In my last post about Buffer, I spoke about how Buffer can help automate posts so you’re not sharing a whole bunch of information at once.
But through out the awesome comments that I received, a lot of people were agreeing with me on the fact that,
Buffer is no replacement for engagement.
However, that’s not it at all.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Advanced Social Media: Finding, Engaging, and Converting Consumers
Notice something? They’re both heavily engaged.
They both sell a product that helps save people time through automation but they aren’t using it to replace the social aspect.
You may be saying, “Oh but they’re a business, they have to engage and reply to people all the time!”
They are a business. And so are you, right? Why are you suddenly off the hook not to engage?
We are all busy, every single one of us. However, if you’re truly serious about social media, if you truly want to make those connections and even gain some personal or business relationships out of it, then you’re going to need to put in the everyday work of personally engaging.
So how do you find people to engage with?
1. Get a little off topic. You don’t have to stay on topic ALL the time. I’ll connect with people completely out of my niche to ask them a question or say hi or reply to something they said or wrote. Why? Because I’m a human being! I have other interests besides just social media. And since my Twitter is a mix of business & personal, I take advantage of that by talking on a variety of topics.
2. You’re going to have to look at your social networks every now-and-then. In order to find people to engage with, you’re going to have to check out your Twitter stream & Facebook page and look at what people are saying. You only have to do it maybe 10 minutes a day, three times a day. Yeah, you’ll miss some convos, but you’ll always come across new convos. If it’s a Facebook business page, start liking people in your niche & local area and start commenting on their status messages as your page. It helps!
3. Get involved in Twitter Chats. I haven’t written extensively on Twitter Chats yet which is totally my fault, but I plan to! I LOVE Twitter Chats. You answer questions, you RT other people’s answers, and you generally get involved and find new and interesting people to chat with both inside the chat and outside the chat. I have found numerous amounts of people to chat with on a daily basis through Twitter Chats.
4. Praise people through Twitter, Facebook, their blog, etc. Whether you’re sending an @ message, writing on their wall or leaving a comment, everyone loves to be praised. I love to send a little tweet or leave a message on a Facebook wall saying how much I loved their last post. And I’m totally genuine when I say these things. I wouldn’t go out of my way if I didn’t love what they were doing. For the most part, they respond. If they don’t, then you can bet that I’ll never be leaving a personal praise again, since they obviously didn’t appreciate it very much.
5. You don’t have to just RT. RT’ing people’s posts can be a great way of getting noticed, but you don’t have to just RT the post. You can also reply to the post with a personal comment about how you feel about that topic. RT the post first, then reply to their tweet and just say how you feel. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Are you so passionate about it that you need to spread it out between 2-5 tweets? DO IT!
6. Get involved in Facebook Groups. Facebook groups can be a great way to find people with similar interests and be able to talk to them on a very personal level. BlogEngage just send out an email the other day inviting all the members to go join the Facebook Group and you know what? They did!
7. Get involved in LinkedIn Groups & Answers. I don’t talk about LinkedIn very often but I confess, their groups and answers are SO powerful for meeting people. I have gone to several networking groups and have met some amazing people through the LinkedIn groups. And it only took me about 10 minutes a day, IF THAT, to engage in the groups. Same goes for answers. You can find questions that need answers through a simple search and then you answer them and you’re on your way. Takes maybe 10-15 minutes. Super simple and super effective.
8. Comment on blog posts. I suggest that people find 10 blogs in their niche that they enjoy reading, bookmark them and comment on them every single day. By doing this, you’re building rapport with the blogger, as well as creating a relationship with everyone else that comments. Commenters love to comment on other comments, so if you leave a really awesome comment, then you’re sure to be noticed. Plus, you’re getting involved in your community and you’re showing that you’re more than just a pretty face.
What I really want to stress is, no matter how busy we are, there’s only a few minutes in our day that we can get out there and engage with others on our social networks. There’s really no excuse.