Talk less, say more

Engagement is a tricky beast. It’s the conrnerstone of any good social media strategy but it’s also the most difficult part. 

There are certain people I follow (or like, or subscribe to or whatever) who spend, literally all day banging out short, platitudinous responses to people. It’s a form of engagement which works, they are popular people and they always have lots of conversations on the go. The only problem is that most of those conversations idle chit-chat, very rarely do they tip over into useful conversation. 

Now don’t get me wrong.

I’m not telling you how to conduct yourself. If that’s why you’re in the game then by all means carry on. If, however, you have a business reason to be here, then listen up. 

This approach does work for a handful of people, because when they do actually have something useful or interesting to say, their highly engaged audience are all ears. The only problem is that it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to keep that up. If that’s your adopted strategy then you’re going to need to be online 24/7 and constantly replying to people with things like “Yeah, cool” or “Totally agree.” 

Most businesses I know don’t have that sort of resource.

Even if you have a dedicated social media person they’re going to want to eat and sleep (probably). So my advice to you is not to follow that model. Yes, social media is about engagement but if your resources are limited then concentrate on making the most of the time you have available. Steer away from the platitudes where you can and talk about what’s important. Talk about things that are related to your business, just talk about them in such a way that it’s open and friendly. 

The minute you try to broaden that engagement you are creating a rod for your own back. People will begin to expect it of you and if you can’t continue to deliver…

Image credit: Julia Freeman-Woolpert

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