As a content creator and social media manager, I always get asked what my “secrets” are for successful social content and engagement and my response is always the same: Be social!
This may not be the profound, analytics-based answer complete with impressive mathematical formulas concocted to beat the algorithm- du -jour that most people expect to hear, but it is, in fact, the truth. The point of social media IS to be social, something that seems painfully obvious, but often ignored.
With so many different social platforms to navigate and the rise of the virtual marketplace complete with influencers of all kinds encouraging you to follow this and buy that- and let’s not even mention your friend from third grade who slides into your DM’s asking you to check out their latest insert-product-you-don't-need-here, it’s easy to understand why so many have gotten turned off or altogether stopped engaging.
The real problem is that a follow, accepted friend request, etc., does not make a relationship! There is real power and value in human connections, even on a virtual level. A thoughtful comment, offering a good solution to a friend looking for business advice instead of mindlessly hitting like really stands out in a digital world where so many things are automated, from platform posts, to auto-replies on our pages and in our DMs.
There are so many great ways to engage with your virtual community in an authentic and encouraging way. Have a friend that just started a new business? Take the time to say congratulations and share their business page with your followers while doing your part to support small businesses. Helping connect or refer people to each other or their business is also a great way of virtual networking and there’s nothing like a real introduction to get the workflow vibes going if you happen to connect two people who are a great fit. Personal milestones are another fantastic opportunity to connect and celebrate with an authentic response, and no, emojis don’t count! These small acts of “engagement kindness” can make a big difference in your own social media karma, and you might even make someone’s day!
Social media doesn’t have to be toxic, a virtual popularity contest or a daily sacrifice to the algorithm. The most successful social media accounts are those that are informative, that offer connections and communication with others. Success is not about having a billion followers or likes; it’s about inspiring your community with your ideas, your vision and knowledge, and hopefully sharing encouragement more often than not.
It’s about being human.