There are times during the year, and during certain sales and marketing cycles when each of us reflects on what we are doing, and how we can make it better.  This is true for every business or business person whose focus is in better serving their customers, or potential customers.  January is one of the natural time cycles for everyone to “take stock” of what they are doing, and develop a plan for improvement.

Social Media Engagement is More Important Than Ever For Businesses and Entrepreneurs.

This is not a secret.  You are likely bombarded with social media every day, at least if you turn on your computer or smart phone.  Some fight it, others embrace it.  Social Media is undeniably one of the most effective exposure agents for any business.  Social Media Engagement is incredibly important for entrepreneurs, who are often one-man or one-woman shows.  You can really be “everywhere,” if you work Social Media the right way.  However, it can be tricky to figure out what works on which platforms.  With that in mind, I’ve put together a quick list of…

5 Tips to Help You Increase Your Social Media Engagement.

Now, let me be clear, it’s okay to have accounts and activity on multiple platforms, but let ONE be the focus for your energy.  Do this for at least ninety days consistently before you try to add another platform to you daily schedule.  Your brain needs to repeat the activities to make them habits, after the habits are formed, you can add another layer.  It really doesn’t matter if you choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn as your focus, but let there only be one – to start.

Once you are focused on your ONE platform.  Focus your energy on that one.  Engage to be engaging.  In other words, if you want to attract people to your business or services, then you have to be a real person who shows that you can help them, and offer value to them.  Show that you value their time, too.  Reply to messages and comments in a meaningful way.  Don’t just swipe a standard comment reply, or use a bot to do the work for you.  Firstly, the Social Media platform will likely not give you algorithm points for bot comments and posts, and secondly, your prospects and potential customers really are smarter than that.  This engagement is focused on your personal profile or business profile or page.  Therefore, this is YOUR community of fans and followers.  Treat them like the gold that they are.  You have asked them for their time and attention, give them a little of yours, and let them know that you appreciate theirs.

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The message for this item is Social Media Engagement, but with your Peers and Industry Leaders.  For this engagement, you will focus on your network.  This means scrolling through your Feed or News Feed.  This is going to be the “Home” page or tab for your Social Media platform.  Find some interesting posts from friends, associate and *hint* LEADERS in your niche or field.  Like, Comment, and Share these posts, Retweet, etc.  Don’t go crazy, and look like you are trying too hard, but you have to engage with those that are a few steps ahead of you if you want to reach the place where they are.  Find something that is compelling to you, and share it with your friends.  Make comments, but only if you can truly add to the conversation. (“lol” doesn’t compel someone to learn more about you.)  By all means, be yourself, just be mindful of the audience.

Your goal is 5-10 New People per Day.  Period.  In a recent post I covered ways to Grow Your Network on Social Media, you can Watch and Read it Here.  While you are growing your network, you need to Engage with your connections.  This includes Groups, and even Friends of Friends.  If you see a comment on a friend’s post, “like” it or comment back, mentioning the commenter.  Again, you always want to bring some value and purpose to your statements, and contribute.  Don’t just take up space.  When you see content or posts from this extended network, engage with them to attract them closer to your network.  It can also help to keep things fresh by joining new groups from time to time.  If you take a course, join a program, or attend a special event or training, engage with Social Media Group.  Many of these programs, courses, and events have special “mastermind” Facebook Groups.  It’s a great way to meet people that are your peers or leaders in your industry.

On those days, or even afternoons, that you just don’t have enough hours in the day, find a great article or post that you believe would help people in your network and your follows, and share it with your own comments in the post (some sharing tools allow comments, some don’t, but you can always edit the post to add comments.)  This can be an article, a funny or whimsical picture or meme, or a blog post from the web.  Nearly every website and blog in the stratosphere provides you with easy social sharing buttons, so this is super-easy.  Of course, I find that these pop up mostly on the days when I’ve already engaged quite a bit.  I click the star to add to my favorites, in a folder for sharing.  This makes it easy to find in a couple of days when I need something to post in a hurry.  Another great way to have a cache of content to share is RSS feeds.  I talk about that in the Grow Your Network on Social Media post as well.  It’s a great way to keep up with a 10,000-foot view of what’s going on in your industry.

In conclusion, if you really pick one platform, and focus your energy there for 90 days, you can see a noticeable improvement in your Social Media Engagement, and the responsiveness of your audience.  Consistency is the single most important factor here, not content, but Consistency.  Did I say Consistency?  It is that important.  You can post for 5 days straight, take the weekend off, and lose the responsiveness 15-25% of your audience, if not more.  Now, I do have a few more HINTS to help you stay on top of it.

A bonus for you just for reading to the end.

POSTING: It’s okay to use a planned post.  Some days are busier than others.  You can engage and comment during short time waiting in line, etc.  Planning your posts in advance can save time during the day.  This is especially helpful for those working their business part-time while still working a traditional job during the day.  You can fill in text, videos and pictures, and click the arrow next to the Post button to schedule it for later.  You can also use an app or software program to help with this.  Post Planner is fully integrated with Facebook, and offers a variety of plans, including some free options.

PUSH POSTS: There are a lot of short-cuts within the platforms themselves to “push” your content to other Social Media networks.  For example, you can set your Facebook account to automatically post your Facebook posts to Twitter for you.  You can have Twitter post to Facebook.  Instagram will post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and others.

BROADCAST POSTS:  Services like Hootsuite and OnlyWire will actually take your post and “broadcast” it to multiple Social Media platforms for you.  I use OnlyWire to Broadcast my Blog Posts onto Social Media, which saves time versus sharing it all over the place after it’s posted.  There is a WordPress Plug-In available for your blog that makes this pretty easy after you set up your accounts in their system.

You want to step into the role of a leader by emulating what leaders do.

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