create “Fill in the Blank” Posts
A “fill in the blank” post is a way to drive more engagement your way. It forces your audience to take a participatory role in your comment section. This is an easy way to get more comments on your social media posts because it forces interaction.
All you must do is create a statement or question and ask your audience to fill in the blank or missing piece of it, urging them into action. For example, if you oversaw the social media posts for a sports company, you could write “In 2010, the _____ won the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts.” With posts like these, the audience will feel inclined to fill in the blank and, therefore, comment on the post.
Posts like these lie in the sweet spot of being enjoyable and bilateral while also requiring little to no thought for your audience. Also, there are people who see fill-in-the-blank posts as an opportunity to spark conversations in the comment section, which helps more than it can hurt.
4. Hold Giveaways and Contests
Something that tends to succeed in generating a greater audience along with greater audience engagement are contests. Contests have been shown to not only bring more people to your page, but contests also act as an opportunity to sell your brand or business to a wider audience. Of course, you will have to host a contest first.
Giveaways and contests are most popular on Instagram where many businesses and influencers take advantage of this foolproof strategy in encouraging their audiences to post comments. The basics of creating a giveaway or contest are promoting a contest on your social media, determining exactly how long you want the giveaway or contest to last, and then making it a requirement to comment for participation.
You can become even more creative with this strategy. You can insist that your audience must comment every single day for a weeklong contest to be in the running for the prize. There have also been instances where brands incorporate user-generated content (UGC), which is when they have their audience post their own pictures and ask them to tag or mention the brand in the post. This brings in a larger audience as well as inflating the spread of your post.
Another example of utilizing the giveaway and contest strategy is asking your audience to tag their family and friends in the comments beneath a post promoting the contest. By doing this, people post comments but also bring in two or three more people to do the same. This is a great way to expand your brand using social media.
5. Write Posts at the Best Times
Knowing when your followers are most active can give you the upper hand when it comes to audience engagement. It will not do you any good if you post your content when much of your audience is sleeping or working. Therefore, essential research must be done to determine the best time of the day to post to generate the most views.
To do this, run through your social media insights to find when your audience is most active throughout the day. Many social media platforms have a feature that provides this necessary data, but if not, you can resort to tools like Hootsuite or SocialRank to find out. If all else fails, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and test when you get the most comments depending on when you post.
By posting at the right time, you can do wonders for your numbers and interaction. There are studies that analyze people’s moods, inclinations, and motivations when it comes to liking or commenting on certain posts. There are specific times of the day on definite days when you can bet on your audience being in a good enough mood to like and comment on your post.
6. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Rhetorical questions are only effective when you are face-to-face with your audience. In terms of generating more comments beneath your posts, open-ended questions are the way to go. If you have ever been to an interview, you know how effective it is to ask an open-ended question to guarantee a response back.
Open-ended questions ensure that your audience will engage. Much like contests, giveaways, and fill in the blank posts, your audience is more inclined to participate since you are directly asking them to so that they can achieve a sense of fulfillment in one way or another. Asking a yes or no question typically does not produce as many responses as open-ended questions.
If a question is thought provoking and people are genuinely interested in the subject matter, they are more willing to take the time to post comments. This is because you have managed to spark their interests with a question, and they feel like their knowledge and experience should be publicly shared. It is a natural human instinct!
For example, rather than asking your audience whether or not they enjoy going to museums, you can ask what their favorite thing about museums is. You can even take it a step further and ask them about their most enjoyable museum experience as a follow-up question. Questions like these can potentially spark more conversation between people in your comments.
7. Host a Takeover
Takeovers are a recent development in the realm of social media. They allow for new, engaging content from an unlikely perspective. Takeovers are most likely to take place on Instagram, but you can use any social media platform to utilize this strategy in generating more comments.
Takeovers are also an opportunity to work with influencers and colleagues, which may draw in their audience to your page. A takeover involves one user taking over another’s feed for a day or maybe two, posting from their point of view in a different way than what the audience usually sees. It can be done from the perspective of a friend, influencer, organization, etc.
For example, if you were wanting more engagement on your posts about your restaurant, you can have an influencer or celebrity log in on your behalf and speak about his or her experience with your business. This allows your audience to receive fresh, new content in a way that does not feel too biased or personal.
The comments are likely to be filled with people guessing who is doing the takeover, excitement about the takeover, and general inquiry about the takeover guest’s opinions. It is a great and easy way to grow your audience.
8. Use the Right Hashtags
Relevant hashtags can pull in your audience as well as bring more eyes to your content. When posting your content with popular, relevant hashtags, your posts are more likely to appear in searches for those hashtags and on the Explore page that is available to everyone on the social media site.
Posts with one hashtag attain 12% more engagement than they typically would without one. This is the reason so many influencers insist on including a multitude of hashtags beneath their photos. Although having an audience that organically posts comments on your content is beneficial, hashtags can help you reach people you never would have been able to without using hashtags.
For example, you can ask your followers how they are enjoying their #SundayFunday or post a picture with #ThrowbackThursday as the caption. You can also choose to use unique hashtags and focus on industry related words that will reel in like-minded people.
9. Post People’s Faces
It may sound strange but posting people’s faces has been proven to generate more likes, clicks, and comments under social media posts. In an analysis done by Georgia Institute of Technology in collaboration with Yahoo Labs, it was determined that posts with human faces have a 32% higher likelihood of attracting comments and 38% more likelihood in generating likes.
There are a lot of psychological and social explanations for why this is, but researchers concluded that it is partly because human faces provide a source of nonverbal communication that people – even infants – respond to. You can do your own research on this; if you look back at all your posts, which ones have the most comments and likes?
Next time you decide to choose a photo that will make people more inclined to post comments, consider choosing a wholesome, human face. After that, watch your engagement increase with speed.
10. Post Provocative Content
It is safe to say that the best way to generate more engagement with your posts is to provide great content! It may be difficult to determine exactly what your audience is seeking and when. On top of that, you have to know what people are most inclined to comment on. A solution to this is posting the best possible content you can.
No matter what your content is, your audience follows you because they enjoy what you provide. Using this fact, you can build your own brand and cater your posts to your loyal audience. To do this, you must remain consistent and on top of your posts, making them sufficient for your audience to want to click and post comments more.
Posting the best possible content you can as well as posting frequently assures your audience that you are trying your best to appeal to them. Although it may not seem like it over the internet or through social media, your rapport with your audience is a mutualistic relationship. If you do not provide what people signed up for, you cannot expect them to stay around.