Stacy Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing, Inc., a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing, Stacy is a co-host of The B2B Mix Show podcast. You can follow her on Twitter at @stacy_jax and connect with her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/stacyjax).

social media engagement tipsA key part of doing social media is, well, being social. It’s important that you engage with customers and prospects on each of your platforms every day. The more you’re there interacting with with your social media followers and others, the better results you’ll get.

Here are several easy ways to start engaging with your social media followers & internet audience.

  • Ask Questions. Chances are someone in your network audience will love the chance to share opinions in response to questions you ask on social media. You can pose questions based on something closely connected to your business or industry; or your questions could be about something that’s not really relevant at all — something fun or timely. Make your questions intriguing and avoid controversial topics like religious or political topics, unless that’s your niche.
  • Comment on a Post. Commenting on content posted by industry experts, your fans and followers, etc., can be another great way to engage with your audience. Don’t “phone it in” with some generic comment like “nice post” — add some value or ask another question. Make your content stand out by adding insightful comments and questions — don’t use it as a way to add a link back to your site unless it is absolutely, 1000% relevant. Otherwise, your link will likely be treated as spam. Even if the link to your site is relevant, you probably don’t want to add it as part of your comment because it will treated with suspicion.
  • Reply to Questions. Whenever one of your followers asks a question, be sure to answer it as quickly as possible. Make answering follower/fan questions a top priority each day. A quick response shows that you’re friendly, responsive, and helpful — great for branding and building trust.
  • Reply to Mentions. Take time to reply when people mention your name or brand in their posts. In social media applications like HootSuite, you can set up alerts to monitor whenever someone has mentioned you. Thank them for mentioning you and give some additional insights on the topic of discussion.
  • Share Content. No brainer that you want to share your own content, but you can get a good discussion going by sharing content you find elsewhere: infographics, images, videos, news article. Share your own comment about the content you are posting — this can encourage discussion and feedback from your followers and fans.

Do You Know Your Audience?

To be the most effective in your engagements online, it’s important to know your audience’s social media habits well. Where are they and what are they doing while they are using social media? Are they at work? Are they watching TV? Do they use it to research products and deals? Are they socializing? Use this knowledge to engage and be relevant. If you sell products to teen girls, you might comment on a show like Pretty Little Liars when it’s airing, for example.

Be Social

Social media is a place to be personable and social with your customers and prospects. Don’t fall into the trap of just promoting your business or repeating the same marketing messages over and over again. This is your opportunity to engage on a personal level. Make it fun, entertaining, and educational.

Try this:

  1. Every day for the next week, scan through your lists and groups and reply to 3 comments and/or questions.
  2. Post one question on Twitter and Facebook each day (or other active platform you use, such as Google+).
  3. Check in 3 times each day and respond to any replies.
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