The push or the pull, are you using social media to create engagement?
In a recent meeting with a potential client we started chatting about her organization’s social media use to date. She was exceptionally proud of the work that had been done so far. They were on Facebook and Twitter and even Pinterest. They were not missing a beat. Upon further discussion it became clear that “not missing a beat” meant not missing an opportunity to push out their new content. They were working hard to draw their audience in and while they were ahead of the game as compared to others in their industry it was clear to me that they were missing the point.
Yes, social media platforms are great for sharing what you are up to and where you are going as a business but eventually your followers and fans will gloss over your posts if you are not concentrating on building engagement.
So, what is this engagement you speak of??
I’m so glad you asked!
Engagement is the art of building conversation, inviting ideas, tapping in to the thoughts and desires of your fans, friends and followers. Your purpose as a small business on social media can not be simply to push stuff out, there is no relationship building there. Today we do not need to do business with people we don’t have a relationship with. Giving your audience the chance to engage provides them with one more reason to do business with you. You have taken a moment to show you care.
3 steps to getting you engaging:
1. Ask questions in your posts.
Asking questions shows that you are interested in what your reader is thinking. Some questions can be: What do you think about this? Is this something you have tried? Would you encourage your family members to try something like this? What else have I missed? What would you add to this comment? And on and on. As you are crafting your post think about what your audience might be thinking and then provide them an opening to share.
2. Share your own questions about a post.
If you post a link to an article let your readers know what is going on in your head, perhaps something like this: I’m not sure I understand what they are trying to accomplish here…what are your thoughts? Your goal here is to broaden the conversation around the link you just posted. Perhaps your audience will take time to read the post and then engage in conversation with you around it.
3. Thank people.
It seems simple but thanking people can go a long way to creating engagement. You can thank a whole section of people. For example: I’d like to thank all the teachers out there… and share about a positive experience you have had with your children’s teachers. Remembering my number 1 rule for social media engagement: BE AUTHENTIC, only post a thank you that is heart felt.
Engagement comes in the form of likes and comments. Try it out for yourself. Troll your facebook feed looking for things to Like and to comment upon. Do not expect likes and comments in return but know that when you do Like and comment upon those in your feed they will be alerted to your presence and will take special notice of your future posts. Do you have a post that surprised you by the level of engagement? Share your secret sauce in the comments!