You’ve been online for a while now. Maybe you are a blogger. Maybe you are a business with a blog. Maybe you are a Community Manager. You’ve set up all your social media accounts. Followers have started to find you. People are starting to take notice.
So what do you do now?
You’ve got the “ring”…now get engaged to your audience!
Social Media Engagement – What is it?
Here is my own definition:
Social Media Engagement is the coming together of two or more people online via social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and Triberr. It is the act of sharing, conversing, interacting and engaging with others online.
Social Media Engagement doesn’t work on the premise “build it and they will come”. Sure, you can set up all the social media channels you want, sit back, relax, and yes, some people will follow and like you. But, a lack of effort on your part, and taking these followers for granted, will soon leave you hearing crickets buzzing about all those social media channels.
And we all know what crickets mean. Right?
If you are hearing crickets throughout your social media channels, that means you aren’t listening to, or engaging with, your followers, the people who mean the most to you or your business.
Without your followers you have nothing…except crickets.
So here are 30 tips to help you stay engaged to your followers and, hopefully, create great relationships that last for many years to come!
30 Tips For Exceptional Social Media Engagement:
1. Surprise! Many people who follow you, don’t follow you because of you….they follow you because of themselves. They are hoping you are going to take note of THEIR business, THEIR music, THEIR photos, THEIR blog…whatever they are promoting. So what do you do? Follow them back…and then engage! Show some interest in what they have to offer, and maybe they will show some interest in your blog/website.
2. Don’t feed the crickets! Feed your followers! If you go on vacation, or just decide you need a break from social media, this is the time to use scheduled posts/tweets/updates. This will keep your feeds active when you can’t be. If you don’t continue to engage your followers while you are gone, they will find engagement elsewhere.
3. Use your follower’s first name whenever you engage with them. We all love the sound of our own name!
4. Bloggers, take note of any great comments made on your blog and share them via your social media channels. It’s a win-win…win situation. You could make a follower happy for being acknowledged, create some great engagement on social media, AND this provides you with ready-made content to share!
5. SHARE! Don’t just “self-promote” – “help-promote”. Retweet, repin, and share great content from your followers. Not only will it help them, it will help you! You will be sharing great content that will keep your followers coming back to see what else you are sharing.
6. Be present! Don’t repeatedly schedule tweets/posts. Get online, in real-time, and engage!
7. Be genuinely happy for your followers when you see them mention some happy news. Congratulate them, laugh with them, send them a virtual hug. Alternatively, show your genuine support/sympathy when you see them mention something sad/upsetting.
8. Remember your best followers! Even if you have to jot down some notes in a book about them. Surprise them later by bringing up your last conversation – asking them how something turned out, if they are feeling better, (etc).
9. Get added to a list? Thank the person who added you, then take a peek through the list and find others you should be following – there’s a reason someone put you all on the same list – you already have something in common.
10. Gain a new follower? Put your detective hat on. Do a quick little investigation. Browse their bio/blog/website. Find out a little bit about them. Do you have something in common with them? Mention it! Who knows where your engagement will go from there!
11. Remember what mom said “you get more bees with honey”. Compliment others – make people smile – but be sure to make it real! Even online, people can tell when you are being less than genuine!
12. Use Twitter’s “power of suggestion”. Take time each day to browse through the “who to follow” list on Twitter. Then follow those that interest you, or that are in your niche – they are likely to follow back.
13. Not everything online is positive and good. If you receive a legitimate complaint or negative comment, don’t ignore the criticism. Find a way to help turn the negativity into something positive.
14. Have FUN with your tweets, posts and shares. People love to smile and laugh! Sharing fun and engaging content will help get you what you are looking for…engagement!
15. Ask for feedback about your website or blog! Not only will this get your followers engaging with you, they will appreciate you asking them for their input. Then, if applicable, put their suggestions into action. Not only could it help your site (maybe they spotted an “easy fix” to a problem that you never thought of), but you’ll make your followers feel important when you acknowledge, and utilize, their suggestions.
16. Don’t let the crickets sneak in your back door! Respond to all questions and comments on your social media channels (and your blog if applicable). If your followers take the time to communicate with you, give them the courtesy and respond to them. People want to know they’ve been heard. Your followers don’t want to be hearing crickets either!
17. Did someone really interesting just follow you? Take the time to take a look at who else they are following. Chances are you will find other followers of interest to you, that you can engage with.
18. If you notice that two of your followers have a common bond or similar interest, introduce them to one another! Not only will that create engagement for them, it will create engagement for you too!
19. Always THANK your followers…when they follow you, when they RT you or share your posts/tweets, and when they share a compliment with you.
20. Heard about a great online party, event, or chat? Would it interest your followers? Even if it’s something that doesn’t interest you, if it would interest your followers, share it! Remember…it’s all about what interests your followers! Sharing things that interest them will keep them engaged with you!
21. Ask questions. People love to share their opinions and experiences. Questions help get your followers engaged with you…and sometimes with each other!
22. Showcase your loyal followers on your social media channels. Post a “Fan of the Month” on Facebook, tweet a #FF complete with a genuine compliment.
23. Help those in need. Is one of your followers asking for help? Maybe they need advice. Maybe they need help with their own site. Maybe they are asking you to share something important for them. Help (if you can) when asked. Not only will this create engagement, these same followers will be more than happy to help you out sometime when you need it. Karma baby!
24. Create engagement for things that matter – ASK your followers to retweet important tweets, share important posts, repin great pins. Followers generally like to help out and will share your content when asked. Just don’t inundate them with too many requests to share!
25. Use images! Everything shared on social media channels becomes more shareable when you include a photo with your tweet, post, or status update – and therefore, more engaging. Hashtags are also key to better engagement on social media. Just don’t overdo them. Two to three hashtags are sufficient. Too many and your tweet/post/share starts to look spammy.
26. Share according to the social media channel you are using. Although all social media channels have similarities, they aren’t all the same. What makes for great engaging content on one, may not make it terribly engaging content on another.
27. Follow back! With the exception of spammy accounts, following back legitimate followers shows that you appreciate their support, and that you want to show them support in return. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!
28. If you are going to be on social media – be social! Don’t sit back and watch. That will not lead to the engagement you are looking for. Let your personality, sense of humour, knowledge, abilities and skills shine! Be real. Be genuine. Be engaging!
29. Make sure you are easy to find/contact on your blog/website and on all your social media channels. You won’t get the desired engagement if people have a hard time finding you.
30. On the topic of being easy to find, maintain a consistent “name” across all social media channels. For example, Canadian Blog House is @CanBlogHouse on Twitter, www.pinterest.com/canbloghouse on Pinterest…you get the picture. This makes it easier to engage with you!
Always remember…Your followers owe YOU nothing. Be grateful for every one of them!
Have you got any tips for great social media engagement that work well for you? I’d love to hear about them!