Social media sites are busy places. The screen is crowded with advertising, posts from friends, updates from pages you follow, news and information about what is going on in the world – it can become quite overwhelming at times!

With all this visual competition, how to you attract and keep the attention of your own followers?

There are different ways of looking at all this constantly streaming activity going on. You could just accept that in such a busy marketplace some of your followers may not see all of your posts, and just carry on with your marketing plan regardless, or you could use this situation as an opportunity to step-up and re-focus your efforts.

A recent Pew Internet Research study has shown that one of the main reasons people read social media posts is to be entertained. Reading humorous posts was cited by 39% of the research subjects, and that is a large slice of your readership that should not be ignored.

It may be time to take stock of your content, and look at the tone and overall feel of what you have to say. Is your content too serious? Are your messages too dry? Is your delivery too formal? Can you re-write your content to have a more light-hearted approach? If so, it would be worth the change in direction.

Try to think of an angle that relates to your industry that enables you to write entertaining posts. You can try to make your followers laugh with witty and engaging posts, or you can highlight an aspect of your product or service that others are not, and build content around that to make people see it in a different or unusual way.

For example, if you are marketing tools and DIY products, you could write amusing posts about left-handed screwdrivers, or how to correctly apply elbow grease. Anything that will make your readers smile and encourage them to share your posts with others, and then return frequently to see what new gems of advice you are offering.

Prize-draws and give-away’s are always big crowd pullers. You can build up a lot of interest and excitement around a new product or service when there is a chance of winning a big prize. As long as the prize is worthwhile, it will be a great way of keeping your followers engaged. According the the Pew Internet Research study, 35% of participants were likely to enter worthwhile competitions on Facebook. Free – prize – and give-away – are all buzz-words that are eye-catching when used in post titles.

If you have never considered running a competition before, then by simply making it a condition of entry to Like your page on Facebook or other social media platforms, and also to share the competition with friends, you will be pushing your brand with very little effort on your part. Mud sticks, as they say, so even if you see a small increase in your follower numbers, it means your brand recognition will be steadily increasing.

If you think you are not in a position to offer up an attractive prize, then why not try a free incentive to attract people to click through your post. Take some time to think about your customers, and what questions they most often ask advice about. If there are subjects that you seem to answer regularly, then why not create something useful to help your customers further. For example, your DIY experts are often asked about how to hang wallpaper. You could create a digital guide about the fool-proof way to hang wallpaper, and offer this free to every customer who signs up to your newsletter.

Offering free downloadable material is a positive way to engage your followers, and encouraging them to share your posts with their friends will also help to keep your posts in their news feeds more often, and for much longer.

By stepping away from one-way formal feeling postings, and moving towards more forward thinking interactive content, your posts will attract more activity and keep your brand buzzing at the top of your followers news feeds daily.