How to Decide When to Interact with Your Social Media Community

How often you actively interact with followers can dictate your overall success with social media engagement. A number of ways that you can interact are generally reactive or active. Here are some examples of reactive interaction:

  • Respond to public messages directed at you, such as @mentions on Twitter or comments on your posts in Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, or other networks.

  • Respond to direct or private messages, such as those on Facebook Page messages or direct messages (DMs) on Twitter.

  • Respond to mentions that people make of you or your brand in social networks that you find via keyword or hashtag searches.

You can also interact more actively, by taking the initiative and reaching out to others, instead of waiting for them to mention or address you. Here are some active ways to interact:

  • Share content from others such as retweets, repins, and post shares.

  • Give kudos to others by linking directly to their content.

  • Identify your target market or key influencers, follow them, and engage them in conversation.

Establish the best process for you by combining scheduled messaging and live responses with active engagement.

Don't post the wrong content at the wrong time. Before you start posting live — or even if you have messages scheduled — take time to review topics being discussed, including trending topics, to avoid posting cheery content at the same moment that news is breaking of a natural disaster or national tragedy.

Replying to every greeting and query on your social media channels may seem impossible. Increased opportunities to engage with customers and prospects in social channels can be a good problem to have, but it may require that you ramp up resources to connect with others where they want to connect with you.

Social media engagement should be a fulfilling aspect of your online marketing efforts. Don't plan every moment of every day. If you want to communicate and connect with someone, don't be afraid to do it simply because it isn't "on your calendar."

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