How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide

How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide

How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide

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?

What is Engagement?

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?

Why Should Your Business Care?

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.

Audience

Audience

Audience

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.

Platforms

Platforms

Platforms

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, the Hashtags, and Particulars of Engagement

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.

Social Sharing

Social Sharing

Social Sharing

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!

Tagging

Tagging

Tagging

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

Connecting the Dots

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.

What Else?

If there’s something else you’d like to see covered, let me know in the comments! Thank you!

Comments

  1. It’s good that you point out how different the networks are as many people don’t realize that each has a culture and, therefore, a set of expectations. Those expectations dictate how you should engage in the same way one studies a foreign culture and customs before traveling abroad.

    Many offenses are more nuanced like tagging people in a post on Facebook just to make sure they see it — it’s not a violation of TOS, but is considered to be spammy behavior.

    • Hi Bridget,

      Thanks for pointing out the nuanced behaviors that aren’t violations of TOS, like tagging. Those are a good way to be unfollowed, as well as annoying your friends as well as people you barely know. I’ll be covering that sort of thing in updates to this post.

      Thank you for commenting!
      Carol

  2. I’m looking forward to the series. Engagement is critical. Engagement leads to interaction. Interact creates relationships.

    • Hi Robert,

      You’re so good at engagement, so that means a lot coming from you! To me, engagement is the most critical component of any social strategy. It’s the “social” part!

      Thanks so much,
      Carol

  3. Engagement is why we marketers do social media. We’re not doing it because we crave attention, or we shouldn’t be.

    Good observation about the different cultures on different platforms. I used to send out personalised greetings to some of my new Twitter followers. I got hardly any responses. So I stopped.

    However, I regularly send out personalised greetings to many of my new LinkedIn connections. I get quite a few responses, and have built ongoing relationships with many of these.

    Different platform, different culture.

    • Hi Clement,

      That’s interesting about the personalized greetings on Twitter versus LinkedIn. Very good example about a different culture.

      Thank you for thoughtful comment, and, as always, for the support.

      Sincerely,
      Carol

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