Social Media is Like a Cocktail Party. If You Want Engagement You Can’t Just Stand There!
Social Media Engagement
This is not the first time I commented on social media, but this issue keeps coming up in conversations with our clients. Social media is much more than simply “Likes” and “Followers.” It is about Social Media Engagement, the way businesses and brands interact with their online audience. In 2017 and beyond it will be much more about the value you provide to your customers than simply making a sale. Reaching the highest level of social media engagement takes time. Let us show you what you need to do to get there.
Imagine you are at a big party. You notice someone of interest and stay near them. At the right opportunity you introduce yourself and start a conversation. You discover you have mutual interests. The discussion gets lively and others join in. Soon you introduce your new acquaintance to your friends. Social media is much like that big party. Let’s go and join, shall we?
The 7 Levels of Social Media Engagement
Level 1 – Attention
A user follows your updates, but does not interact with them. This type of social user remains almost undetected, and there is extremely little social media engagement at this level.
Level 2 – Appreciation
The user shows appreciation for your update through a like, vote or favorite. Better than just attention this is still not very much in the way of social media engagement. Think of it as a passing smile at the party.
Level 3 – Sharing
Now we are getting somewhere! The user shares your updates with his own network. This not only indicates a higher level of social media engagement; it also puts your content in front of a larger audience.
Level 4 – Opinion
The user expresses an opinion through a comment on your post. This can be both good and bad. Positive comments are great, but negative comments are not. Make sure to address any kind of comments as soon as possible as conversations on social media have a limited lifespan.
Level 5 – Contribution
The user creates and publishes content and collaborates with your brand. Your level of social media engagement is definitely on the way up! Think of it as having pictures taken of you with your new friends at the party. Don’t forget to smile!
Level 6 – Animation
The user animates conversations with your other followers. This helps to reinforce your level of social media engagement and boost your brand image at the same time. By this stage the user is familiar with all aspects of your brand and online personality.
Level 7 – Advocacy
This is the ultimate level of social media engagement! The user acts as an ambassador for your brand. Congratulations, you have become the hit of the party. Not only do people want to hear your story, they want to tell your story for you. Your brand advocates in a way become a duplicate of you. Think of it as having a whole bunch of Mini-Me’s!
Raising Your Level of Social Media Engagement
This is both easier and harder than most people think. Once we establish that likes and follows are really only the beginning we can start our clients on the path of higher social media engagement. We tell them that social media is just like having a conversations in real life. Of course, in the digital world you can have as many conversations as you like with folks from just about everywhere.
One common misconception is that you have to be on all the platforms to get social media engagement. Yes, it does help to be on more than one social network, But equally important is that you are comfortable with what you are doing. It is perfectly OK to start with just one or two social networks. Maybe you already have one you like; start with that one! You can always branch out later.
The key is consistency rather than volume. The worst thing you can do for your social media engagement is to post like crazy for the first two or three days, and then slowly fade out. This is a common trend, especially when small business owners don’t get the social media results the expect, and quit in frustration. So start at your own pace, be consistent, and have fun. If you come across as a fun and engaging person or brand people will want to engage with you.
Rules of Social Media Engagement
Just like in a real conversation there are a few things you should keep in mind as you increase your social media engagement. You may already have your own Facebook page, but sicial media engagement for small business is a little different than updating your own status. Most of this should be common sense, but just in case here are a few pointers:
If nobody is starting a conversation with you find a conversation that you can join. Remember we are talking engagement here! You need to contribute in order to get results, so don’t stand over by the wall trying to blend into the background. Hey, aren’t they talking about that new spa or burger joint you love? Why not join the conversation? There are all kinds of conversations on social media, so at least one must interest you.
It doesn’t matter who starts the conversation, you have to contribute. Conversations with only one side talking get pretty boring very fast. And don’t forget that conversations don’t last that long on social media, so don’t wait too long to respond to a comment. So don’t be shy, say something!
Be nice to people!
That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, or even like what they said. If they said something nice be sure to thank them. If someone said something negative take the high road. Tell your side of the story, and if you have facts that back up your side be sure to present them. But don’t let yourself be tempted by name calling, or worse. It will come back to haunt you, guaranteed!
Don’t forget the golden rule. If you want people to engage with you on social media you will have to engage with people as well. So go out and find some interesting pages and profiles, and start liking, sharing, and talking to them. We guarantee, not only will you have fun, your social media engagement will go up as well!
Getting Help with Social Media Engagement
Let’s face it, social media engagement is not for everyone. We know people who would rather have a tooth pulled than going on Facebook or tweeting. And that’s OK. Don’t force it! If you are uncomfortable on social media you better stay away from it before you come across the wrong way and damage your brand reputation.
Your small business can still get the social media engagement it needs to grow; many small businesses simply don’t have the time or interest to run their own social media campaigns. Your available options range from hiring an intern from the local college to engaging the services of a social media agency. Many areas also have Meetups and networking events where small business owners can learn more about social media. Constant Contact offers free social media marketing events across the country, and so do many Microsoft stores.
More Social Media Resources
If you are still getting the hang of social media engagement you might also like to check out these posts from our ESPRESSO Shots Blog:
- Social Media Marketing Guide for Business Owners
- Converting Small Business Social Media Into Sales
- Creating Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies
- The Easy Way to Social Media Marketing Success
- 9 Social Media Mistakes Most Businesses Make
- A Social Media Starter Kit for Business Owners
Still Confused by Social Media Engagement?
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and have our highly caffeinated team handle social media engagement for your small business. We are experts at social media engagement and strategy. Our social media strategists will help you refine and execute your strategy while our community managers will be your brand’s voice on social media. Why not get started by requesting your free estimate for raising your level of social media engagement?
And if you are still not sure where your level of social media engagement is or how you can raise it, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way for your business to avoid social media mistakes and get the social media engagement you need in the digital age. That is one of our specialties, after all!
Do you have any social media engagement tips you would like to share? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post on social media engagement with your audience!
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