Social media platforms are always evolving. Often, it seems like as soon as you’ve figured out the best way to engage with the social community and find new followers, someone figures out a way to do it better.
But don’t look at it as though someone is beating you to the punch — consider it a valuable tool that you can use to improve your own posts going forward.
The best social media content creators are getting more followers than you because they’ve mastered the art of attracting attention and building their brand or business.
And many of them are doing so with interactive content.
Interactions between people are what social media is all about. So, it makes perfect sense that interactive content has become one of the best ways to engage online and take your brand to the next level.
Whether you’re looking to create interactive Facebook posts or engaging Instagram stories, there are all sorts of ways to turn an individual social media post into an interactive one.
Here’s how to create interactive posts on social media (and why you need to do so).
What Are Interactive Social Media Posts?
Some people might argue that all social media posts are interactive.
Social media content is, after all, designed to be shared with others, and when others read your post, they’re interacting with you (sort of). Even posting something as mundane as “the sky is blue” on a social media platform can get comments and reactions.
So as long as people can react and respond, you’ve created an interactive post, right?
Not exactly …
When we talk about interactive social media posts, we’re referring to posts that are intended to engage the reader and prompt an action or a response.
Interactive posts come in various shapes, sizes, and formats, but they all have one thing in common:
They’re created with the intent of getting the reader to play, answer, click on, click through, or respond in real-time.
Here are some of the most popular types of posts that will generate responses from your audience and increase social media engagement:
Contests, Sweepstakes, and Giveaways
People love free s**t. Give away a free gift card or offer raffle tickets, and you can be sure that people will click, enter their information, and cross their fingers hoping to win.
Quizzes and Polls
As we all know all too well, social media is the place to share your opinions. No matter how seemingly insignificant a short quiz or poll question may be, people are quick to interact and reply with their opinion.
Typeform is a great tool that makes it easy to build quizzes for your blog.
A survey could be a multi-question list about something serious, such as climate change or criminal justice, or it could be about something completely ridiculous, such as which of the Real Housewives has the best style, the best hair, or the best house.
Soliciting opinions is a proven way to get readers to engage.
Calculator tools are ideal for financial businesses. For example, a budget calculator or a mortgage calculator can be an invaluable tool that people interact with for several minutes at a time and revisit on multiple occasions.
But calculators aren’t only for those in the financial industry. If you’re a fitness trainer, a nutritionist, or a healthy eating chef, you can engage your audience with a BMI calculator tool that’s relevant to your brand.
Multiple Choice or Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
Like quizzes, people love multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank answers.
Whether you’re into Star Wars, baseball, or French poetry, devising a few questions is a great way to test your audience’s knowledge of your favorite subject matter and give them a chance to show how smart they are.
If you’re looking to create shareable interactive content, consider posting some eye-catching infographics. You can turn a flat, static infographic into an interactive one by adding a hover tool that your readers can use to access additional info.
Live videos make for compelling content. No matter how short they are, make sure that you only post high-quality video content. Posting poor-quality content can backfire on you and turn your audience away.
Interactive maps that allow users to zoom in, zoom out, pan around, and hover for additional details are an excellent form of engagement. The more information you provide in your map, the more time your audience can spend interacting with your post.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — people love to express their opinions. You can give your audience yet another chance to express theirs by asking for content ratings on your latest post or social media page in general.
You’ll need a thick skin for this one, as you’re likely to get some haters and detractors.
But there is an upside:
If your overall ratings are high, you can post them as user-generated content on your Facebook page or business website to help build trust and authority.
Instead of posting boring pie charts and bar graphs, consider generating data visualizations. Data visualizations combine color and interesting graphics as a way to provide lots of useful information that appeals to the eye. Data visualizations can also make complicated content easier to digest.
On its own or in combination with virtual reality, augmented reality posts allow your readers to immerse themselves in your world through their devices.
One example of augmented reality that you may already be familiar with is the Starbuck’s classic Cup Magic campaign, an app that generates video animations when you point your smartphone at a Starbucks cup logo
You can turn almost any post into interactive content by adding a question to the end or giving your reader hover and toggle tools that provide additional information. Even static images, such as gifs and memes, can be made interactive by adding a button to activate or animate the image.
Why Are Interactive Posts So Important?
Interactive posts are but one part of a robust content marketing strategy. Not only do they increase engagement, but they’re a way to get a two-way dialogue going between the content creator and the user.
Unlike other types of social media posts, which can garner comments and reactions, interactive posts can help you learn about your followers and their buying habits.
For example, a survey or quiz post is more than a way to gather answers — it’s a way to gain insight into who your audience is and what they like.
Because they’re designed to be engaging, interactive posts can increase the amount of time that readers spend on your page. They also encourage your existing audience to share your content which can, in turn, help you gain more followers and more customers.
Interactive posts are one of several ways that you can increase brand loyalty and build trust with your audience. Establishing trust helps you build better customer relationships, sell more products and services, and increase revenue — three things that all businesses need to grow and be successful.
How to Create Interactive Posts on Social Media
Unlike tweeting a random thought or photo, creating an interactive post requires a bit more effort.
Here are the three key things to do to ensure that your interactive posts increase engagement rates:
Devise a Strategy
Like all components of your overall content marketing strategy, interactive posts should have a consistent message and be relevant to your target audience. When coming up with interactive post ideas, make sure that you choose topics and formats that will resonate with your audience.
For example, if you’re a fashion brand, an interactive infographic about Olympic sports might not pique your audience’s interest. But an infographic about Olympic uniforms through the years might.
Have the Right Content Creators in Place
It’s easy to post a brief blurb on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. But devising a series of interactive posts requires a bit more skill than just typing a thought and hitting the publish button.
It’s important that you have the right content creators in place to generate the type of interactive posts you want to put on social media. That means hiring professional writers to craft your written text or graphic designers to create your visual content. If you want to post videos, you’ll need someone with filming and editing skills.
If you don’t have someone with these skills on staff, hire a freelancer to do the work for you. If your budget won’t allow it, then stick with the types of posts that you can best generate yourself.
Related: check out our content marketing services!
Analyze Your Results
No matter what types of posts you create, it’s important to do an analysis of each one so that you learn how successful it was (or wasn’t).
After you create an interactive post and get responses, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the post increase engagement?
- Did the post drive sales?
- Did the post generate more followers?
Taking the time to analyze each post can help you steer future posts in the right direction. It’s also a good idea to test different types of interactive posts and compare the results to learn which format and which type of content your audience responds to best.
How to Create Blogs That Drive Massive Engagement
Publishing engaging posts on your social networks is an excellent way to connect with your audience. But of all the types of content that exist, blogging remains one of the most important and most effective.
In a recent survey of content marketing professionals, 92% of content marketers use blogging as a part of their content marketing strategy. And they do so because it works.
There are all sorts of different blog formats that you can use, but viral blogs can drive massive engagement and draw traffic to your site, especially if you post links to those blogs on social media.
Create Shareable, Viral Blogs
Viral blogs educate and entertain, and they can be about any topic that resonates with your target audience. The point of a viral blog is that your followers will share it with their followers, so one single blog post has the ability to create an exponential increase in customers, subscribers, and followers and help to retain the ones you already have.
You can create viral blog posts in various formats, such as listicles or “top ten” posts. When they’re well-written, include relevant keywords, and feature great graphics, they have the potential to be shared over and over again.
No matter what topic you choose to write about, be sure to create an attention-grabbing title. This is the first thing your audience will see, so make sure it stands out and entices your audience to want to click and read.
Every good content marketing strategy includes blogging. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to increase your presence online, establish yourself as a trusted voice in your niche, build authority, and turn followers and subscribers into actual customers.
Make Your Content Easy to Share
Don’t make your readers copy and paste your content’s URL in order to share it. Adding a “Click to Tweet” button or referral box to your blogs will make sharing your content easier and more intuitive.
There is more to social media marketing than coming up with clever hashtags.
If you’re looking to increase audience engagement, it’s time to start generating interactive posts and well-written, shareable blogs that can garner attention. Your competitors have already arrived at the party, and in this scenario, there’s no such thing as being fashionably late.
For more information on how our digital marketing team can help you build a robust content marketing strategy, contact Intergrowth now.