Engagement is of paramount importance when it comes to getting it right in social media. Your contributions on social networks form the outward representation of your brand or company online and define how you are viewed by others.
Which is why effective and compelling engagement requires scrupulous planning and calls for careful consolidation of your overall social media strategy and content plan.
Three simple recommendations for successful engagement include:
1. Decide your online persona
Your outputs must correspond with your company or brand persona, which should be carefully considered and agreed before launching into online communications. Those engaging on your behalf need to understand and embody your brand or company’s social media personality, so that they reflect this in their tweets, posts and blogs. Bear in mind that social media often requires a different, or slightly more relaxed tone of voice.
2. Establish clear etiquette and workflow guidelines
This should be given careful consideration during strategy planning, however, it’s important to make sure that these rules are maintained and translated in your engagement on social networks. Consistency is key, particularly when you have more than one employee participating on your brand or company’s behalf.
Establishing a clear workflow for handling detractors is also something that requires careful consideration. Your employees need clear guidelines for responding to defamers, general criticisms and social customer service issues in an appropriate manner.
3. Listen & ask questions
Listening to your community can provide you with insight into the kind of engagement that will get them participating. Your followers and fans won’t appreciate it if you bombard them with irrelevant content, which offers no means of getting involved. Social media isn’t about shouting with a megaphone, it’s about generating a conversation, asking questions. If you don’t offer your fans a two-way dialogue then you are failing from the outset.
For further ideas and inspiration for engagement, we recommend a report recently published by Radian6, titled ‘30 ideas for your 2012 social media plan’.