7 Unique Social Media Ideas to Engage Your Audience Natalie Slyman Social media marketing is all about engagement. More than 3 billion people around the globe use social media; many of them on a regular basis. That’s a huge opportunity for your brand to connect and grow. This form of communication and outreach breaks down a lot of the barriers that stand in the way of traditional outbound marketing, opening you up to a massive audience of potentially interested individuals, many of whom could go on to become leads and customers if you play your cards right. With so much potential, it pays to invest in strategies driven toward increasing engagement on your social channels. Chances are, there is a lot more that you could be doing on a day to day basis to engage your audience and give a glimpse into your brand and the people behind it. Below, we’ll cover some unique ways to get the ball rolling. 1. Highlight Your Team Marketing is about forging connections. When you highlight your team members, you show your followers that you’re not just a logo — you’re a real group of people working hard to make your brand and product special. Create a series that showcases each of your team members so your social audience can learn who they are and what they do for the company. Create a Typeform survey with fun questions for your team to answer. Ask things like, “As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?” or “What’s one item on your bucket list?” These kinds of questions will pull answers that will make your team’s personalities shine. Then, ask them to provide a photo of themselves so you can post their answers with it. It could also be fun to have them provide an awkward photo from their childhood for added humor. Either way, a strategy that highlights your team, like this one, will turn your brand from a faceless entity to one with many people behind it, all of them relatable. 2. Create Hashtags Hashtags can provide structure to your posting strategy and create a way for interested subscribers to follow along with the content that really piques their interest. At BenchmarkONE, we post a marketing stat or highlight from one of our blog posts every Monday with the hashtag #MarketingMonday. In addition to boosting engagement among followers, other brands can follow suit and tag you in similar posts with the same hashtag. It makes for a fun and effective way to tap into other audience pools and engage with both followers and peers. 3. Share Your Company Culture Your company is more than just a product or service; it’s a wonderful place to work (hopefully). Social media is a great place to show what your company culture is like. Share with your followers images and news from team events, outings, parties, and lunches. This gives them an idea of what it’s like to work at your company and, just like your employee surveys, provides you with an opportunity to showcase the real, fun, interesting humans behind your brand. This strategy that will almost certainly entice more engagement. Sharing this kind of stuff is also great for your recruitment strategy. Oftentimes when job seekers are in the process of vetting a company, they’ll look at the company’s social media channels to see if there’s any indication of what the environment is like. And with most millennials valuing a company’s culture over salary, showcasing your company culture has never been more important. 4. Use Instagram Stories With the various Instagram Ads brands that can run to the nitty-gritty engagement metrics they have access to, Instagram keeps getting better and better for brands. So why not utilize the fun features they offer? Here are some ways to integrate Instagram Stories into your social media engagement strategy: Every time you publish a blog post, share a slow reveal on your stories and then link it to the blog post in your profile so people can check it out. For special releases, use the countdown feature so people can get excited and check back with you once the countdown is over. Use GIFs, stamps, and other image icons to keep stories interesting and eye-catching. Use hashtags in your stories to get your stories content in front of people who search or follow those hashtags but don’t follow you. Use the poll feature to ask people certain questions. Use the “Ask me a question” feature to open up a dialogue. Make Instagram Stories as integral a part of your Instagram posting strategy as your standard feed, and you’ll be able to reach more people and make more of an impact once you’ve got their attention. Also, you can use third-party Instagram tools to get better engagement. 5. Create Images or Graphics for Certain Content Original imagery on your social media posts will make your content, page, and brand more compelling. For the sake of time and ease, many companies rely solely on stock imagery for graphics on blog posts and social media. This can backfire, though, and won’t necessarily be the best way to convey what a post is actually about. Instead, research design tools, hire a designer to create custom images to accompany your blog posts or create them yourself using platforms like Canva. People tend to focus on images over text, so get creative and colorful. Give people an idea of what your post is all about by making your image intuitive. 6. Show Off Customer Testimonials Peer-to-peer recommendations are one of the strongest means of guiding prospects down the funnel. Show your followers how much your customers love you by sharing testimonials on social media and create images to go along with them to add even more pop to the post. See what we’ve done with one of our clients, Scheffey Marketing. Make sure you’re asking your clients for testimonials so you can not only incorporate them into your social strategy but also add them to your website. 7. Share Articles You Find Interesting Don’t just distribute your content on social. As a relevant voice in your industry, you should also be sharing content that others are putting together that you find interesting and know your audience will find interesting as well. This helps mix up your feed while keeping the quality of the content you’re sharing high. And when you share another brand’s content out, they may just return the favor, making room for new and varied kinds of engagement. Take social by storm. The tips above will help you increase engagement for better outcomes and are a lot more effective than posting the same old stuff repeatedly.