How to Be Present with a Human Touch on Social Media

By Aliza Sherman, Danielle Elliott Smith

Social media engagement is an essential part of social media marketing — it’s the way you share content online in social networks and the way others respond to that content. SME consists of several parts, like pieces in a puzzle:

  • Audience: The people you want to reach and engage

  • Content: The type of information you put out there

  • Reaction, interaction, and action: The ways people can respond to you

  • Outcomes and measurement: The results of engagement

Social media engagement is the “stuff that happens” during your social media marketing campaigns, but also the way you do things to make that stuff happen. We’ve identified five goals of social media engagement. All these goals involve interactions with people.

Technology tools exist to automate many tasks, but still no substitute exists for actual human interaction. Even the best artificial intelligence software cannot fully replicate human sentiment, emotion, and sensitivity. Many aspects of social media engagement can be automated, but without the human element — the personality, emotions, reactions, and responses — engagement can fall flat or even utterly fail.

A major challenge of being present online is time. You may feel that you don’t have enough time to add engagement via social media to your lengthy to-do list. If you want to turn prospects into customers, build strong and lasting relationships with customers, and convert happy customers into avid evangelists, you — and your team, employees, or representatives — need to personally engage regularly.

Use canned messaging and automated responses sparingly to supplement, not dominate, your presence in social networks. You cannot expect others to be present and to engage with you online if you aren’t there as well.