Think about what engages you. Is it humor? New ideas? Opinions? Fun facts? Obscure news? Meaningful quotes? Sports, politics, celebrity gossip, or spiritual enlightenment?
Now think about what engagement looks like for your business online. Are you thinking that it involves conversation, honing your listening skills, and bringing value and interest to your people?
You’re right! Engagement includes 3 dimensions:
Converse: Invite your customers to a conversation not just about you, but also with you.
Listen to what people are saying, about you and your industry.
Respond so you bring value, provide solutions, entertain and/or inform.
Which brings us to the big question:
How can you engage more effectively?
Here are some ideas to help you add spice to what you share and comment on online.
#1 Thought Leadership – showcase your knowledge and expertise by sharing information about your subject area.
- Write about your expertise (blogs, articles, press releases, video tutorials, ebooks, etc.)
- Let others know what you’ve read/seen/heard that you find interesting (provide links to it, and have an intriguing teaser headline letting people know what struck you about the link)
- Share what others say that matters to you (ReTweet, reference using links, Like, Share)
#2 Visibility -find ways to showcase your Firm, your products, your services, your brand, your industry.
- Get involved in Forums and Groups in the social media platforms that make sense for your business (answer questions in detail, ask for opinions, become known as a problem solver)
- Promote others
- Have your message play out on all of your social networks (cross-refer from your social media platforms, for example, tweet about your blog post and showcase it on LinkedIn)
- Clean up your website to make sure it’s simple and easy to read, has obvious and easy-to-act-on calls of action, and is visually interesting. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized and that you have a mobile engagement strategy.
#3 Humanize – people like to like the people they do business with. So, unless you are always the low cost/high quality leader in your field, you will need to share who you are with your clients and prospects.
- Talk about things not directly related to your business. For example, your passions:
- If it’s sports, share your thoughts and ideas about your team – mine’s the Boston Red Sox
- If it’s an activity, let people know you do it – take pictures or video of you mountain biking, share your adventures with humor
- If it’s a cause, showcase the organization and their events – a Habitat for Humanity building blitz offers a variety of opportunities to share and connect
- If it’s ________ – you fill in this blank. Find a way to display your interest in an appealing written and visual way.
- Add some humor – we all enjoy a chuckle, a laugh, a smile – a little fun makes you…human.
#4 Be different -use your talents to get your people’s attention by offering or doing something unique. The key here is to know your people – who are they, what do they want, what are they interested in, where are they online and what are they doing there?
- Check out what others have done to increase engagement online. Whether you offer to draw all new Twitter followers, give Tweets a voiceover treatment, create an out-of-the-box contest for naming your next product, add progressive coupons to your promotional efforts, whatever…. For more about this, check out these campaign studies courtesy of Hubspot.
- Use video to inspire, educate, inform and enlighten. For specific ideas on how to use video effectively, check out this post at Social Media Examiner.
By mixing up your online presence – by talking, sharing, commenting, actively listening and responding – you will find that the level of engagement and activity increases, helping you build the relationships that ultimately drive your business. Get involved with social media today – here are some of the basics. If you want some help – contact us!