Your friendly resident Queen Bee is back at the reigns again kicking this week off with a new post talking once again about all things social media.

The focus of this post something which is completely key to building your brand online – ENGAGEMENT

The basis of building your brand online is down to this.  By engaging with people, you are building relationships and trust which is what Social Media in essence is based upon. You may hear the term ‘Relationship Marketing’ be thrown around these days, this is just a phrase people are using for engaging with prospects. The beauty of using Social Media is that it allows you to build good foundations with your prospects (and existing customers) by just being SOCIAL and having a chat!

So how do you go about ‘Engaging’ with people? 

I specifically want to talk about Facebook here with you all.

Facebook gives you 2 ways of engaging with people : Your personal profiles, and your business pages. Both are EQUALLY as important for driving traffic to your pages & websites. Part of Facebook’s T&C is that you can’t really use your personal profile to ‘sell’ it is personal for a reason and your business page is there to serve that purpose.

Using your personal profile you can post updates, announcements, videos that relate to your business – the only thing you can’t really do (and nor would I advise you to do) is directly sell.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in mixing up the content on your personal Facebook wall.

For example I recently posted some new photos and updates about my Puppy to which I had a lot of my friends (real life friends here) comment underneath it, not long afterwards I wrote a really great (in my opinion) blog post about Twitter optimisation and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible, so I also posted a link on my personal profile wall – this saw a slightly different type of people start to comment under this – a few of my friends who are interested in what I am doing, but then some like-minded people interested in using Social Media also commented and shared this.

Now because we are talking about personal profiles, people automatically assume that it’s just a place for your ‘Friends’ (you know those people you know in REAL Life) To a degree, this is correct, and if you choose to have no association to your business page, or just want to keep it personal then that is absolutely fine. However, if you are serious about your business / brand product or service, then I would suggest that you look to add and become ‘Facebook friends’ with like-minded people within your niche/industry.

I am often asked ‘Why should I add people outside my circle of friends?’  – Good question!

In order to build relations you have to TALK to people (it’s not really rocket science) common sense tells you that unless you make the effort to look for people to engage with, and make the effort to talk to them then you really are limiting your chances of building your brand and getting your page seen, and growing with subscribers and followers.

There is a couple of ways you can do this – starting with your own newsfeed. The Facebook newsfeed is put together based on the algorithm Edgerank, so you are automatically receiving the updates from the people you connect the most with, so I would suggest that you change how its sorted to ‘Most Recent’ rather than ‘Top Stories’ Have a look what people are up to? Are they asking questions, looking for advice that you can help with? Answer it …. Start talking!

Have a look at some of the popular pages you LIKE – see what conversations are happening over there, and get involved! Yes its VERY powerful to post as your page name across any other page on Facebook (90% of the time I am on Facebook, I am working as my business page), but sometimes you should go over there and be YOU – Comment on pictures, wish people happy birthday – it sounds all so simple, but really there is no hard and fast trick to it. PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE.

When you are commenting and engaging as your ‘Page’ you will soon realise you are forming relationships with people behind other pages, so make the effort to network with them on a personal level too – get to know the page owners, and then add them against your personal page – you can then keep them in a separate list away from friends and family, and at a quick glance you can search them in one place. None of what I am telling you is hard, its just about thinking smarter:

  • DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
  • DO YOU WANT TO REACH PEOPLE YOU WOULD NOT NORMALLY GET ACCESS TOO?

Of course you are answering YES here, so you have to be consistent, using any social media platform does require that you engage with people on a daily basis, but there really is no big Secret to gaining hundreds if not thousands of followers / likes – it’s just about having a chat, helping out where you can, and providing valuable content to people interested in you!

A very wise internet marketer once told me that you spend 50% of your time commenting on other peoples pages – getting your name / business page seen, and you spend 50% of your time adding content and value to your own timeline (business page timeline in this case) so irrespective of how long you have to spend on social media activities everyone can get their name out there and grow their following. The more people see your name and associate it with being helpful, friendly, useful the more they will want to know more about you – so they will send you a friend request, and they will Like your page – (people are inquisitive) so it’s very important to make sure that you are on the ball and engaged.

I’ve a few general tips here I just want to finally run through to help you start engaging the content in front of you and getting that conversation flowing:

1)       Make use of the variety allowed in your status updates – Text, Links, Images (are THE most shared item on Facebook) & Video …. Variety is the spice of life and certainly does help increase user engagement!

2)      Apply the ‘Pareto’ principle (or the 80/20 rule as it’s more commonly known as) 80% of your status updates should give value to your fans / followers first, whilst 20% of status updates can be promotional or brand specific.

3)      Be a person, not a brand …. I’ve said it once and I will say it again PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE, so speak like a person, the other people reading your updates will respond much more to language they can connect with. Too much jargon and PR styled writing can destroy any potential relationships and people quickly disconnect with you.

4)      Make announcements / breaking news – Announce product updates, special offers, event news, industry news on your wall (and if applicable post to personal profile too) If people see that your wall is a reliable and timely source for information they will keep coming back for more, thus increasing the engagement levels.

5)      Like other pages as both your personal profile and business page – This is important – mention the pages, thank them for their content, updates etc. to encourage cross promotion relationships or to try and develop a tagging partnership (where you are jointly tagging one another to increase visibility)

I know that many people often struggle when it comes to raising engagement, especially on Facebook now they have added in the lower organic reach, so I hope that you have been able to take something away from this post to perhaps help you in some way or another. But the main point of the post I think is to really try and drive home the fact that people buy into people.

As always, if anyone has any questions then don’t hesitate to get in contact via any of our social channels or email directly.