Creating Authentic Engagement on Social Media

Hits might make baseball fans rise to their feet, but it’s runs-batted-in that win the game. The same is true with social media. It isn’t how many followers hit your page, it’s how engaged they are in your game. If your social stats are in a slump, maybe you need to throw a different pitch and look at your engagement on social media. Learn why authentic engagement matters to your business and what you can do to knock it out of the park.

There are several ways to track how well your social media pages are doing. At the broadest level, “reach” tells you how many people have seen the content on your page. Going one step further, the number of “likes” gives a thumbs-up view of what those people thought about the information you posted. But “engagement” gives you an even deeper view. If viewers are interested enough to comment on or share your content with others, you have a more engaged fan.

Be the Real Thing

So how do you get more engagement? Be authentic. Be true to what your business stands for and how you help customers. Think of it as talking with someone face to face. It’s the difference between chitchat and really connecting with someone.  Here are some ideas to communicate more authentically:

  • Keep your eye on the audience – Ask yourself this before posting: what will this mean to your audiences? The question forces you to look at things from their perspective. Are you just bragging, or are you offering something of value to them? Be sure to include the “what’s in it for them” in your message.
  • Connect, don’t pitch – Leading with a sales pitch tells followers you’re more interested in meeting your own needs rather than theirs. The goal is to make a connection, not a sale. Instead, share a tip that helps them solve a problem.
  • Be human – Don’t be afraid to write like you talk. It’s ok to say “we’re” instead of “we are.” You want to be conversational. If you’re going to use a technical term, explain it. If you have a sense of humor, bring it out where it’s appropriate.
  • Create two-way opportunities – No one likes being stuck at a party with someone who likes the sound of their own voice. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Draw other people into the discussion by asking questions. For example, if you’re posting tasty ideas to beat the summer heat, ask them to leave a comment sharing their favorite flavor of ice cream. Or if someone comments “Nice!” to your post, reply back with “Glad you liked this. What was your favorite part?”
  • Tell a story – Rather than just sharing a fact or figure, weave it into a story instead. People tend to remember stories longer, and they’re easier to share with others. It might be a personal experience you had at work or with your family. Or better yet, have a customer share their story.
  • Show and tell – Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, especially if you have to stick to a character limit. Consider adding an image to your reply or responding with just an image. A picture can help you display emotion that doesn’t translate well in words. It could be an emoji [Link 1], GIF [Link 2] or video.

Swing for the fences with your social media channels by focusing on engagement, not just followers. Start with these ideas to develop relationships authentically.

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