Social Media Networking and Blogging are about engaging with other people! What about you? Are you getting comments on your Blogs? Do people Like your posts on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on ActiveRain, on Google Plus, and on the other social media sites that you participate on? Do people watch your videos on YouTube? Are you getting Friends and Followers?
Blogging and Social Media should help you to meet potential clients and customers. These websites allow us to meet business partners and referral partners. You have the opportunity to connect with service providers, vendors, and other professionals in your industry.
If you are NOT getting any response to your posts, if your Blogs don't get any comments, if your Tweets are falling on deaf ears, if your Facebook Page is a ghost town - then you need to look at the 13 Ways listed below to engage with people!
13 Ways to Engage People on Blogs and Social Media
1. Your Blogs and Posts must be about Things that Matter!
You must offer relevant, useful content to your Blog readers. Your Social Media Marketing strategy should provide instruction, updates, how-to's, guidelines, caveats, directions, advice, and other information that your readers can take to the bank.
An occasional joke, recipe, photo of your pet, political remark, or update on the big game may be perfectly acceptable (you want to present your human side to your audience). But if you are looking to gain business clients and industry partners, then your posts must be primarily about the Business that you practice.
2. Optimize Your Blogs and Posts
Apply SEO strategies to every tweet, Facebook post, comment, blog, and video that you upload to the Internet. Use #hashtags to get found on Twitter and other sites. Maximize keywords and links in your Blogs (just like you would do on your Website). In the photos that you post, put detailed, keyword-rich descriptions behind the image. Remember: "Content is King" for Google, Bing, and other Search Engines.
3. Get Visual!
Statistics prove that adding photos, images, or videos to your post will greatly increase the number of clicks.
If your posts are "Text Only", you may get passed over. Upload a photo or video to your Blog, tweet, or LinkedIn post. Make sure that your image appears above the fold.
4. Provide a Summary at the beginning and end of your Blog.
Google wants 1000+ word Blogs that are filled with good Content (you had better play that game if you want to rank well). However, human beings may not have the time nor the desire to read those 1000 words. Give your readers "the 411" in the opening and closing paragraphs. Offer a quick summary or synopsis, in case your reader just wants an overview of the subject.
5. Make a Two Minute Video, and a Longer Video.
The attention span of most people is short. If they click on a YouTube or Vimeo video, and the time indicates that the video is 10 minutes long, that person may X out without ever watching your video. Make a 2 minute version, then offer a "See More" or "Learn More" link to a 10 minute video on the same topic.
6. Comment Back and Respond to Feedback Immediately!
When someone comments on your Blog or your Post, acknowledge that person right away. While a written reply or image is the best response, at least hit the Like button, so they will know that you saw their comment.
Don't squander an opportunity to meet a friend, client, or customer by delaying your reply when someone comments on your post.
7. Set up Notifications on your Phone, or to your Email Address
The time to respond to a comment is NOW. Converse with people while your Blog or post is still fresh in their mind. By setting up Notifications, you know instantly when someone is on your Blog or Social Media Page.
8. Be Consistent
Showing up on Facebook once every week or two? Blogging every couple of months? You haven't been on your Pinterest or Houzz Page in how long? If your last tweet or post was weeks or months ago, people may assume that you are either out of business, or have abandoned your Page. You must be consistent!
Tip: Don't sign up for more Social Media sites than you have time for. If you will not or cannot post any longer to one of your Social Media pages, then put a tombstone on it. Post a farewell message, "I will no longer be posting to Facebook, please visit my LinkedIn page". Be sure to provide the Link!
9. Give a Reason to Like your Page
I saw a signboard in front of a coffee shop this morning, it read: "Like Us on Facebook". Uh, why would I want to do that? What's in it for me?
Give people a REASON to follow you, like you, or friend you. For the coffee shop, how about a coupon for a free cup of Joe on my next visit? For a Real Estate Office, offer the latest and greatest market updates in your city or town. A Mortgage Lender could offer current interest rates, or pre-approval services.
You will get more Followers and Likes if your invitation reads, "Like us on Facebook and get something of value for free!"
10. Join Groups
Search out Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Join or follow Groups that provide relevant information. Look for Industry Groups that offer potential business connections within a community of real, live people. Become a "regular"; interact and converse with other members of the Group.
You may want to start your own Group and invite people to join. Caveat: being a Group Administrator or Moderator can be very, very time consuming. Do not bite off more than you can chew!
11. Schedule your Posts and your Tweets
What time of the day are you posting your Blogs? When are you posting on Social Media? When are you commenting? Is anybody out there? If you are Blogging at midnight, who will see that Blog?
Your posts and Blogs need to go out when your audience is on the Internet. If you cannot post during "business hours", then schedule your posts using automated services like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Tweetdeck.
* Don't publish all of your Blogs or posts "back to back". Spread them out over the day. Very few people want to see 20 posts in a row from the same Blogger.
12. Search Out People You Want to Meet
If you join a club or a civic organization, you will probably seek out Influential People. You may be looking for clients or customers. You may be looking for fellow business people who can help you achieve your objectives.
The same thought applies to Social Media and Blogging. Strike up online conversations with people who you want to meet. Comment on their Blogs. Like their Facebook posts. Retweet their tweets. Share their Pinterest and Houzz posts. It is up to you to start the conversation!
13. It's Not Just About Numbers
Everyone wants lots of Followers, lots of Friends, lots of Likes. A large number of Followers might make us look important, authoritative, and popular. But remember that quality is more important than quantity. Concentrate on connecting with people whose company you will enjoy, and on people who will do business with you!
Caveats: Do not try to increase your Following or your Base by purchasing Friends, Followers, or Likes from those online services that offer "5000 Twitter followers for only $39", or "1000 Facebook Likes for only $19". You will get poor quality followers; you may get suspended or banned from a Social Media site for gaming the system. Likewise, be careful with accounts like "Team Follow Back", where you are promised follow-for-follow. You may also get low-quality followers.
Engage with People via Blogging and Social Media!
A good Blog will stimulate conversations between you and your audience. It may lead to "sub-conversations" among the commenters. Great Videos will get thumbs up; they will receive comments. A meaningful Tweet, Pinterest, Houzz, or Facebook post can also get a conversation rolling.
What about you?
Are people commenting on your Blogs, liking your Posts, and talking with you? Are you making friends and business connections on Social Media? If you need a boost in your Online Presence, follow the 13 Tips above!