Contests or giveaways are an awesome way to engage your audience online, however, with various platforms cracking down on rules and regulations, a great giveaway can be frustrating to pull off.

Furthermore, anyone who has ever ran a contest on a social channel has probably noticed the sharp spike and then drop in engagement as soon as the contest was over. Though you got real engagement on a single post, this is not the type that will stick around.

If you’re not ready to run a contest, or have not found success doing so, here are some alternative ways to engage your community:

1. Ask Questions

You’d be surprised at how asking a simple question to your audience will get them engaged. Something as simple as “how’s your day going” or “what are your weekend plans” can get your audience feeling like there is a real dialogue happening. Everyone wants to feel like an authority on something, so if you have a more specific or pointed question that you know your audience will respond to, by all means, pose it!

2. Start A Hashtag Campaign

While it’s true that you can’t own or copyright a hashtag at the moment, you can use them to your advantage when engaging your audience. A great hashtag is not just for sorting content, it’s the perfect way to bring new life to your online strategy. Check out these awesome hashtag campaigns we love and why they worked from Sprout Social.

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/hashtag-campaigns/

3. DM Individual Accounts.

Sending individual DMs thanking people for liking or following your account is a great way to get on their radar as someone who really cares and will go that extra mile to include their fans. When you send someone a private message, make sure you check out their account first so that you can give them some genuine love in return. Try “thanks for the follow! I absolutely love your feed!”. Remember to be genuine and don’t be afraid to follow-back if it is an account you truly love.

4. Include Your Audience In Content Creation

Ask your audience for ideas for your next project or collaboration. Ask them to tag any accounts that you should check out in the comments. You can also be straight forward if you’re feeling bold and ask them what they would like to see on your next project. The online community you built around your brand is the perfect place to crowdsource information.

5. Really Listen To What Your Fans Have To Say  

As artists and content creators, it’s easy to forget that social media isn’t just about us. Building a thriving online community is about collaborating with your audience to bring the best to light. Over time, through engagement metrics and intuition, you will begin to understand what your audience responds best to. Do you notice more likes when you post a funny meme? Is the comment section more thoughtful when you share your favourite inspirational quote? Then give the people what they want!

You never want to pander or indulge content that you don’t believe in, but really listening to your online community and sharing engaging content that invites the audience in, is a great way to make certain that your fans will always come back for more!

Do you need help with your content marketing strategy? Contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team – we would love to help you dominate in 2019!