Social media is supposed to be an outlet where you can promote your brand and connect with customers for free. But it’s increasingly becoming a pay-to-play environment, and it can be hard to justify the expense.
Not only do you have social media ads to worry about, but your organic feed is also important. You want to stay top of mind and nurture customer relationships. But to do so, you need to create effective social media engagement posts that drive likes, comments, and shares.
Hitting a creative block? We have some ideas for social media engagement posts you can adapt for your own online store.
What are social media engagement posts?
Social media engagement posts are content you post to promote your brand, nurture customer relationships, and drive deeper connections that ultimately will lead to sales. These social media posts have conversion and sales as a secondary goal, while the primary goal is to boost engagement—likes, comments, shares, follows, subscribes, etc.
When it comes to engagement posts, you can leverage both unpaid (organic) and paid social media tactics. Paid posts can serve a specific target audience, while organic posts will display to users who already have a connection with your page or brand.
Why is social media engagement so important for ecommerce stores?
There’s a reason more than 90% of companies in the US use social media in some form. When used effectively, social media can produce major benefits for your business. And to use it effectively, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of engaging content meant to build and nurture relationships with sales content to drive conversions.
More engagement with your posts also tells the algorithm that people like your content, so it’s more likely to boost visibility of that content to other users as well. The algorithm doesn’t just look at how many followers you have, but also how those followers interact with social media posts.
Beyond helping businesses boost visibility, engagement posts allow brands to have two-way interactions with consumers. This provides valuable feedback about your brand, products, industry, and even competitors. Plus, it’s a great testing ground for new ideas.
How to choose the right social media platform for your business
There are many different popular social media platforms to consider. These include the common channels most people know, like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. But there are also lesser-known and industry-specific niche social media sites to tap into. Determining the right social media channel for your brand depends on what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and your overall business goals.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
There are more than 2.7 billion Facebook users to potentially reach with your page. It’s a great platform not only to engage with new and existing customers, but you can also use Facebook as a sales channel directly.
Keep in mind, however, it takes a lot for your engagement posts to gain visibility. Facebook is very much a “pay to play” channel to promote your brand. In other words, you won’t be able to reach many people, even if they’ve opted in by liking your page, without paying for Facebook ads.
Instagram is another social media platform through which you can sell directly, so it’s a great place to maintain a strong organic presence with engagement posts. While you can pay for Instagram ads, organic posts—especially videos in the form of Reels—have the potential to gain traction.
Instagram is also an ideal channel for reaching Gen Z and millennial consumers—people who make up the majority of its user base. However, the number of users in all age groups continues to grow, so it’s increasingly becoming a place to connect with consumers of all ages.
Twitter is a less visual, more text-based social media platform to post engaging content. Unlike most other channels, Twitter’s user base skews male. It also lacks the ecommerce capabilities Facebook and Instagram have. However, that also makes it a great platform to focus on engagement posts, since selling isn’t typically the main objective. Brands typically tweet between four and five times each week.
Consider using Twitter as a customer support channel, and using engagement posts to share helpful information. Perhaps you have important company updates or want to share good news about your brand or provide an answer to a common issue.
TikTok has gained traction over recent years, particularly with Gen Z consumers. The video-based social channel favors authentic creators but also has room for brands to get in on the action. Shopify merchant SendAFriend, for example, scaled to $5 million in sales in two years, largely in part due to its TikTok marketing strategy.
The key to TikTok is being authentic. While you might have polished, professionally edited videos for other channels, TikTok users expect less-than-perfect videos. The key is to engage rather than sell, so it’s an excellent platform for your engagement post ideas.
20 social media engagement post ideas to increase online sales
Post compelling content frequently
- Showcase customer reviews and testimonials
- Create micro-content for social feeds
- Educate your audience
- Share animated GIFs
- Go behind the scenes
- Leverage the right #hashtags
- Align your posts with a trending topic
- Use trending songs
- Get personal
- Post content that aligns with your brand mission
- Highlight complementary products
- Show your space
- Run an influencer campaign
- Post a poll or survey
- Create quizzes and other interactive content
- Host a Twitter chat or Instagram Live with your audience
- Pin your best posts to the top of your profile
- Participate in or own a Facebook group
- Run a Pinterest treasure hunt
1. Post compelling content frequently
To grow your social following over time, it’s crucial to post content consistently. Audiences may respond differently depending on your posting frequency, so make sure you test to figure out the best cadence for your brand. You can also compare your posting frequency and engagement rates to your competitors.
Plus, your engagement posts are at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm. A consistent posting cadence will likely signal to the platform that you’re a dedicated user—and hopefully the algorithm will reward you as such.
Keep in mind, though, your daily or weekly cadence is minutiae compared to having a plan and process to create genuinely compelling posts on a regular basis. There are no “neutral” reactions, so if it’s not good, don’t post it.
It’s tedious to post all the time, though. That’s why it’s helpful to use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help plan and schedule posts in advance. These tools can help you cut down on time spent executing your social marketing strategies.
2. Showcase customer reviews and testimonials
Using product reviews to create trust and gain insights into your products is a great way to increase online sales.
Yotpo is a review app available for Shopify sites that encourages customers to leave reviews after they’ve made a purchase. The process is automated, so you don’t have to manually reach out to customers yourself.
Connect your business’s social accounts and post the reviews directly to your pages. These reviews provide fresh content and help drive engagement.
3. Create micro content for social feeds
Consider the context in which most users are browsing social media. Maybe they’re on a mobile device during their commute, taking a quick brain break at their desktop at work, or killing time as they wait for their show to come back on after the commercials.
There’s one thing those scenarios have in common: social media users are often scrolling in-between other tasks. That’s why bite-sized content is an effective way to captivate your audience.
For example, let’s say you sell products for soccer players. On your blog, you wrote an article titled “7 Training Exercises to Improve Your Soccer Skills.” You can repurpose that content into seven pieces of micro content for use on social—one for each exercise. That would play much better than trying to cram an entire article into a much smaller social media experience.
4. Educate your audience
You can showcase expertise in your niche by educating your audience on a relevant topic, such as how the fabrics are made in your designs, how to care for your sunglasses, or a recipe to make with your kitchen goods.
Mysa Natural Wine created an Instagram Reel to educate its audience on whether natural wine has sulfites or not. To date, the Reel earned more than 400 likes, 28 comments, 12,000 plays, 80 sends, and 36 saves. The brand also received many direct messages, allowing it to have more intimate conversations with potential customers.
You can also educate your audience about how to use your products, like Mānuka honey brand Manukora. The brand posted a how-to video that shows how to use its product in a herbal coffee or chai tea. It has earned over 9,600 views on Instagram.
5. Share animated GIFs
Many social networking sites have built-in searchable libraries of animated GIFs you can use for your feed. These animated GIFs are a great source of content with minimal effort and resources. Plus, they make for engaging posts.
6. Go behind the scenes
Regardless of the channel you’re using, you can give customers a peek behind the scenes. Show how your product is made, give a tour of your offices or warehouse, or take followers through the steps of setting up your pop-up shop.
Sustainable swimwear brand Seea shows some of the action from its warehouse via Instagram Reels. This also humanizes the brand and shows the people behind its operations team.
Designer Tery D’Ciano shows the creative process behind her handmade clothing. Her social media engagement posts often give followers an inside look at how products are designed, allowing them to feel more invested and part of the process.
7. Be active on the right #hashtags
The hashtag has organized a big part of the social web according to conversations, making it easy to join in on discussions and events by posting under the ones relevant to your brand.
Be careful not to treat hashtags the same on every channel. Here are some general best practices from various studies we’ve come across:
- Twitter posts with a single well-placed hashtag tend to generate more engagements than tweets with three or more
- Instagram posts, on the other hand, see the most engagement when using multiple hashtags, even 10+ in a single post
- Facebook posts do better without hashtags
If you know of a high-profile event coming up, you can prepare engagement posts in advance to make sure you’re ready to get in on the action. The more targeted, the better. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, consider live tweeting or covering high profile events and commenting on what celebrities are wearing.
Most events are accompanied by hashtags you can hop on. But the key to hijacking a hashtag is not to hijack it at all. Instead, you should aim to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful, natural way.
8. Align your posts with a trending topic
You can also drive engagement on social media by aligning your posts with relevant, timely trends. If you pay attention to hashtags and news cycles, you can likely find an opportunity to add your voice to a conversation or parody what’s happening in the world.
Some trending topics are predictable. Holidays and events, for example, make great trending topics to jump in on as a brand. Sustainable fashion brand Kūla decided to celebrate on Mother’s Day with an engagement post on its Instagram feed.
9. Use trending songs
When you create Instagram Reels and videos you have the option to add music to your content. That music library is shared with all of Instagram’s users, and that music then serves as a tag of sorts. When a user taps on the song, they can browse a feed of all videos that feature the same audio. This can gain visibility and boost social media engagement for your posts.
10. Get personal
Consumers increasingly want to see the human side behind the businesses they support. Social media is an excellent channel to showcase that. It’s not only OK to get a little personal here, but it’s also welcomed by many.
“Our customers like to see what our daily work life is like, and even things we do when we’re not at work. Be authentic and let your customers get to know you. With this you can build trust in your brand and more sales will be the natural result.” —Jen Greenlees, owner/CEO of Sydney So Sweet
Children’s clothing brand Sydney So Sweet, for example, isn’t afraid to get personal on its Instagram. The brand typically sees more engagement with Reels on the platform, so it creates content to feed this trend. “We post videos where we make fun of ourselves or are very authentic, like this one with our office manager always trying to match her daughter,” says owner/CEO Jen Greenlees.
11. Post content that aligns with your brand mission
Your brand mission should come through every communication you put out there. And this certainly includes your social media posts. As such, topics related to your brand mission make excellent content for engagement posts.
Natty Belle posted this amazing image of an African artist’s work. The brand itself is on a mission to reconnect with the founder’s ancestral roots, and this engagement post is an extension of that.
12. Highlight complementary products
A great way to provide additional value to your customers is by providing them with information and deals on complementary products that you don’t necessarily sell. This idea works particularly well for Pinterest, where you can create a dedicated board for complementary products.
If your store sells hiking shoes, for example, your Pinterest board could feature related items, like backpacks, water bottles, and sunscreen. The other brands and sites you’re promoting on your board will take notice of the incoming traffic from your Pinterest account. If they don’t, make sure you reach out and let them know. They may even adopt the same strategy and send traffic back your way.
With the Pinterest Shopify app, you can increase organic reach, quickly publish Product Pins, and automatically update your product catalog to make it easy for people to discover, save, and buy products from your website.
13. Show your space
If you have a physical retail presence, either through wholesale or your own storefront, you can post content about the locations in engagement posts. Showcase photos and videos of the outside of the store, the inside of the store, product displays, staff, and other interesting elements to lure shoppers in.
Sustainable clothing brand Kotn shows its offices and retail stores on TikTok. This reminds shoppers they can try on and purchase the products in person, and that the brand is run by humans just like them.
Sell more with shopping on Instagram
Start adding products in your posts and stories to turn engagement into sales with the shopping on Instagram sales channel.
14. Run an influencer campaign
Influencer marketing has become one of the more common website marketing strategies used today. If you can identify influencers who have engaged audiences that represent your target market, you can pitch them to share a sponsored post that features your brand and products.
Some influencers will ask for a free product in exchange for posts, while others may require direct payment, depending on their reach and the extent of the collaboration. Remember: Look for influencers who have a similar set of values with your brand.
Athleticwear brand Girlfriend Collective collaborated with a micro-influencer for an engagement post on its Instagram. The Reel features the influencer dancing in the brand’s clothing.
15. Post a poll or survey
You can use social media to get really interactive with your audience by way of polls or surveys. Not to mention, these insights can be an excellent source of information about your audience and business.
You might poll your followers about which product variant or design to launch next, or something less product-related—maybe ask about their favorite TV shows, seasonal activities, or other interests related to your business.
16. Create quizzes and other interactive content
In school, the idea of a quiz might’ve gotten groans all around. But thanks to BuzzFeed, quizzes have made a strong comeback.
These pieces of interactive content work really well on social media—that is, if they can provoke quiz-takers to show off their results publicly. To do that, you need to create a quiz that tells people something about themselves or how much they know, so they’re compelled to share it to reflect themselves.
If you want to try building your own, check out Playbuzz, a free and easy-to-use tool for creating interactive content.
17. Host a Twitter chat or Instagram Live with your audience
Engagement is critical to keep any brand relevant and visible. A great tactic for growing your following and boosting engagement is hosting a Twitter chat or interactive Instagram Live.
You can either co-host an existing chat or Live or start your own. Co-hosting allows you to tap into an existing audience, while you’ll need to do more work promoting it if you were to host on your own. Over time, others in the space will take part and you’ll gradually establish your brand as an authority in the space.
Tip: Pick a hashtag related to the event and ask your community to use it in their posts. This helps with branding, makes the practice familiar to those who choose to take part, and allows you to search the chat later for content and recaps.
18. Pin your best posts to the top of your profile
Any time users engage with you through a social post, you’re not just building your online presence. There’s also a chance those people might quickly check out your social profile and click through to your site or content.
Be sure you’re using all the features at your disposal so your profile communicates what you want and funnels clicks where you want:
- Update your cover photo to something eye-catching like a product image or a banner to promote a sale
- Include links back to your site in your bio or profile
- Strategically feature or pin a post at the top of your feed
While you might be inclined to pin a post about one of your products or promote a sale, also consider pinning posts that did particularly well so they can continue to show off your engaged audience plus generate retweets, likes, and shares instead of simply getting buried.
19. Participate in or own a Facebook group
Facebook groups are online communities that Facebook users can join. These groups are usually based on shared interests, so it’s best to join and contribute to a group that’s relevant to your industry and target customer.
The key is to add value through your participation, not jump in and start selling your products. Over time, you can nurture those relationships and establish your credibility in the group, and other members will naturally become interested in what you do.
Starting your own Facebook group is another option, if you have the resources to dedicate to it. Bath 2 Basics runs the Lovers of Natural & Organic Skincare Facebook group. With just under 300 members, it allows the brand to have an intimate and authentic interaction with members, strengthening relationships and keeping the brand top of mind.
20. Run a Pinterest treasure hunt
One powerful way to use Pinterest to drive engagement is to run a “treasure hunt” promotion.
How it works: You contact a few partners and ask each of them to pin an image on one of their Pinterest boards. Each image is meant to provide clues to the next image in the treasure hunt.
You get the ball rolling by publishing a blog post about the promotion and a link to the first image. Fans who get to the last image are forwarded to a hidden page where they enter in their credentials to take part in the raffle.
Social media marketing needs a creative touch
Effective social media marketing should involve curating content, scheduling product-related posts, and automating what you can.
But bringing out the best in social media marketing is about more than broadcasting your brand—it’s about understanding, engaging, and reacting to your audience and the world they live in.
Because when so many brands use social media as a soapbox to pitch their products, it pays to be one of the ones building a real connection with their audience and adding a bit of joy to their day-to-day lives.
Ready to create your first business? Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify—no credit card required.
Social media engagement posts FAQ
Why is social media engagement so important?
Social media engagement is important to keep your brand visible, build and nurture strong customer relationships, and reach new audiences.
Is social media engagement becoming more difficult?
Yes, social media engagement is becoming more difficult because of increased competition, changing algorithms, and platforms’ prioritization of monetization through ad revenue.
What is a good social media engagement rate?
What’s the best social media platform for engagement?
The best social media platform for engagement is TikTok, based on average engagement rate benchmarks. The best platform for you depends on your unique business.