This week is all about how to engage people on social media. What does that even mean? Well, engagement on social media isn’t just about getting people to read your content, it is also about getting them to comment on a post, follow you on various social media platforms, or repost your content. In an overwhelmingly huge world of content, how do you find your niche in it all? That’s a question I’m asking myself too. And it starts with adding value.
If there’s anything I’ve learned people don’t like it’s someone who talks only to brag on themselves or simply talks without really saying anything of value. This applies to in-person interaction and online communities, right? I’m flashing back to group work projects or staff meetings, and I think everyone can relate to that. So the key to avoiding this downfall is to know your audience and understand what they want.
For example, say someone is really passionate about breakfast cereal— they’ve found their focus! So how can they use that passion and engage with others via social media? What I’ve discovered is that it isn’t actually that simple! And why? Because there’s already so much content being produced. Below you’ll see a list of tips based on the readings listed at the bottom of this post.
1. Find your focus– breakfast cereal
2. Do your research– See what other content producers related to your topic already exist online. Look into what content the big breakfast cereal brands producing, who else is blogging about it. See what already exist, what’s working, what isn’t working, and why.
3. Know your audience– Understand who’s your target for your content. Is it producers of breakfast cereal? Other lovers of breakfast cereal? And what information would be useful to them? Rather than simply focusing on what you like, in order to engage your audience you must first listen to what they want. Perhaps they want recipes, craft ideas, stories, products, health information, or stats. Figure out what they want, and give it to them.
4. Produce good content and do it regularly– It can be tough to come up with new ideas for content, but don’t shy about from sharing the other good content you’ve found in your research. This still adds value. You don’t always have to be the producer of content, sharing the other good content adds a lot of value to your followers. Set a schedule for yourself so that you never go silent.
5. Make it visual– Posts without visuals don’t get nearly as much engagement as those with visuals. Be sure to add in photos, infographics (I love those), and videos. This will help keep your followers interested. Here for example you can see a creative logo for a cereal lovers group
In a quick google search for cereal lovers I found this group that’s all across social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. AND, they have more than 4,500 followers!!! They are doing something right: https://twitter.com/HelloCereal
6. Keep the conversation going– Once you’ve produced the content, that’s only the beginning. You’ll need to share that content across various platforms to reach followers and potential followers. You must respond to people’s comments. Answer their questions, and maybe ask them questions too.
This is the slimmed down version of all I learned in the readings this week. It’s a lot to take in, but these were my take-aways. Here’s a list of the readings if you’d like to learn more:
- 50 Ways to Energize your Social Media Community and Audiences
- Guy Kawasaki: How to Build Social Media Influence in 10 Steps
- 9 Steps To Creating Engaging Content [Infographic]
- The 2013 Social Media Landscape [Infographic]
- Content is Fire and Social Media is Gasoline
Now questions for you: (I could really use the advice!)
What are your tips for creating titles and tags that draw people in?
How is blog writing different from other styles of writing? Any suggestions on how to structure a blog post?
What’s your favorite kind of cereal, and why?