One of the toughest things that I find in building a Social Network is engagement. Consistency, content, and relevance all have the ability to engage. However, the idea of engagement presents a challenge if you are not going to spend all your working hours entirely focused on interacting with your followers. Still, to effectively create a network, you must engage with your followers. With the little time we have, how can we as full time business people and part-time networkers hope to grow our audience? As I continue to grow my own audience, these are a few things I would recommend for consideration.
Be Yourself – Because the social arena is almost a phantom world, one might have a tendency to embellish who they are or who they desire to be. If trust is the goal, then you must convey to the listening and viewing world who you are!!! For example, I am a fun loving guy but that trait is more often revealed after I have established competence and credibility. I therefore allow this to transcend in my social media interactions. Initiate with who you are, and allow individuals to respond to your true personality and temperament. In the long run, this will create trust between you and your followers.
Be Responsive – Timely responses are critical to engagement if at all possible. While the other party is engaged and the conversation is fluid, do your best to keep it alive with a quick response. This allows the conversation to expand, stay on task, and increase relevance. Quick interaction that becomes conversation can cause others to become more interested. Often times it may even influence them to engage in the exchange.
Be Relevant – Interact on subjects that are intriguing and relevant to the marketplace. This may include your area of focus, your interests, fun topics, or current news (relevant to your business or interests). Sharing these items and interacting with people that share on similar subjects is second nature for many that actively use social media, but of importance to consider for those whom the social media world is somewhat new. People desire to interact with you and the sizzle of your business and interests alone are magnetic to engaging followers.
Certainly, I could expand upon how to engage with your audience, and intend to write more on the subject. There are many ways to go about social media engagement and these are a few basic ideas that can help direct you to start interacting.