It’s pretty common practice these days for businesses to have a social media presence. Social media marketing has become an extension of company branding, public relations, customer service and even sales.

Back in January, we discussed the philosophy behind creating  a successful social media strategy.

We talked about having a well-developed editorial calendar, choosing the different social media platforms best for your business, consistently posting at optimal times and how to find potential customers through hashtags.

These are important, necessary elements that gets you to “talk” to your audience. Today, we are going to discuss taking your strategy a step further with something called “engagement. Engagement is about listening.

Social media is, well, being social. If you were at a party, you are would probably be attracted to joining in on a conversation that is interesting, informative, relates to your interests and makes you laugh. The interaction of your thoughts and comments with other people’s thoughts and comments is enjoyable and entertaining. However, if one person in the conversation was just doing all the talking and not a whole lot of listening…it becomes a bit of a turn off. It is the same with social media. Sometimes we need to listen. So, how do you listen?

Below are 3 basic tips on how to listen…or engage:

  1. Monitor Your Newsfeed. Monitor your feed which should consist of your fans and people/pages you have liked. These are your friends at the party you want to listen in on their conversation.  If you followed our tips on audience building, you also have potential referrers and businesses that you’d like to attract.  “Like” what you see and even comment where appropriate. You are showing support to the people that matter, and they see that…and remember that when they need you.
  2. Use Hashtags. Hashtags make it very easy to get right to the conversations you want. Simply #your industry need…or #your main customer (Example: You own a pet grooming business—use #pets or #petowner, #dogowner). You will sometimes get competitors, but you will also get customers. Like, share, and comment on these posts.And although most people only think about Twitter when it comes to hashtags, it is just as effective for the other social media platforms. Here are great tips for Using Hashtags on Social Networks Other than Twitter.
  3. Google topics. Simply search topics on Google that would be of interest to your audience. You are finding these articles on the web as opposed to finding them in your newsfeed, but the result is the same…it is a form of engagement. However, with this method, you are liking/sharing directly from the article. For instance, if you own a landscaping company in CT, Google: “landscaping tips in Connecticut”:

The first item as seen in the example above, is a great article from Connecticut Magazine. So, not only are you sharing an interesting and helpful article with your audience, you are showing support of a major, local media outlet.

Again, you may come across competitors, but you will also discover industry articles and happenings that you can share with your target audience.  Here you may also find industry experts that you can add to your referral list and share their posts.

(Tip: Specifically select “News” as opposed to “Web” and you will be sure to get current articles)


Keep in mind, it is helpful to set an appropriate amount of time you want to spend on engagement each week. As mentioned, engagement is one part of the social media marketing campaign. Examine your budget and figure an amount of time for engagement that fits best. Now, stop talking…and go listen!

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