How to engage on social media

In the world of social media far too many people, especially in a professional setting, forget about the “social” part and focus too much on the “media.” You can create videos that dazzle, images that inspire and posts that spark deep thought, but if you don’t socialize, aka engage, you are missing the boat entirely. Furthermore, you are absent from the most entertaining and fun part of social media. Making connections. And note: The secret sauce to social media success is making connections. Shhh don’t tell anyone. We’ll keep this between us.

So, how exactly do you engage on social media? Here’s a basic look at this all-important social media activity.


Prioritize replies over everything else. Someone took the time to ask a question, whether in a direct message or on a post, that’s a big deal. This affords you the chance to make a connection with a client or potential client directly. They came to you; it doesn’t get any easier.  You don’t have to commit to a full conversation about family life or the latest Game of Thrones Episode. Even though talking a little Thrones sounds quite fun, it’s understandable that you have other matters to attend to. Just make sure you answer their question, or comment, to the best of your ability. It doesn’t hurt to check out their content and possibly toss out a like or two, maybe even make a comment. That leads us to…

Quid pro quo

Or as Austin Powers would call it, squid pro row, this is nothing more than scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. If someone makes a comment or likes your post, they probably wouldn’t mind you returning the favor. This works both ways. In many cases when you engage with someone’s post there is a greater chance they will do the same with your content. It’s not 100 percent (not even close) but returning the favor is good form.

Proactive engagement with followers

If they follow you, they probably like your content. Which means the ice has already been broken presenting you the perfect opportunity to engage. Find a few posts that pique your interest and hit that like button and provide commentary or a sincere compliment on content that really interests you. This is important though, don’t engage on divisive issues with your business account (or personal account for that matter). Say for example; one of your followers shares a beautiful picture of a sunset in Monterrey, go ahead and engage. They share that the current mayor of Monterrey is, politely put, not very qualified, avoid.

Proactive engagement with targeted non-followers

Looking for a great way to grow your following? Engage with people who don’t follow you. There is a caveat though. You must be strategic about the process. If your field of business is medical equipment in Cleveland, engaging with a plumber based out of Oshkosh doesn’t make much sense.  Finding local doctors, or administrators, and engaging with their content. That sounds like a win. Plus, you won’t have to worry about plumber’s crack.

Whether you are that plumber in Oshkosh (sorry about that crack joke) or the medical equipment company in Cleveland, engaging on social media is vital if you want your account to succeed. It can be time consuming but the extra effort will go a long way into putting the “social” back into social media.

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