Steps to social media engagement

By Rhonda Campbell

The importance of social media engagement is increasing. Social media engagement is becoming more important because social media networks are starting to remove inactive accounts. If you’ve noticed a drop in your Facebook business page likes, you’ve already seen the impact of this. Click on the Insights tab at the top of your Facebook page and you’ll learn that Facebook is removing inactive followers’ likes.

Show followers how much you care

More importantly, deep social media engagement builds relationships, trust, expectation and success. Think of it this way. Would you want to keep dating a guy who never called you first? You’d probably start to worry that the guy wasn’t really into you.

It’s the same with social media. When your followers only hear from you when you post messages about a sale, coupon, new product launch or upgraded service you’re offering, your followers might start to doubt that you truly value them. Therefore, as a first step to building social media engagement, develop a content or editorial calendar.

Stay on schedule

Set the editorial calendar up week-by-week. Identify the types of posts that you’ll push out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media networks your business has a presence at. For example, if you own a beauty salon, you could schedule a beauty tip on Monday, a coupon on Tuesday, a beauty history fact on Wednesday, a link to your latest newsletter on Thursday and a series of client before and after pictures on Friday or Saturday.

Respond to comments and questions that followers leave at your social media sites. Not only could this keep a follower from becoming inactive, which could impact your overall follower status, it could turn a watcher into an active supporter.

To show your followers that you care about them and are listening to what they have to say, respond to posts they make away from your site, posts that have nothing to do with your business. For example, you could give a thumbs up to a graduation picture that a follower post.

Communicate with pictures

Images generate higher social media engagement than pure text. Social Media Examiner says that images increase Facebook social media engagement by 85%. Add a picture to your Twitter posts and  you could receive 35% more shares. Rather than posting stock photos, post pictures of real life events  (i.e. volunteer event, holiday party, seminar) you took at a business event you hosted or attended.

Don’t limit all posts to images. Offer your followers a myriad of content options. Other steps to more social media engagement are to ask followers industry specific questions. Post quizzes and entice followers to complete polls.

When it comes to measuring how active your followers are, Social Mention, Topsy and social media insights are tools to consider. Forbes also suggest Icerocket, HootSuite and Google alerts. As with an editorial calendar, schedule a time each week when you’ll review and analyze the traffic.

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