Recently, I co-taught a class with Alyson Harrold of the Spectrum Group at University of California, Berkeley Extension. What surprised me was that so many of the students said they didn’t know how to engage. Hence, this series on how to engage online.
What is Engagement?
As the folks from Sprout Social outline, it’s smart to break engagement down into several tangible steps. You could call them baby steps. What you want is a channel where you can talk to potential customers and they can communicate with you. By the way, here’s an article about Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text that’s an easy way to share and engage on Twitter.
Why Should Your Business Care?
Engagement is the gold standard of social media. It’s how you get closer to people making a purchase from you or doing business with you. If your potential clients don’t know, like, and trust you, they won’t want to do business with you.
Each platform has a different audience. How do you engage them? They’re somewhat different. For instance, LinkedIn is the most formal of the social media platforms. LinkedIn is the land of full sentences, and no hashtags. Twitter, on the other hand, is filled with abbreviations and hashtags. Here’s my Twitter: Top Ten Terms and Power Tips to get you started.
Each platform has a different culture, and needs different content. Here are some of the top platforms, which will be updated as I write each piece:
The Language, the Hashtags, and Particulars of Engagement
The language is different on each platform. There’s a continuum of formal to informal in language, which includes whether to use hashtags. There are other things to do and to avoid, as well. For instance, can you reshare your content? What is evergreen and what isn’t? You don’t want to share too little or too much and each platform has its own conventions.
When is it a good idea? When is it not a good idea? Also, it’s a good idea to know how much you’ll share of your personal life on social media. There are things you may not want to share, such as details of your children’s lives. Religion and politics can be tricky, too. But if your brand is about religion and politics, that’s a different story!
Should you always tag people? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. On Instagram, it’s a great idea. You can tag on Facebook and Twitter, too. But should you always tag? No! We all have that one friend who’s always tagging you because they think you collect salt and pepper shakers. After awhile, it can be annoying. Don’t be that guy! Or gal.
Connecting the Dots
Using analytics and common sense to see what’s working and what’s not is your best strategy with social media. Analytics don’t tell the whole story, but they can tell a lot. Sometimes analytics just proves a theory that you have.
If there’s something else you’d like to see covered, let me know in the comments! Thank you!