I think the real reason is people do not know how to define engagement and they are worried that people will find out that they basically broadcast information and really do not engage on social media sites. My frustration with this topic is that everyone talks about engagement a but no one ever provides examples on how to effectively do it.
I look at engagement a bit differently than most. I think broadcasting and engaging really go together and if you work at it, you will get better at it over time. It does take some work, but it is much more than staring at Twitter or Linkedin for 4 hours straight and trying to engage others in conversation. Let’s take a closer look at this topic using the Twitter and Linkedin platforms.
Engagement on Twitter
Most of the talk on Twitter is broadcasting. People have something to say and they just put it out there for people to read. Many people link to a news article or a website or blog site. I typically tell people about a blog article I have written and try to get people’s attention. The engagement piece for me is trying to effectively tell people why they should read an article I have written. I need to be sharing something of value and make sure I am communicating that to current followers and potential new followers.
In addition, I try to read other people’s content and if I feel it has valuable information, I think it is my duty to tell others about it. For me it is about gaining knowledge and sharing that knowledge with others. It is always great to acknowledge the writer when possible and I will often modify the current tweet to stay within the 140 character limit.
I try to use hashtags too more for subject areas or keywords but I have not found them as effective professionally speaking. Kids are more into creative hashtags.
With such a limited amount of characters, the only way to effectively engage with others is to get people’s attention. Here are some phrases I use on a consistent basis.
“A must read for marketers”
“Great comments from a CEO”
“A must read today”
Obviously, I will also look at following up with a personal message after the initial conversation, but you have to start somewhere.
Engagement on Linkedin
Linkedin is the place for me for true engagement from a professional standpoint. The Linkedin Publishing Platform has helped me see the value of engagement with business professionals. If you write “great content”, people will notice and they will take the time to comment on your articles. In addition, I have started following a number of great people who use this platform and it is really a great place to share comments and ideas with others. Linkedin has groups too that can also be powerful places for engagement too.
It is important to leave comments with others and give people credit for coming up with topics for discussion. There is real value here.
- If you question someone’s position on a topic, make sure you do it in a professional manner. (No Brainer)
- Always try to leave a comment for the person who wrote the article. I see too many people disagree with other people’s comments. Let the author deal with these items (Many people forget this)
- Check out the people commenting on your articles…See if there are opportunities to connect or follow back (You are probably doing this. Nothing new)
- Any comments outside of the original article should be taken off-line, consider sending a Linkedin email to the person if you have a paid account. (Good Advice)
- Start using the Linkedin Publishing Platform and share more ideas with professionals (Best Advice – It is a difference-maker on Linkedin)
Can’t Engage With Everyone
Engagement is such a strong word for the act of “communicating and sharing” of ideas and information. Let’s just call it what it is. People are only interested in information that personally and professionally affect them. If you want to be effective on social media, share information on a particular topic, get people to share their comments on your topic and respond back to their comments. It really is that simple.