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Engagement: The key to online success

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Fashion blog: crystalolisa.wordpress.com
Fashion blog: crystalolisa.wordpress.com

Picture this – you work really hard at your blog/instagram/twitter. You post quality  content that keeps people checking in for more, and because of it you gain thousands of followers. Problem is, only 100 of them take your relationship to the step of interacting with your content.

You have a real problem – that is, if you ever plan to monetize your blogging activities. Engagement is defined as the interaction of people with brands on social networks, and it’s crucial to have it because it is the fastest measure of your influence over your audience– of your ability to direct another person’s actions.

That’s where the profit is, in creating a strong enough online presence that your followers trust your opinions, be it where to eat, how to travel or even how to dress. That’s what brands are looking for when they work with “influencers”, and they measure it by measuring the number of likes and shares of your content.

Don’t beat yourself up if you have a thousand followers and only 20 likes. That’s expected – social media is a science after all, and you have to study its patterns to really succeed at it. The main aspects of engagement that should concern you are:

1. Reach – the size of your audience

How many followers do you have? Is the number growing or stagnated? We all have down weeks and up weeks, so the important thing is to be consistent in your quality. Don’t let it slide just because fewer people are reading it this week.

2. Resonance – the interaction that your audience has with your content…

And their willingness to share it with their own communities. It shows that they stand behind your opinion fully, and that they believe your content is good enough to share with their peers. This is the highest form of approval in the content creation world.

3. Relevance – does your current audience benefit from it?

Do they come back for more? Repeat likers/commenters are a good way to gauge this, and the clearest indicator of the relevance of your content.

These are the areas to keep an eye on if you want to track your growth in the bloggersphere. Here are some of the ways to boost engagement:

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4. Be more natural

Be comfortable both in your tone and in the content you put out. People respond more to content that sounds like it’s coming from a friend than they do to the nervousness of a stranger. It comes through, in your captions, blog posts or tweets so make sure to edit and reedit your work until it sounds natural to the ear.

5. Be consistent

This applies to both your theme, ie what you regularly post about, and in the posting schedule itself. Posting once a month won’t keep you in your followers’ memories because it’s true what they say – out of sight, out of mind. Especially on social media.

6. Engage them

Not just by posting your content, but by asking questions and wishing them a good day/week/ dreaded Monday. Keep your captions short and witty, and they’ll look forward to scrolling through them in traffic or in between meetings.

7. Thank them

A little appreciation goes a long way. I like to stick to milestones, so I thank my followers every other hundred-number (1500, 1600, 1800 etc). Some people give shoutouts on their channel to followers who really show you love online, which is great because it makes your followers feel appreciated and gain followers of their own from you. Bonus: it makes them more likely to not hit the dreaded unfollow button, which let’s face it, is a huge setback.

Bottom line, engagement is key. It’s a tale tell sign of actual social media impact as opposed to the perceived impact one has, and without it a social media strategy is bound to fail. Remember that the next time you post something, and you’ll find that it becomes natural to check and double check you content to ensure that it is structured for maximum impact.

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