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Social Media For Newbies Part 2: Types of Engagement

 

How Engaged Are You?

Engagement is an important variable to the various social media platforms; it brings traffic and noise to your site and page and eventually will take your name to heights you could not dream of. The key is to use these types of engagement in the right way and at the right time. This is a beginner’s guide to understanding social media engagement.

There are four types of engagement; all four should be used at once, interchangeably. Using only one will not suffice.

1. Testimonial or Statement update

Personally we say “I’m going to the supermarket” or “I’m taking the kids to school” or “I’m having lunch”. No response required. Corporates say “we’re launching a new product”, “our Director is happy with our end of year results”. No action required. Limited engagement.

2. Q and A or Social Search

Shift “I’m having lunch” into

Examples:

What should I have for lunch?

What are you having for lunch?

Where’s a good place to go for lunch in Washington DC?

3. Social or Discussion

On Twitter we use the @name for a reason – to bring that person into the conversation. Simply placing content online does not guarantee discussion -try bringing in relevant people. On Facebook personally we can use +Zoomph and the same works on Google Plus. By naming people and “tagging them” they can be pinged with interesting content.

Do not do this simply to promote e.g. @Zoomph here’s a special offer you’d love. But sending someone a report or analytics or an infographic or a newspaper article definitely will build relationships.

Think: pay it forward, with generosity on social media. You should be sharing content, retweeting individuals, and answer questions.

4. Distribution of content inside and outside the platform

A key mechanism of social channels is distribution (not creation) of content (finding, filtering and forwarding or discovering, discussing and distributing).

Inside the platform:  Sharing someone else’s content on Facebook, retweeting something on Twitter. In other words, you forward it on the network you are using. Particularly useful is forwarding key influencer material, or client issues. Remember: invest your time in the channels where you customers or interested parties invest their time. That may or may not mean LinkedIn or Google Plus.

Outside the platform:  Sharing something from offsite into the network. Finding an interesting blog post and tweeting the link. Putting up a YouTube video on Facebook. Try and think reciprocal sharing with key social media influencers rather than tweeting your own links.                                                         

The essence of social media engagement is a two way conversation; if you make the effort to listen before you speak, your audience will take the effort to listen when you speak. Constant talking, sharing, and traffic are the keys to good engagement and eventually to the success of your name and brand. Using the right keywords, hashtags etc. is essential to the eventual goal of growing your brand and penetrating new markets. 

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