Imagine sitting down to a lovely dinner every night with your spouse or significant other and attempting to engage in meaningful conversation. You ask insightful questions. Make poetic observations. And provide flattering compliments.
What do you get in return night after night?
Blank stares, lack of presence, and complete silence from your partner.
How many attempts would it take before you stopped trying to engage? I bet it wouldn’t take long.
That’s what it’s like when you post content on social media without taking equal effort to engage with your followers. Social NETWORKING is not just a matter of you putting out great content. Part of the thrill is building relationships. It is NECESSARY (and FUN) to create an exchange with people who are interested in what you have to say. Isn’t that the entire point?
Feel awkward in these new “social” situations? Not sure what to say? It’s so easy. Here are some common scenarios that come up all the time in 3 of the most popular social networks and how to engage with ease.
Facebook: The most common way of interacting on the good ‘ole FB are comments and “Likes.” You have to constantly be checking your Notifications to see who has commented on your posts and never, never, never let a comment go without a response. A quick, “thanks so much!” goes a long way. Answer questions that are posed, give recommendations, and offer advice.
While “Likes” are great for you, it’s awfully nice to return the favor. Take notice of who most of your “Likes” are coming from check out their content once in a while. Maybe you can throw a “Like” their way. Also, regularly check your News Feed and be sure to “Like” anything of interest, comment where you feel inclined, and “Share” posts that would be interesting to your fans.
Twitter: This has quickly become my favorite social network. The exchanges are brief, but so great for business. Your notifications have to be checked constantly, this is where all the action happens!
You’ll get a ton of “thanks for following!” tweets and make sure you “favorite” every single one. If someone writes anything at all outside the box, make sure you respond. If someone writes, “Happy Monday!” give them a “Happy Monday to you as well” in return. Give every compliment a huge “THANKS!” and show appreciation for the interaction. Answer every question and offer advice when needed.
Retweets are also a great way of engaging. If someone pays you a nice compliment, definitely retweet it! Not only does it let all of your followers know that someone likes your work, but it’s also free publicity for your follower’s twitter handle (win win for all!).
Regularly peruse your Timeline for tweets that your followers would enjoy and retweet them. It’s always greatly appreciated to have tweets spread and followers will be much more likely to return the favor.
Linkedin: This network is all business, so if your purpose is to “get” business, you’d be smart to stay on top of your engagement. Constantly be checking for Invitations and promptly accept them. Don’t be too selective. Unless someone seems extremely shady, don’t turn anyone away.
Check your Notifications for endorsements. When someone endorses you for a skill, it’s really nice to try and do the same for them. This can get a bit time consuming, but do your best. If you do post articles, always check for any comments and respond accordingly.
Private messages are very big on Linkedin. Make sure you check your inbox and reply promptly. This is a goldmine for new business!
Does all this seem like a lot of work? It definitely is, but nothing you can’t manage. I will honestly tell you that by maintaining these 3 social networks, you WILL get business.
Personally, ALL of my clients in the past 8 months have come from Twitter and Linkedin. I NEVER have to solicit my services. In fact, I get so many people contacting me; I have to turn projects away.
Is this because I’m just that good? I would love to think so. I do try and be the best writer I can be, but the amount of contacts I have are not from luck. They’re from NETWORKING.
People like to say that “Content Is King.” While this is true, I like to say, “CONTACT Is King!”