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Social Media: 7 ways to look like you're present

(Even when you’re not).

So you’re automating your social media content. Good for you. You’ve got no time to talk to people, what would you want to do that for? Why would you make sure that people actually engage with your posts? Is it really not enough to just schedule all your posts, sit back and hope that your efforts pay off? social media doesn’t work that way.

Speak to anyone of the ten trillion social media experts and they’ll all tell you that social media marketing campaign should be to built to encourage engagement. This means that your followers  and fans interact with your content – they comment, they like it, they share it and so forth. You also need to send them back to your website and you need to increase your profits! However, this all starts with engagement.

You’ll be wasting your time if you don’t take extra measures to make sure people engage with what you are sharing. I’ve lost count of the social media experts that rip off other people’s content, pass it off as their own and then ignore their fans and followers whilst wittering on about all their engagement. It sucks. But you don’t have to be like that.

Here are 7 ways to make engage people even when you are not fully present:

Don’t Focus on Selling

Your mortgage is overdue. The repo man or bailiff is banging on your door and you need to makes sales or lose what appears to be everything. I don’t care. Marketers that get the best response on social media are those that focus on building relationships with people and sharing content from a variety of sources. I don’t care if you are going to the wall and neither do your customers, well they might care… they may think they can get a better price from you.

Don’t constantly push your own links and try to sell to people – leave this to your website which people will hopefully click through to once they’re engaged with your social updates.

Not getting clicks? I wonder why that is…

Note that it is a good idea to offer your customers special discounts and sales as a thank you for following you on social media networks, that’s some potential customers not all potential customers and you need to test this out. This works better with some niches than others, and remember free isn’t always taken up.

Don’t Make it All About You

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Take your lesson from Humbert Humbert and Nabokov. Although the story of Lolita is about people, but the narrator makes it about the object of his desire. Yes, it’s not about him yet it is. And you’re hooked.

Make sure your posts aren’t all about you and what you’re up to. People could not care less. Ask your followers questions, inspire them, and give them tips to improve their lives / business / mind in some way. Many successful social media marketers also make a point to welcome new followers, or thank followers by name when their posts get shared.

Mix it up!

Use a Mixture of Text,  Images and Video. Text posts are fine, but statistics show that people really love images on social media. Thankfully it’s easy to schedule visual updates, share infographics and links to videos, as well as written messages. Beware the social media expert that advocates only one content type. They’re still in the Jurassic period battling dinosaurs, newspapers and traditional advertising.

Ask Questions

Have you ever visited that Facebook fan page that only has content updates from one person; the owner of that page. Yep it’s dull and they are incapable of curating content or have a self-obsession that you are expected to be party to? That’s okay if they’re a celebrity but your brand isn’t one and neither are you. Yes really.

That’s not you? Good.

You want to make sure that one in every few posts is a question. Nothing too deep, nothing too personal – keep them short and easy to answer. Questions really do get people commenting talking. I’d talk more on this but the person who copies my content doesn’t understand why certain things work and why other things don’t, and I’m not going to educate them.

I will say this though to increase the chances of getting an answer, don’t ask open questions. Instead, give your followers a few specific answer choices. Ask Black or White and show items in those colors. Ask yes or no and share an image of a pork pie. Creative questions spark engagement and conversation.

Include Some Personality

Marvin the paranoid android is not in charge of your social media campaigns. Automating your social media posts could mean that you’ll come across as a robot with limited personality. Don’t be afraid to post light-hearted posts that you find entertaining, or to share details from your personal life in your posts. People respond to real people.

Post Consistently

You need to remain at the top of the mind of your ideal customer. If you’re automating your social media posts then it’s heck of a lot easier to post on a consistent basis. You want to make sure that your followers see your updates in their feeds every day, and at different times (because people aren’t online all day long).

You Need to Respond!

People are not going to engage with your posts if you’re never around to respond to what they say. Automation does mean you can login to your social media accounts less, but you can’t forget to login completely. You need to respond even when you have no time and even less energy… it’s tough and some do slip through the net but try and keep on top of it.

Social media can be done on your own terms, partially automated but monitored by a human being.

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007. She's been internationally recognised as a top content marketer, Forbes and MSN list her websites as top ones, and she's the author of many quick start marketing guides. You can find her books on Amazon.

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