By Dakota Shane Co-founder, Copy Buffs
Looking to bolster your social media engagement? With engagement-centric social media algorithms becoming more commonplace than ever, comments on your social posts are becoming more important than ever before.
In the past few years, social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter have begun to prioritize forms of engagement, such as comments, higher than chronology more than ever before with the ultimate goal of building community on each of their platforms.
Despite the importance of comments, when you look through online content, nearly all of it is centered around driving more Likes or clicks as opposed to comments.
Here are six creative ways to drive more comments on social media.
1. Engage in a comment battle.
A "comment battle" is where you pit two opposing sides against each other in the comment section of a social media post, usually on Facebook or Twitter. Then, ask for them to decide between option A or option B, boost the post targeting both groups.
For example, try posting a picture with a dog and a cat in it, then target pages on Facebook like "Dogspotting" to get the dog lovers involved and "Cat Lovers of Facebook" for those fond of cats. Lastly, ask them to choose which pet they prefer in the comments. This will result in a spike in conversation within the comment section, which will drastically increase the likelihood the post will spread like wildfire.
Pro Tip: I only advise you to do this for lighthearted matters as opposed to heavy, polarizing ones like politics and religion.
2. Reply to comments quickly.
When it comes to social media algorithms, in addition to engagement, one of the biggest indicators of whether or not a piece of content will rise to the top of a feed is time (i.e. how recently that post was published). Because of this, quickly replying to comments left on your social media posts is important when it comes to how high it will index on the news feed in addition to how high or low the reach (number of impressions) will be. The more promptly you reply, the more likely that others will see the content.
In addition to increased reach, having more comments on your posts will also provide social proofing to others that your post is legitimate, making them that much more likely to comment themselves. I like to call this the "swimming pool principle": the more people who are in a swimming pool, the more likely others are to jump in. If no one is in the pool at a party, no one wants to be that weird person swimming alone.
3. Create "fill in the blank" posts.
An easy, engaging way to drive more comments on your social posts is by asking your audience to fill in the blank on a statement or question you ask of them. For example, if you run a social media publication, consider writing a post that states, "In 2018, ____ will become the next biggest social media platform.". These types of posts hit the sweet spot of being fun and requiring very little thought for members of your audience.
4. Make comments a requirement to enter a contest.
Time and time again, contests have been shown to increase social media engagement. Next time you host a contest at your own company, make commenting on a specific social media post a requirement for being entered into the contest. This will bolster comments and increase the reach of the post by leaps and bounds.
5. Ask open-ended questions.
Much like best practices for interviewing, asking open-ended questions is one of the easiest ways to ensure your audience will engage. Asking a yes or no question will more than likely result in very few people responding to the post. Instead, ask open-ended, thought provoking questions. For instance, instead of asking whether or not someone loves or hates the beach, ask your audience which beach was their favorite to visit as a child.
6. Know when your followers are most active.
It's hard for someone to see a piece of content online when they're asleep or at work. Because of this, scan through your social media insights to see when your audience is most active. Most social media platforms will have this data in the platform itself, but if not you can always use a tool like SocialRank or Hootsuite to get a hold of the information.
Across the current social media landscape, one of the easiest ways to drive more views, shares, and exposure is by getting more comments on your posts. As social media platforms continue to try and retain their users by doubling down on community-building, this trend will only grow more prominent. This month, test out the creative ways listed in this article to begin drumming up more comments ASAP. Best of luck.