Sunday, April 15, 2012

Social Media Tip: 3 Easy Ways to Engage Yourself in Social Media

Social media is pretty much all of the rage here on the Internet.

Hardly anyone alive has not heard that you HAVE to use social media.
If we're in marketing, just about any advice includes an enormous emphasis on using social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

(To be fair, I've never used Pinterest, and I cannot speak with ANY intelligence about how to engage on it.)

One of the biggest pieces of advice surrounding social media that many people hear (because it is easy to TELL people to do it) but not so easy to apply is to ENGAGE your connections, friends, followers, etc.

Here are three (3) EASY ways to engage yourself by using social media.

1. Ask Polarizing Questions that are easy for people to answer.

"Should we raise taxes?"

Do you know anyone that does NOT have an opinion about this?

Not only does each person have an opinion, but it also is easy to answer.  It is also easy for people to explain why THEY feel the way they do.

I'm not suggesting that you have to use political questions.  In fact, there are only a few places where that would be a good idea, but this example demonstrates my point.

When you ask questions that evoke a lot of emotion without having to think, you are going to get a lot of responses.

More Responses = More Opportunities for You to Engage

Yes, it's important that you leave questions in places where people are LOOKING TO ANSWER.  I'm pretty active within several LinkedIn Groups, but I know that some groups are meant more for broadcasting (monologue), and other groups encourage more conversation (dialogue).

Some people that answer will do a better job contributing to the discussion than others.

Here is a great chance for you to identify which people might have the strongest voices in your area.

When your original questions start to form a discussion, then you can begin a discussion with them--separating yourself from many other people on the Internet who don't take time or have the courage to answer.

Ask an easy question (to answer), and you will provide yourself with an easy way to join a conversation.  In fact, when more people answer, you will have more ways to join a conversation.

More people will get to know YOU--not just your name.

2. Share Posts from Others That Have Lots of Comments

I need to clarify this--I mean share a post from OTHER places.

If you see a cool post in one group that would benefit another group, SHARE it.

If you see a post in LinkedIn, you can share this on Twitter.

If you see a cool post on Twitter, you can share this on Facebook or LinkedIn.

This is a good idea, anyway, but it's REALLY a good idea when you see a lot of comments.

Give credit to the author, and also give credit to the person whose post you saw.

For instance, if John Average posted something cool from Jane Famous, acknowledge BOTH of these people.

I learned this by accident recently.  I posted something I thought was good, but I noticed that it had a lot of comments.  Many of these comments represented two (2) different views on the topic.  So there were a lot of comments--and conversations.

I posted this person's blog post, and wow...this discussion might have generated as many comments on my post that I shared as it did on this person's own blog.

If something provokes a lot of conversation in one building (group), it will probably provoke a lot of discussion in another building, especially if the people in each place have similar interests.

More Responses = More Opportunities for You to Engage

Again, the more responses you provoke, the more opportunity you have to engage in conversation.

The more you engage in conversation, the more that people will get to know YOU--not just your name.

3. Directly Ask Questions to People Who Comment

Not every comment requires a response.

However, many people put a lot of thought into their responses.

It is a good idea to acknowledge them, because they really are contributing--not only to their reputation--but they are contributing to your discussion thread (post).  This means that they are helping you raise other people's awareness about you, even if that is not their intention.

An even better idea than simply acknowledging their response is to ask them a question.
  • about something within their comment
  • about something on their profile that relates to the discussion (especially on LinkedIn)
  • send a personal message, asking a question about them--even if it does not relate to the discussion
BONUS: Ask Questions That Allow People or Businesses to Brag

Almost everyone is proud of something that they have done or something (or someone) that they represent.

You can learn a lot about a topic and trigger a lot of discussion by asking
  • what makes you special
  • what makes you unique
  • why do people refer you
  • why do people return to you
  • why are you a bargain
I think that you get the idea.  You will find a lot about what other people and business (within an occupation or an industry) value.

More importantly, you will have all sorts of opportunity to engage in conversation.

More Responses = More Opportunities for You to Engage

I did this within a bakery group.  I happen to love donuts (and other sweets), and I learned some really neat things.  Plus, I might visit some places when I leave town.  I'm always interested in eating good tasting food.

Some of you reading this are already members of the so-called choir, and you're already engaging in social media conversation.

However, if you keep hearing that you should "engage" in social media but weren't sure how to do it, I hope that this gave you a few ideas--that are easy for you to apply.

If not, just ask.

To the veterans, have I missed any other gems?  I'm still learning the nuances of social media, and I am open to learning, too.

Like this post?  Other recent posts are

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1 comment:

  1. The great thing is always that some places


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