Social Media Engagement Hacks

By Erin Yackavage, Marketing Intern

How do I get more likes on Instagram? How do I get more retweets on Twitter?
What is the point of having social media accounts if no one knows you’re there?

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the process of super-charging your online marketing by making your website social-friendly, establishing a presence on social media, and engaging your target audience among the billions that frequent these networks.  
Here I’ve narrowed how to improve your social media engagements into three categories for four major sites: who uses the platform, what your content should look like on it, and what your post timing should be.


Everyone. 74% of all Internet users are on Facebook. However, there was a 29% decline in teen usage in 2013. This is said to be leveling off now.


  • Photos get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than text-only posts. Photos are also much more shareable.
  • Shorter posts get 23% more interaction. If it’s shorter, it’s faster to consume and process. Save blogging for your blog. Short posts with a clear and concise message are the way to go.
  • Ask questions in your posts. "How do you feel about this?” and “What do you think?” are great lines to start dialog in the comments. The draw back is that question posts don’t get shared or liked as much.
  • Asking people to “vote” on your post is a great way to draw more attention to it. If you “think this,” like the post, but if you “think that,” share it.

Weekends are the least popular time for companies to post, but the most popular time for users to share and interact. Saturdays, specifically, see an increase in sharing habits. People are off from work for the weekend and catching up on the news they missed during the week. Take advantage of the low competition and schedule some of your posts for the weekend with something like Hootsuite.



Instagram is the fastest growing social media network. Over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35.


  • Instagram has more engagements than the other top social media platforms.
  • Photos are still more popular than videos in terms of how many engagements they receive, so focus on strong photographs over video production.
  • The Mayfair filter gets the most engagements over any other filter, including no filter.
  • Blue-toned images receive more engagement that red-toned.
  • 5 hashtags are the best for promoting a photo. Although for smaller profiles, as many as 11 hashtags will help with receiving interactions.

The majority of users check Instagram daily, but most people post on Thursdays. The most effective day to post is actually Sunday. The time of day isn’t significant with Instagram being more 24/7 than other platforms, however, if your target demographic is going to be at school or work all day, post when they would have free time, like late afternoons and nights.



While primarily 20 and 30 year-olds in urban settings, since 2012, Twitter users aged 55-64 grew by more than 79%.


  • “Please RT” actually works. Nearly 30% of all retweets on Twitter include literally asking “Please RT”.
  • Like Facebook, photo posts are engaged more than text posts, up to 2 times more.
  • Tweets with up to 2 hashtags receive 2 times more engagement. Don’t go overboard though. Tweets with 3 or more hashtags see a dramatic drop
  • Tweets with more verbs preform better than Tweets heavy with nouns and adjectives.

The highest percentage of retweets occur around 5pm, so try tweeting in the late afternoon.



69% of users are women. 50% of Pinterest users have children. Women tend to use Pinterest for inspiration, while men use it as a wish list.


  • Faceless photos have more engagements than pictures of people. Users can more easily imagine themselves in a situation when they don’t have to replace someone else’s face.
  • Posts with the price included on them lowers the amount of repins it receives.  Make sure your link is on the post so people know how to find you, but leave the price to the imagination for now.
  • Colorful images are pined more than pins with a single dominant color.
  • Having a call to action in the pin’s caption helps the click through rate as well as up the amount of engagements.
  • Unlike Instagram, pictures that have more reds and oranges in them receive more interactions than pictures that are primarily blue.

The best time to post is afternoons towards the weekend. Thursdays and Saturdays see an increase in engagements over the other days of the weekend.

An important piece of advice to remember with any of these platforms is to engage with others too. Like back, reply, comment, discuss. These are all things you are expecting from other people so be sure to do them yourself. No one likes talking to a wall so be sure to interact with others to see the benefits on your own posts.




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