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  • Writer's pictureAndre Havro

How to increase engagement on social media: 5 strategies for companies and influencers

Social media is vital for any brand, but for small businesses and influencers, they become incredibly crucial tools. These channels offer a low-cost way to promote your products, services, and ideas. Additionally, they provide an excellent opportunity for brands to interact with their customers, establishing personal relationships and building a solid base of loyal customers.

5 strategies for companies and influencers

However, it's easy to become underutilized when it comes to getting the proper engagement on social media. And, for small businesses, getting significant attention is even more challenging. Therefore, it's essential to discover effective ways to increase engagement on social media.

How to increase engagement on social media in five steps

Below are some basic ways to increase engagement on social media that I apply to my mentoring clients, whether they are small businesses or influencers:

1. Engage with your audience

Engaging with your followers is the key to increasing engagement on social media. They like to feel heard and valued, and that means they want to be involved in the discussions happening on social media. One way to do this is through polls, questions, and other types of surveys. The more engaged your customers are, the more committed they will be to your personal or corporate brand. Another way to engage your followers is to respond to customer questions and comments in a unique and customized manner as quickly as possible.

Here are some practical tips and case studies to help illustrate this strategy:

Share user-generated content (UGC)

User-generated content is one of the most effective ways to engage your followers. By sharing photos, comments, and customer reviews, you show other people that your followers love your products, services, or ideas. This increases trust in your brand and encourages other customers to engage with you on social media.

An example of how this can be done is the Starbucks campaign, #RedCupContest, which invited customers to share creative photos of their Christmas cups. The campaign generated over 40,000 posts on Instagram in just a few weeks.

Practical tip: Encourage your followers to share photos of your products and services or apply some tips you gave on Instagram, for example. Use a specific hashtag for your brand or campaign. Consider creating a contest to encourage your audience's participation further.

Ask questions and opinions

Another way to engage your followers is to ask for opinions or create question boxes. This shows that you care about what your followers think and helps start meaningful conversations on social media. And conversations generate closeness and, consequently, engagement!

The cosmetics brand Sephora is an excellent example of this. They often post questions on their social media to encourage customer participation. For example, one of the latest ones I saw was "What is your favorite summer lipstick?" and "What are you most excited to try this season?" These questions generate many responses and help to create a sense of community around the brand.

Practical tip: Think of questions your customers may want to answer and post them on social media. You can also ask for opinions on new products or services you are considering launching.

Respond to comments and messages

One of the simplest ways to engage your customers on social media is to respond to their comments and messages. This shows that you value your customers and care about what they say. It can also help build stronger customer relationships and increase brand loyalty.

The workout clothes brand Athleta is an excellent example of this. They respond to virtually every comment and message they receive on social media, which helps to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Practical tip:

  • Regularly monitor social media profiles to respond quickly to comments and messages.

  • Consider hiring a dedicated person to manage your social media if you don't have time to do it yourself.

  • Contact me if that's the case. I can help you!

Share behind-the-scenes

Sharing the behind-the-scenes of your company on social media is a great way to engage your customers and create a stronger connection with them. Customers love to see what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite brands and feel like they are behind the scenes with you.

Here are some practical tips and case studies on sharing your company's behind-the-scenes on social media.

  • Share photos and videos of behind-the-scenes of your company, such as the production process, warehouse, office, or team's routine at events.

  • Show the personality of your company and employees, such as photos of celebrations, meetings, and office activities.

  • Create stories on Instagram and Facebook to show the day-to-day of your company.

  • Take a virtual tour of your facilities and post it on social media.

  • Share your employees' work routines.

Here are some case studies that illustrate how some brands are exploring this engagement tactic:


Tastemade is a media company that focuses on sharing food and travel recipes. They frequently share behind-the-scenes of their shoots on Instagram, showing how recipe videos are made. This helps to show the process behind the final videos and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their company.


Tesla is known for sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of its production process, showcasing how their electric cars are made. They share photos and videos of robots and employees assembling the cars, as well as driving tests on roads and testing tracks. This helps to demonstrate the production process and technology behind their electric vehicles.


Glossier is a beauty company that frequently shares behind-the-scenes photos of its product production, such as formula tests and packaging. They also showcase pictures of their office and company events. This helps to show how their products are made and the company's personality.

Share the human side of your brand

Sharing the human side of your brand, even if the brand is yourself, is another effective way to engage your social media followers. This means showing that there are real people behind your brand or influencer profile and telling exciting stories about them. This can include things like photos of employees, stories about how your products are made, or how your company was founded. For influencers, there is nothing more human than sharing your daily life. But always remember to offer relevant content to your audience while maintaining the purpose of your brand or profile.

A good example of this is the clothing brand Patagonia. They frequently share photos and stories of their employees and environmental initiatives on social media. This helps to create an emotional connection with their customers and shows that they care about more than just selling clothes.

Another great example of how sharing daily life can humanize a personal brand is the Brazilian influencer, Virgínia Fonseca. With over 43 million followers on Instagram, Virginia is known for sharing many intimate moments with her audience, from her exercise routine to her family life.

Virgínia is a mother to a little girl named Maria Alice, and she shared her pregnancy with her followers on social media. She documented everything from the pregnancy announcement to the birth of her daughter. This created a strong bond with her audience, who could follow along with her entire motherhood journey. Virginia also shares moments with her husband, singer Zé Felipe, and her family. This shows that she is a regular person who also has relationships and memorable moments with the people she loves.

Sharing these moments helped humanize Virginia's brand and create a stronger connection with her audience. This made her one of the top digital influencers in Brazil, with significant partnerships and contracts with big Brazilian brands.

Practical tip: Identify interesting and exciting aspects of your brand or life that can be shared on social media. Share these stories on your social media channels to help humanize your brand and create an emotional connection with your customers.

2. Be authentic

Being authentic on social media is essential to engage your customers. Customers want to connect with brands that are honest and transparent. When your personal profile or your company is authentic on social media, they build trust with their followers and create a stronger emotional connection.

Here are some practical tips and case studies to help you be more authentic on social media.

Practical tips:

  • Use authentic language that reflects your personality or that of your brand.

  • Share your vision and mission with your followers.

  • Show the mistakes and failures of your company or personal life and how they are overcome. This can bring connection and help many followers going through a similar situation or find the solution to this common problem in your brand.

  • Respond quickly to customer comments authentically and honestly.

  • Show the diversity of your company and its employees.

Here are some companies that use authentic language on social media:

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's is a brand known for its authenticity on social media. They use their accounts to share their opinions on social and political issues and are transparent about their beliefs and values. They also use their online channels to share photos of employees and company events. All of this helps to build a stronger emotional connection with their customers.

Innocent Drinks

Innocent Drinks is a brand that uses authentic and fun language on its social media accounts. They share funny stories and photos of employees to show the company's personality. They are also transparent about what goes on behind the scenes, sharing pictures of their facilities and production process.


Buffer is a software company known for its transparency on social media. They regularly share information about their financial results, employee feedback, and company culture. They are also honest about their mistakes and failures and how they work to correct them.

Use authentic language that reflects your brand's personality, share your vision and mission, show the errors and failures of your company, respond to customer comments authentically and honestly, and show the diversity of your company and your employees. These case studies show how authenticity can be successfully applied in different sectors and company sizes.

3. Provide useful and valuable content

One of the best ways to engage your followers is to create valuable and informative content that is relevant to them. For example, you can share news, advice, and valuable information for your target audience. This will make your followers want to share and discuss your content, increasing your reach and engagement on social media.

Here are some practical tips and case studies on providing useful social media content.

Practical tips:

  • Share tips and tricks related to your market niche.

  • Create video tutorials or images that show how your products or services can be used.

  • Share news and trends related to your industry.

  • Use infographics and charts to present complex information in an easy-to-understand way.

Here are some case studies for your reference:

Home Depot

Home Depot shares video tutorials and images showing how their products can be used in DIY projects. They also share tips and tricks related to home repairs and improvements. All of this helps their followers feel more confident in tackling their own projects at home.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is a company that provides useful content related to healthy food and sustainability. They share healthy recipes and information about organic ingredients. They also share tips on reducing food waste and making life more sustainable. All of this helps their followers learn more about a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.


Hootsuite is a social media management company that provides helpful content to help its followers improve their social media strategies. They share tips and tricks on creating engaging content and increasing reach and engagement. They also share case studies and research on social media performance in different industries. All of this helps their followers improve their own social media strategies.

In my marketing mentoring sessions, I always suggest to my mentees that they share tips and tricks related to their market niche, create video tutorials or images, share news and trends, ask questions to their followers, and use infographics and carousel posts to maintain consistency in their positions without losing the value of the content generated.

4. Creating exclusive content

It sounds too basic, but many people don't follow this simple rule! 😁

Creating exclusive content is undoubtedly an effective way to increase engagement on your channels. Offering something that no one else has, whether through discounts, special promotions, tutorials, early access to new products, or exclusive events, all help create a sense of exclusivity and increase audience loyalty.

For small businesses, one way to create exclusive content is to offer discounts or special promotions to followers. This not only creates a sense of exclusivity but also encourages customer purchase and loyalty. Another idea is to create exclusive content for newsletters or members of a loyalty program. This encourages people to sign up for the email list and participate in the loyalty program, increasing engagement with the brand.

For influencers, exclusive content can be created through partnerships with brands to create exclusive products or limited editions. As a result, the influencer's followers feel privileged to have access to something no one else has, increasing engagement and loyalty.

A great example of creating exclusive content is Maísa Silva's YouTube channel. The Brazilian presenter and actress shares exclusive videos on her channel, including interviews and content related to her TV show. She also hosts exclusive events for her fans, offering unique experiences such as photoshoots, giveaways, and VIP event access.

5. Invest in video production

Sharing videos on social media has become an increasingly important strategy for businesses, as it is an effective way to grab the public's attention, convey information, and promote engagement. In fact, many social media companies are investing in delivering video content, including YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, which steer their algorithms to amplify the reach of this type of content, forcing brands and content creators to share videos on their platforms.

Here are some practical tips for application for influencers and small businesses looking to leverage the power of videos on social media:

  • Keep videos short and engaging: Short videos tend to have more engagement on social media, so try to keep your videos between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Make sure the content is engaging and interesting for your audience.

  • Use captions: Many people watch videos on social media without sound, so it's important to include captions in your video. This helps ensure that your message is delivered even to those who cannot hear the audio.

  • Tell a story: Videos tell stories more engagingly than images or text. Use video to tell your brand's story, share success stories from customers, or show the behind-the-scenes process.

  • Add a call to action (CTA): Make sure to include a CTA at the end of your video to encourage engagement from your audience. This can be as simple as asking viewers to share the video or follow your page on social media.

In addition to these practical tips, here are some examples of companies that have successfully used videos in their social media campaigns:

Dove - "Real Beauty Sketches"

Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" campaign is a classic example of how video can be used to promote a positive message. The video, which showed women describing themselves to a forensic artist and then being described by another person, had a significant impact on social media, accumulating over 180 million views.

Dollar Shave Club - "Our Blades Are F***ing Great"

The promotional launch video for Dollar Shave Club, which featured its founder Michael Dubin and his irreverent approach to selling razors, was a huge success on social media. The video had over 28 million views on YouTube, which helped reinforce the positioning of the Dollar Shave Club brand as one of the most popular companies in its industry.

Buzzfeed Tasty - "One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta"

Buzzfeed Tasty is a video content production company specializing in easy-to-make culinary recipes. Its "One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta" video went viral, accumulating over 190 million views. The video featured an easy-to-make recipe with the main ingredient cooked in a single pot.

Social media platforms are crucial tools for brands of any size, whether personal or not, as they offer free platforms for product, service, and idea promotion. They are also an excellent channel for establishing personal relationships with your customers and followers. However, it is essential to get the commitment to the frequency of the posts and to engage with your followers, in addition to being authentic, providing valuable and exclusive content, and, for sure, investing in the production of videos. By following these strategies, small businesses and influencers can increase engagement and, consequently, their revenue and build a solid base of loyal customers and brand evangelists.

If you are responsible for a company or an influencer and want to increase audience engagement on social media, let's talk! Through my Marketing Mentoring and Advisory sessions, I share my experience designing effective strategies tailored to your needs. Do not hesitate to contact me for help and guidance in building a solid base of loyal followers and achieving success on social media. So prepare your coffee (I prefer tea) and schedule our first conversation now!

I am waiting for you.


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