I’m not an expert in engaging followers and audiences on Social Media, I’ll admit that. Being a social media user though, I want, need to engage with my audiences over the many social media platforms I use! Whether its in the personal or business setting, when I use social media, I seek to engage.
Advice on social media engagement comes to the non-expert like me in the form of the online community. The community that continuously provides solutions to those seeking expertise in the art of engaging people over social media. The online world is filled with websites and gurus that promise to help you attain results you want, and I believe them, sometimes…
Have you ever experienced that before?
Do you read up on tips and advice provided to you by others, so that you could apply them to your best practices? For example, check out this post by Social Media Examiner. It has 26 ways you could engage with your followers! With every application, whether its Tip #6 “Find and Share Timely Content” or Tip #14 “Note when your fans are online”, you are levelling up on the engagement level you have with your audience right?
Well, not exactly.
Yes you are responding to your users needs and wants for content better. Yes you understand your users activities and therefore seek the most appropriate and effective time to reach out to them. Yes, you are engaging with your audience/users/followers! But are you the one who’s really seeking to engage with them or is the author who wrote the post on engagement the one who is engaging with them?
Ask yourself. Do you really know what you are doing and why you are doing what you are doing?
The social media tips and advice are only as good as you make them to be. They should not be copy-paste solutions that you directly adopt and implement without any form of thought put into it. Because the reality is that there is no universal answer as to what each marketer or social media user like you and I can simply follow. There just isn’t one! There are however, many attempts by marketers, social media gurus, experts, writers etc who have offered various strategies and tips that are meant to get you ongoing in engaging customers and what we normal social media users can do from hereon is to learn and apply. Learn and apply, NOT copy-paste.
It would thus be wise to step back and ask yourself some questions along the line of “Is this what I really want, what I really need?” before you actually jump onto taking someone else’s approach to engagement and and applying them to your own.
Understand your intentions before beginning to engage your audience. Understand what you are, what you want, then understand your audience. Only when you know what you want and what they want will you have a game plan on the road to successful engagement.
Basically, If you don’t know what you want, how would your audience know what to give back to you? No point wasting time and effort over an unsatisfied result because you did not set your goals right from the start.
After which, you would start asking questions about the engagement between you and your audience that would probably look like this:
- What type of audience are you trying to engage?
Are they of a certain age group? Are they centred on a specific interest? Know who you are trying to reach out to.)
- How would you like for the engagement between you and your audience over social media to be like?
Formal (which really shouldn’t be the case if you are engaging through social media), semi-casual, or really casual? Know what language will reach out to your audience for effective communication. You don’t speak of ponies to a group of computer scientists discussing industry topics similarly you don’t speak computer language when talking to a group of pre-school children.
- What are you trying to achieve here through engaging with your audience? Is there a specific call-to-action that you want to attain? Or perhaps you simply want to have them coming back to you for more info and content! Know what you want and you’ll deliver what you set out to achieve.
Remember that your audience and users come to you because they want content from you. It’s really great that you are turning to engagement advice for the good of your followers so you could connect with them better but never lose sight of what you are.You need to be your own guru for only you would understand your audience the best.
So the question is: Are YOU engaging with your followers?