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5 ways to increase social media reach with interactive content

Blog Post Author – Alex
17th April 2020

As a marketer, you want to reach as many people as possible. Here’s how you can leverage interactive content to reach a wide audience and spread brand awareness.

First thing’s first...

What is reach, and why does it matter?

Reach is the size of your audience seeing your posts. It’s a great measure to see how far your content has travelled. It can also show how effective your social media marketing plan is resulting.

For example, on Instagram you’ll be given just one measurement for reach, which is the number of unique users who saw your post.

On Facebook you’ll see a few different types of reach.

  • Post Reach, the individual reach for each of your Facebook posts
  • Page Reach, how many people saw any of your page’s posts or any other content within a specific period of time

Then there are a few subcategories…

  • Organic Reach, when your content shows up in people’s feeds
  • Viral Reach, when your content is shared or viewed outside of your follower audience
  • Paid Reach, quite simply, how far your sponsored content goes

The simple answer is increased reach = more people seeing your social media marketing content.

So what kind of content gets seen and engaged with the most?

We believe it’s interactive content. And other marketers do too: 66% agree that their audience engagement has increased since they started using interactive content.

But what do we mean by interactive content?

Here are a few types that will help you improve your social media reach:

Run a contest

An average of 34% new fans are gained through a social media contest, so it’s a sure-fire way to drive engagement. That’s just as long as your prize is worth engaging with for!

The key is making the engagement part of the conditions to enter. For example, encouraging follows, liking, commenting and tagging other users.

One of the major reasons that contests work so well is that they are usually run directly within the social media platform itself (otherwise known as native content), which is favored by the algorithm. This means it’s far more likely to show up in your followers’ feeds. You wont need to use your social media calendar in this instance, although having live content in your social media plan and content calendar will really help seeing your balance and mix of content scheduled.

Here’s a great example of a contest run on Facebook. A ski and snowboard clothing store runs a weekly contest asking for people to like the post and engage with their online store. They are also encouraged to engage with the post.

contest on facebook

Contests work well on Instagram too. In fact even if you haven’t entered one yourself, you’ve probably been tagged in a post, or at least seen a friend that’s entered.

Share an online quiz

The average online quiz is shared almost 2000 times, making it a pretty effective piece of interactive content for improving reach.

Buzzfeed is usually credited as the first to make quizzes go viral. Their What City Should You Actually Live In? live got 20 million views in its first 3 months. Ever since then, businesses have been harnessing this power to grow their audience and get their content seen.

Online quizzes are fun, and there’s something about them that makes it difficult to scroll past. We love to be categorized, or tested, and perhaps the [Barnum Effect]( is coming into play here too. We love to learn about ourselves, especially when we’re going to be told something positive.

Here’s a great example of Netflix demonstrating their brand’s fun personality with interactive content, while still reminding followers of their product.

Of course, online quizzes don’t just have to be ‘just for fun’ and can have some real marketing impact, such as to raise awareness of your product or brand.

They also come with the added bonus of making your sales team happy by linking any data collected into your email marketing tool. As a result, it's a great element to include in your social media plan.

Ask the audience with polls

Like quizzes, polls give us answers, but with instant gratification and satisfaction of knowing where your opinion lies. They are quick to engage with and easy to share, making them an ideal tool for improving reach.

There are many ways you can use polls in social media. Here are our favourite examples:

grub street instagram story


On Instagram, Grub Street (part of New York Magazine) adds regular polls to their stories. This one, in particular, is great because it gives the followers a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option. Those that select yes may then want to hunt for the item in question, those that said no can still play and engage.

The Game Awards asked a divisive question (depending who you ask) to their gamer audience, providing them with a lot of engagement in the comments.

Tip: If you can't be controversial, encourage engagement with your poll, for example ‘if you clicked no, tell me why’, and don’t forget to create them within the social media platform itself for that native content algorithm boost.

Another fun way of using polls is by creating a ‘tournament’, which is most effective on Twitter.

Ben & Jerry's ran a campaign asking for people to vote for their favorite flavor with a poll. People stay interested as they want their favorite to stay in the competition. Plus, they post regular ‘results’ to give people something to share when outraged that Cherry Garcia didn’t make the cut.

Set up a live stream

Live streaming is a new form of interactive content but is quickly growing in popularity. It’s an instant ‘get to know’ for your brand, giving your followers a look at your less polished and curated content. Getting the right social media tools to help you here is key.

Although live streaming isn’t quick and easy to engage with like other methods we’ve mentioned, it is a way to develop interested and loyal followers who will go on to spread your message and your content. This is key to improving your reach.

Live streaming is a way to let your brand and your team shine, so ensure to make the most of the ‘live’ element. The content shouldn’t be perfectly prepared and relies on your audience engaging and interacting. A Q&A is a great way of making this interactive and having a two-way conversation with your audience.

Here’s a great example from Sephora. They hosted a live chat with expert hair professionals.

Watch the video here

As you can see, there’s no professional camera or sound equipment, but followers got personal advice from the experts, all the while getting Sephora product recommendations.

Find your next generation audience in TikTok

TikTok has risen to fame since the end of last year, and is reported as having 500 million users worldwide in 2019.

Download the app and play for 10 minutes, and you’ll quickly notice how trends are formed and seemingly amateur content can go viral. It’s pretty addictive, too. 9 out of 10 users check the app multiple times a day.

Whilst it doesn’t give you a ‘reach’ measurement like other apps, it’s definitely worth trying it out for your business and factoring TikTok into your social media content calendar, especially if you’re a B2C brand.

tiktok infographic

While ads in TikTok don’t yet seem commonplace, some brands have successfully launched campaigns that work on the back of this ‘virality’, which we know increases reach.

A number of features in TikTok make this possible, including the ‘duet’ feature, easy share buttons, tagging users and hashtags.

An example of a successful campaign is Guess’s #Inmydenim challenge. It’s fair to say it’s been a success:, there are currently 41.6 million views across videos using this hashtag.

TikTok video screenshot

For this campaign Guess recruited the help of TikTok influencers with millions of followers. It worked because it asked TikTok users to do what they do best: share fun, visual content.

To summarize, improving your reach is about finding ways to get people to interact with your posts, share them with their network and encourage them to follow. Interactive content ticks all of those boxes, while promoting your products and allowing your brand to shine.

Want to increase your social media engagement? Check out the best time to post on social media 2020.

Consider how interactive content can be included in your content marketing calendartoday.

Alex Birch is the SEO Manager at Typeform, an online tool for creating engaging, and conversational online forms, surveys, quizzes, landing pages, and much more.

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