Six tips to drive a response through social mediaArticle added by Amy McIlwain on April 20, 2011
Amy McIlwain

Amy McIlwain

Denver, CO

Joined: August 26, 2010

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We’ve compiled a list from experience and research of the best social media posts to engage your connections. Check them out and let us know if we’ve missed any.

We’ve all been there – you make a seemingly attention-getting post on any one of your social networks and excitedly await the myriad responses that are sure to come. Nothing. No replies or even “likes.”

It’s not only frustrating but also disconcerting to put your personal opinions, attitudes and views out into the public domain and get no response. Furthermore, one of the best ways to network and market your name and brand is to engage your followers and initiate conversations and relationship-building dialogues.

So, what should you do? We’ve compiled a list from experience and research of the best social media posts to engage your connections. Check them out and let us know if we’ve missed any.

Reply and engage with your followers

Now, this technically isn’t a social media post, but in actively engaging with your followers you can attract more attention to your pages as well.

Go beyond hitting the “like” button and start commenting and sharing their stories. Eventually, they’ll notice your interaction and start doing the same for you. Reciprocation is huge in social media forums.

Cross-pollinate

Don’t just regurgitate meaningless news from RSS feeds or unconnected sources. Do some research and take the time to find the best news for you and your audience. And don’t just post it.

Prepend the information with a comment of your own and strike up a conversation. Finding ways to promote the people who visit your blog, to praise your community, and to engage them on their own blogs and sites are all ways to build a relationship that gives back.

Use videos

Telling a story visually is very powerful. There are so many ways to involve the community with video — company-driven promotions, special community profile stories, new product uses, guest evangelists. All of these provide higher levels of engagement.

Call to action

Marketers have known that the best way to get consumers to do something is to tell them exactly what to do. Another name for this is call to action. Use strong calls to action on sharing links, and highlight them to stand out.
By making it obvious, consumers that otherwise would not, may pass your content along. Consider how effective writing something like “don’t forget to retweet this” or “email your friends” could be at creating an action.

Ask questions and for help

People love to give their two cents. Give them a question and a forum to do so.

I’ve seen so many posts that are simply statements and have received little to no comments. You have to give your audience something to chew on; something that will initiate thought and give them a reason to want to respond.

Promote creative contests using social media

Now that social media is in mode, there’s no reason to limit a content submission to just a one-way promotional mailing list. Social media contests are multi-directional — they allow for increased customer engagement and content generation.

With creativity and a thoughtful connection to your audience, a contest can provide a host of benefits beyond just a list of names. You can connect your brand to an existing community, use trivia and provide network discounts for online signups and more.

One final piece of advice on engaging your followers is tracking your social media posts. Be sure to keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Did you post a question about the financial markets and get a multitude of comments? Or maybe you posted a link to a great article on retirement planning and received countless responses.

Regardless of what works, be sure to record what social media posts are most successful for you and your business. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.
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