What is engagement?
Whenever I read about social media, it always comes hand-in-hand with the word ‘engagement.’ So what is engagement? On a more corporate and business aspect, engagement is about branding and digital marketing. This means speaking with current and potential customers about your brand, products, and services through your posts. With time and with continuous and repeated conversations can lead to customer loyalty.
While this type of engagement is useful (and cost-effective!), I prefer to think of engagement on a more personal level. For me, it’s about having conversations with your audience. It is taking the time to reply, interact, communicate and share information. Moreover, it’s about creating a community and for the audience to feel understood. Over time, such continuous conversations can result in individuals entering social media, whether a blog or social media network, and feel welcomed. During this time of lockdown, social media has reinforced that notion.
What are the types of engagement?
Over the last decade, communication methods have increased substantially and with it greater engagement and a wider audience. With social media, we can now connect, comment, and share posts, videos, stories, and host live events! We can also share privately, publicly, or in a group. So with that in mind, it can be confusing to decide how you want to engage with your audience. In general, I do not believe there is only one way of engaging with your audience but having said that; there are some useful methods that are great building blocks.
- Answer questions.
We are always using search engines, often Google, to answer our questions. This could include checking the weather forecast, reading the latest global news, and answering burning science questions! With so much information at our fingertips can give you an excellent opportunity to highlight some questions and answers specific to your audience’s interests. It is a fun way to have a conversation and engage!
- Provide additional value.
Another way to engage with your audience is to provide useful tips to your community. These can include guides, ebooks, courses, or templates and help gain audiences’ trust in you and what you offer. As a writer and content marketer, I have learnt valuable information through templates and various online courses such as Hubspot Academy and Google Digital Garage.
- Responding to comments in real-time.
You have to respond to comments and early! After all, this is not a one-way conversation; it is a community.
One way to increase engagement is to share other people’s interesting content on your site or social media accounts. Tag the owner who created the original post and who is automatically notified when someone shares their content. If the owner likes what you shared may result in your actions being showcased on the owner’s account. Lastly and more importantly, the action of sharing other people´s content on your account tells the audience that you know what they like and you are willing to provide it even if it is not your creation. This creates greater trust.
- Build your brand human element.
An often overlooked aspect of engagement is the human element of your business. This means telling the audience who you are, what you represent, what you stand for. It’s essential to let the audience know your values, whether human rights, environmental concerns, poverty, or animal protection. Whatever the case may be, share your thoughts and your actions for the community to know you.
How to get started with engagement.
Start sharing your content. Whether you are considering starting a blog, opening a Facebook page, or creating an Instagram or Twitter account, begin sharing your news. Social media can be very overwhelming, so it is always best to stick with just a few methods that test the waters. Begin the process by choosing any one of the suggestions provided above! Whichever suggestion you decided to develop, always keep in mind what your brand stands for and the community you are trying to build!
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