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If you don’t use social media to engage with people, then you haven’t understood the real value of social media marketing.

It’s now all about building relationships.

Social engagement creates activity and gets you talking. It should be the bread and butter of any solid social media campaign and can be the result of sharing compelling content.

Marketing metrics should be identified, measured and analysed to understand how effective your social engagement practices are. You shouldn’t participate in online conversation just for the sake of being active – it must be focused and purposeful.

So, how can you establish social engagement? Below are 7 methods for getting active (in human form) on social media.

1. Look For Opportunities

You should be actively looking for engagement opportunities. There are numerous opportunities that can arise on a regular basis to generate more engagement with customers or general audiences.

2. Get Personal

This includes speaking to the individuals rather than the whole networks. Individuals are the consumers and should be treated as such.

Consumers want to feel special, even if the company is saying the same things to each person. You should speak to potential customers as though the information they are receiving is specifically designed for them.

Relationships can be built in many different ways. One way is through sharing engaging content that consumers want to read, rather than boring sales pitches. Another is to open up a conversation with consumers through the comments sections or in social media.

Another major way to get personal is through participating in the community. This can be the community in person or the community through websites.

3. Leverage Existing Features

There are numerous features of different social networks that you can leverage to create social engagement. Two in particular are Google Hangouts and Twitter chats (using Hashtags).

Consumers want to feel as though the company they work with is at their level and not above them, and by using the latest social media platforms and tools to engage people on their own turf, businesses can do just that.

Different features will appeal to different types of people, so do your research and test various features that you haven’t yet used to see which one best suits your audience and business.

4. Expand Into New Channels

There are plenty of social media platforms available out there. Chances are, you discovered which would be best suited to your audiences before you established a presence on the networks.

But re-evaluating whether those social networks that you initially chose not to participate in might be useful today, might throw up some new insights.

Perhaps you missed a marketing opportunity? Perhaps something now applies that makes another social network viable or appropriate?

By expanding into new channels, you can create different kinds of social engagement to a wider audience.

5. Run Contests Or Promotions

7 Ways of Creating Social Engagement To Get Active - Run Contests Or Promotions

Image Source: BBC

Contests or activities where there is a prize awarded at the end can spur social engagement. People like to get the thrill of competing and the dream of winning.

Contests can even include social engagement as the entry into the promotion. Often, the rules of online contests can include the need to share content, or comment on content, in order to enter.

This also provides another form of content to use in your content marketing efforts. Promoting the contests, discussing the contests, awarding prizes, speaking with winners – all of this social engagement and activity creates content that can double down as additional resources to create further social engagement.

6. Create Better Quality Content

No piece of content is ever perfect. It can, though, be perfect of a short period of time. Try to seize the moment and create better content aimed at creating actions and generating social activity.

Every form of content can always be made with better quality; whether it is video, audio, or graphics. There are multiple ways to create high quality content.

One way is through knowledge of the audience. Different groups of individuals will have a different reaction to content. Always make sure the content is edited – nothing is worse than spelling mistakes or unfinished media.

Another way is to mix up the content used. This simply means the use of video, audio, infographics, Slideshare etc – together. Offer your audience more.

7. Ask For Feedback And Adjust

There are multiple ways to ask for feedback. Surveys can be used to collect and analyse hard data. Most sites have commenting options to allow people to provide their thoughts. Another is being accessible with various methods of communication, so that people can reach out via email, Skype or phone with feedback.

In order to progress and create more social engagement, you have to listen to your audience.

Develop Your Social Engagement Practices

You should always be looking to improve your social media marketing capabilities. It is a dynamic landscape and if you stand still for even a moderate period, then chances are you would have fallen behind.

There are many social media tools available for assisting your social media engagement practices. Hootsuite is one that comes straight to mind for help with management practices.

Always remember the essence of social media – a person to person platform for facilitating engagement. If you don’t take part in social engagement, you probably shouldn’t be on social media altogether.

Has being active in social media led you to develop any lasting personal or business relationships?

Has undertaking social engagement created any sales for your business?