Try These 18 Social Media Engagement Posts Ideas to Increase Engagement

Try These 18 Social Media Engagement Posts Ideas to Increase Engagement

Let’s just come out and say it: people love when their content goes viral. Whether the content was funny, inspirational, thought-provoking, or just plain good, only the best goes viral. At the center of all viral social media posts is a user engagement, whether that’s a simple like or a large-scale share. No content can go viral without becoming popular with viewers.

But what makes content something that people will engage with? Any viral content will be high-quality, and sometimes “going viral” is spontaneous. However, we do know that certain social media post types have higher engagement rates and a better chance of going viral. Let’s look at these social media engagement posts’ ideas. Hopefully, one of them will work for you.

What is Social Media Engagement?

Social media engagement is the degree to which your audience interacts with your posts. The category includes all forms of interaction, such as likes, comments, replies, adding to favorites, clicking through, backlinking, sharing, and more. Remember, social media posts don’t get much engagement because they’re too mundane. This is especially true with commercial accounts. 

Why is It Important?

Engagement is an indicator of how well your content is resonating with your audience: most of us don’t have time to respond to or engage with everything we see on the internet, or even just on social media. The volume of content by itself is enough to deter large-scale social media engagement. Response to social media engagement posts is valuable for this reason.

Also keep in mind that since the organic reach is declining on social media platforms, engagement could be your saving grace. Someone might engage with your content because they follow you on Facebook, and the engagement will show up on their feed where their friends may also see it. In an era where Meta incentivizes paid ads for businesses, this engagement can save you money and get you better ROI for each post.

Why Does Social Media Engagement Matter for Your Business?

Social media engagement posts increase brand awareness, help acquire new customers and build customer loyalty, and make your brand more authoritative. Think about this for a minute: would you believe the person who tells you a random fact, and nobody backs that person up, or someone who’s considered an authority on a topic? In almost every situation, people will take authority more seriously.

Here’s the thing: your competitors are also anxious to become the authority in your industry. If you don’t put out content that people engage with, then you’ll miss out on that audience’s trust. In turn, this can cause you to lose a lot of sales opportunities and increase your ad spending to keep customers coming.

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

This may sound like a cliché’ yet it is often ignored. The first step to creating social media engagement posts is to know your target audience well. Learn about their pain points, demographics, and interests. It isn’t enough to have a buyer persona: you need to have a sense of what they’re really like.

I say this because having a thorough knowledge of your target audience will help you create content that resonates with them. This information will also help you determine your tone of voice, posting times, type of content, and the right social media platform where you should post for maximum engagement. 

I’m not saying that you should ignore the brand voice. Far from it. I’m just saying that the best way to get a good engagement rate is to create content at the intersection of your brand’s personality and that of your audience. This will make your posts more engaging and compelling, even without other factors.

18 Social Media Engagement Posts to Spark Engagement

It’s one thing to talk about increasing engagement, and another to produce social media posts that foster discussion and encourage engagement. After all, in this era of crowded social media networks, it’s hard to get people’s attention, much less their engagement. With that in mind, here are some post types that often work well.

1. Use Questions and Polls to Get People Talking

Use Questions and Polls to Get People Talking

Asking questions, conducting surveys, and posting polls can help you know more about your followers. After all, the friendly debate gives people lots of opportunities to share something about themselves. For polls, even having lots of people vote (which only takes a few seconds) will automatically raise your engagement rate. Long responses and debates aren’t even necessary.

Keep in mind, that these posts are also beneficial because insights into your audience can be used to tailor your content to your followers’ tastes or interests. I see a lot of YouTubers post polls about what their audience wants to hear about next, for instance. In turn, the content produced will be automatically more popular. Often, high engagement rates will also increase the visibility of your post in the algorithm.

Further Reading: How to Create a Poll on Facebook: All You Need to Know

2. Highlight Customers, Employees, and Fans with Social Media Shout-Outs

Shout-outs foster deeper relationships with your audience and they can be fun. There are a lot of ways you can use this technique. For instance, on LinkedIn, a lot of businesses will congratulate an employee when the employee hits a major milestone, like many years of service or a new certification. In this context, the idea is to not only showcase a star employee but also encourage people to contact the company if they need the services.

At the same time, this company will likely get a large number of “congratulations,” and a good number of comments or shares. This way, they not only show the employee that they’re appreciated, but they raise brand awareness.

It’s a good idea to keep up with trends in popular culture and then creatively connect them to your ideas or products. For instance, there are a lot of song parodies that showcase products and services. Similarly, many companies will use those cultural references to make a point (there’s a car insurance company that does this all the time).

This type of post has the potential to go viral as they may immediately click with your audience. Plus, everyone loves a good chuckle, both to share with friends and to remember. If something is funny or memorable enough, you might find people who will never care about your brand sharing the content. Either way, you win.

4. Host a Social Media Contest or Giveaway

Host a Social Media Contest or Giveaway

Contests and other giveaways are great social media engagement posts. After all, people love to win free stuff, and they’ll have fun trying to win. Contests or giveaways are an excellent way to increase engagement and have people talking about your brand. Do this right, and everyone will “win” by having fun, even if they don’t get the prize.

What’s even more awesome is that when people enter contests on some platforms the activity shows up in their news feed for contacts to see. Maybe you’ll strike up some interest in new audience members, which dramatically increases ROI. Just be sure that your contests comply with local legal requirements and the platform’s terms and conditions.

Further Reading: 6 Benefits of Running Social Media Contests

5. Share User-Generated Content 

Another way to create social media engagement posts is by sharing other people’s user-generated content with your audience. The easy way to do this is to retweet, share, or comment on those posts. In addition, you can engage with influencers to promote your product in their own way. This is an incredibly effective way to not only boost engagement but grow your business. 

Don’t stop with simple sharing, though: invite your audience to join in the conversation. By encouraging further engagement, you’ll raise the other user’s profile and make your content more relevant to the original poster’s audience. Over time, you can also increase brand credibility.

6. Collaborate with Other Brands or Influencers

Collaborating with influencers and other brands in your niche can give your posts an immediate engagement boost. Not to mention publicity, brand awareness, and potential new customers. 

Here’s how that works. Influencers are important because they’ve gathered a group of people around them who trust their opinions. These opinions can be thought leadership, product advice, or anything else. When an influencer talks about your brand, they share the brand with their entire audience. In turn, many of those followers will engage with the post, spreading brand awareness everywhere.

Likewise, collaborating with related brands that aren’t competitors shares audiences and encourages those audiences to try something new. For these reasons, I would contend that influencer marketing and collaborations are among the best social media engagement posts.

Further Reading: How to Reach Out to Influencers For Collaborations (with Sample Templates)

7. Showcase Customer Stories

Showcase Customer Stories

Customer testimonials, reviews, and stories are typically well-received by your audience. This isn’t surprising, since people like to hear what other customers have to say about certain goods and services. In addition, you’re providing evidence that you and your company are trustworthy, rather than a fly-by-night operation that people should run away from. Or, for a less stark comparison, this kind of social proof helps differentiate you from your competition.

Even without the credibility boost, testimonials make great social media engagement posts. In particular, they invite people to like and share: viewers may be less likely to ask questions because they don’t necessarily expect your staff to answer for a third party. Still, sharing people’s success stories is something that many consumers love to do.

8. Share Behind-The-Scenes Content

People love behind-the-scenes content because it satisfies much of their curiosity about your brand. For instance, if your company makes something cool, people will probably enjoy seeing part of the manufacturing process. Or, showcasing the design process or the research behind something can really bring in the views and the engagement. 

On a more personal level, your audience may love to know more about the faces behind your brand. Often, companies are perceived as a nameless and faceless monolith that magically spits out the things that we enjoy or need. However, every employee has a personality and a unique role in your organization. Letting people make a connection with your employees helps humanize the company. And of course, it’s a great way to increase engagement.

9. Share Industry News or Insights

No matter your niche, industry news and insights may receive a lot of attention. This is especially true in industries with a lot of innovation or creativity, and where there are plenty of changes within the industry. In addition, B2B brands have an important opportunity to show their audience that they are the experts in their industry. Competition can be very tight, and companies that stay at the forefront of most conversations often have an advantage.

Want to leverage this opportunity for social media engagement posts? Keep up with the news and be the first one to break it to your audience. Then, most of the discussion will stay on your social media pages. Remember, you can use both company updates and events in the wider industry for this.

10. Host an AMA (Ask Me Anything)

One way to let your audience “meet” your company is by hosting an AMA discussion on your social pages. AMA posts were pioneered on Reddit, and they only work on some of the networks due to format differences. This type of post is interactive and, in some ways, is the ultimate in social media engagement posts. You can use several formats for this, from a Twitter chat to live streaming on Facebook or YouTube. Either way, make sure you’re online after posting to keep the discussion going.

11. Go Live

Go Live

Going live gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience in real-time, and it’s really popular. In fact, live streaming and other video types are taking social media by storm, to the extent that they’re incredibly profitable. Even if you don’t monetize the streams-which you probably wouldn’t as a marketer-you’ll get excellent ROI.

You can live stream about nearly anything, such as live events with an influencer, contests, tutorials, and even “meet the team.” During each live stream, take the opportunity to answer questions, interact with your audience and engage with them. Not only does this give you social media engagement during the stream, but people love to share the stream later. Plus, you can re-purpose the content into other social media engagement posts.

Further Reading: How Social Media is Shaping the Future of Public Relations

12. Offer Exclusive Deals and Discounts on Social Media

Everybody loves deals and discounts, even in the B2B space. Depending on your audience, pick the kind of deal that they’ll love, and that will be popular. For example, you can advertise a percentage-off code for people’s first service, or maybe a single item in your store. These discounts are similar to what you’d normally do anyway. Offer them via your social media channels for more engagement, because there is a good chance people will not only “like” the post but share it so friends can get in on the deal.

Want another reason to try this technique? When people share your offer with others, they’ll increase your reach. And, you’ll get those extra people without having to pay for an advertisement. Although, you can also buy ads if you want to massively increase your reach.

13. Ask for Feedback or Opinions

If you have an idea or an opinion, ask your audience for feedback. This is an especially great idea when you’re developing a new product, or you want to improve a product you already have. After all, it’s difficult to consistently meet customer expectations when you aren’t sure exactly what they want. 

In addition, people love to share their opinions and feedback when you ask them earnestly. It doesn’t even have to be about a product or service that you offer: people might give opinions about issues in your industry, a celebrity style choice, social issues, or just about anything else. In many cases, people will love having a forum for discussion.

This approach is a win-win for you because you not only get some valuable insights but also engagement. You can use those insights for product development, marketing campaign planning, or many other applications. After all, people love it when advertisers showcase their social responsibility. The insights you gain from social media help you make that case.

14. Respond to Comments and Questions and Mention Your Followers

If you’re doing a good job with social media postings, the chances are that people will ask questions. These questions can include product questions, clarifications about your content (like what a discount covers or if a use case is acceptable), and even customer service issues. When people take the time to comment or ask questions, be sure to respond promptly.

Responding to questions and comments indicates that you are listening and that you value your audience, whether they’re customers or not. In addition, you’ll demonstrate to onlookers that your brand is responsive to customers. This will encourage them to engage more with your future posts. It can also encourage people to buy your products because customer service is a critical aspect of customer acquisition and retention. Nobody likes to have trouble tracking people down when there’s a problem with an order.

Finally, identify your dedicated superfans and mention them. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a shoutout, such as “We love what X did with our product” or “Thanks to X for suggesting we fix this.” Mentions on social media make the post more visible to that person’s followers, and if they have a lot of followers then you’ve significantly increased your reach.

As you can see, answering questions and identifying your fans does a lot more than just project a positive brand image and encourage engagement. Rather, it helps you increase your reach because more people will see your content through their contact’s news feed.

15. Use Engaging Visuals

Use Engaging Visuals

Another way to make dynamic social media engagement posts is by using visual content. Posts with great visuals tend to perform better than the ones without images. For instance, Twitter posts without pictures might get read, but in many cases, they won’t get shared nearly as much. This is one reason why journalists and news organizations try to share a thumbnail of the story they’re sharing, rather than just a simple link (it also helps entice people to read the article).

Use captivating images whenever possible: it doesn’t have to be a dull cover photo, and in some ways, the dull images are less likely to go viral than the cool ones. However, that isn’t to say that images should be irrelevant to the rest of the post. Quite the opposite: your visuals should elevate the story and make people more interested in reading the whole thing. For simpler items like quotes, consider making them into an infographic or putting an image behind the text.

Be sure to get creative. A good meme can go a long way to delivering your branded message. It’s also highly likely to earn engagement generally, and in particular, lots of shares. People like to see brands make a point in ways that are humorous and memorable. Likewise, a GIF or a short video can be highly effective. Just don’t make it too salesy, or people won’t engage as much.

16. Use Relevant Hashtags and Keep an Eye on Them

I’ve talked about using the right hashtags many times. In particular, most social networks use hashtags to sort posts and to let people find the content they like. And, because hashtags promote wider reach and more engagement, they’re critical for social media engagement posts on most social networks. 

No matter your niche, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right hashtags. These can include more general hashtags within your industry, more specific ones that reflect each individual piece of content, and branded hashtags. Each of these tags will draw different people to your posts, in addition to your regular followers.

Also, remember that your branded hashtags are an important way for users to contact you. Reach out to people who use your business’s hashtags and engage with them. They will most likely reciprocate in kind. If the user needs customer service, you can also take the issue to a private forum and resolve their concerns.

17. Share and Promote Relevant Curated Content

Sharing relevant content from other publishers on social media is a good way of building trust with your audience. One reason for this is that you can demonstrate that other people are talking about your products, services, or industry. For many people, good ideas aren’t worth pursuing unless it’s something that they think is popular or something they understand. By leveraging the power of other people’s content, you can make people see how great ideas turn into good products.

However, curated content doesn’t always need to be industry-specific. Instead, you can post or curate inspirational quotes, jokes that your audience would appreciate, and other rapport-building content. Curating content also encourages other people to engage with your content and return the favor.

Further Reading: 12 Ways to Come Up with Fresh Content Ideas for Your Social Media and Digital Marketing

18. Give a Call to Action

This may seem very obvious, but many people don’t give a call to action or don’t do it often enough.  After all, for many of us, social media is a place where we meet people and exchange ideas. While it’s easy to remember to add a call to action on blogs or advertising materials, many of us forget to do so when we’re making social media posts.

Arguably, calls to action can seem tacky in some contexts. For instance, Instagram pictures don’t lend themselves well to this, at least not within the content itself. However, the comments section can be a valuable place to solicit comments and ideas. In other situations, consider encouraging people to share the content or to visit your website. Urging people to like, share, and comment makes them more likely to engage.


There’s little question that getting people to engage with your content can be difficult. After all, people mostly use social media to connect with friends, family, and other things that are important to them. Because social media was developed for humans, we need to be mindful of the fact that as brands we are intruding into people’s space. This means that we need to avoid being too salesy with our organic content and leave the hard sell to paid ads. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t fully participate in the world of social media. Instead, we need to invite people to engage with us like they would a human user, within the limits of our not being human. This means they get to know our brand, and that they reach out when they need help. But the most important thing we can do is get people to engage with our posts. With adequate social media engagement posts like we talked about in this article, it’s much easier.

Hero Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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