Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

How to Actively Engage on Social Media

Engagement is such an important part of Social Media Marketing, but what does it really mean? In simple terms, it’s about liking, commenting and maybe even sharing relevant posts. The tricky part is finding those relevant posts.

What posts should you be looking you?

There are a few things you should keep your eye out for actually.

Firstly, look for posts from your ideal client – even better if they’re talking about the problem you solve. If you can help or support them in a few words, do so in the comments. If you need a bit of a conversation with them first, ask them to DM you – and remember to say who you are and why you think you can help.

Secondly, you need to look for posts from people who do similar things to yourself. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your direct competitors. For example, I often look out for Virtual Assistants, Branding Specialists or Tech Experts. Now ask yourself how can you add value to their posts without taking away their thunder. By doing this, you’ve brought their post to your followers and you’ve shown your expertise to theirs. Not taking away their thunder is really important though, you need them to want to repay the favour! Remember: it’s not about you.

Thirdly, you need to look for posts from well-known creators from your industry. I look out for posts from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This can also be the official posts for TV shows or books. You’re looking out for these because sometimes they might share tips that can benefit your ideal client. Just last week, I shared a post from LinkedIn that reminded people to update their URLs.

Finally, you need to look out for posts you really like. You’ll often hear us marketers say you need to get people to Know, Like and Trust you. One aspect of that is they need to relate to you. So, yes, if you see a post that catches your eye, that resonates with you, that makes you stop and think, take the time to comment on it. If you see a post with a question, answer it. For this last point, you don’t need to go looking for them.

How do you not get stuck down the rabbit hole?

Social Media is great at hooking us in and making us mindlessly scroll for hours, but that’s not going to help you or your business. The simplest solution: set a timer. Find twenty minutes to focus on engagement, and break it up into four (five minutes for each of the points above). You might only find one post to comment on from each search, you might find one straight away and spend five minutes to find the right words to comment. That’s ok.

Where should you look on Twitter?

You might have notified a recent update meaning you now have “For you” and “Following” pages. Don’t be afraid to use both. You can also add more by pinning some lists. Ideally, you’d have three lists pinned: one for each of the points I mentioned above. Lists can take some time to set up, but they will make it much easier to engage with the right kind of content.

I wrote a blog about Twitter Lists a while back, you can read it here.

Where should you look on Facebook?

For the first two points, Facebook Groups are great. If you’re on a computer, there’s a “Groups” button in the menu on the left. If you’re on your phone, you need to tab on your picture at the top right to get the menu. This is where you can see posts from all the groups you are in (and some from suggested groups). You will need to join a few relevant groups first though. This works particularly well because people often go to groups with a question.

The other great tool to find relevant posts is the search. Search for some keywords, for example I often search for “freelance social media UK”. You can then choose to just see posts and you even add some filters such as when or where it was posted.

Where should you look on Instagram?

Over time your “Discover” page will learn what you engage with and will show you some relevant posts. To start off with though, search for hashtags. Look at the hashtags you’ve used yourself, and think of what people might use in the kind of posts you’re looking for.

Where should you look on LinkedIn?

The best way is to simply use the search bar. Search for some keywords. Choose to only see posts and add some filters.

Does it make a difference?

Well, I put it to the test with my own Facebook page.

As a Social Media Marketer, my biggest challenge is always my own socials. I put them at the bottom of my to-do list and forget about them. I set up my Facebook Page back in July, and to be honest, I haven’t given it the time it needs to grow. So on the first of January, I had 94 followers, and little engagement on my posts.

I set myself the challenge to actively engage a few times a week, and the goal was to reach 100 followers. I didn’t do very well at posting consistently, I think I posted once or twice a week and without a clear plan.

So did it make a difference? I now have 135 followers, my posts are getting loads more engagement – and it’s given me the motivation to look after my page properly!