If you manage your practice’s social media presence, I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz word “engagement” time and time again. Everybody wants it, but do you really understand the true meaning of engagement on social?

Everyone places so much em-phasis on getting more fans to like and follow their social media channels, but an even more important factor is how much of your audience is actually engaged by the content you post. To engage is to make a connection and elicit interaction. Every time someone likes, shares/retweets, or comments on/replies to your post, it increases the chance that their friends or followers may see your post and like or follow your page. It’s like getting a word-of-mouth endorsement from your fans to their social media contacts.

There are several ways to ensure that you’re engaging your social media audience. When you reply to incoming comments on your pages, you’re showing your fans that you’re listening and are interested in what matters to them. After all, the point of social media is to be social, right? It’s about creating a conversation-a dialogue.

Don’t just talk at your fan base. Ask questions. Get their input. Give them what they want and need. This is perhaps the best tip for engagement-post interesting content that isn’t just self-serving to your business. Enlighten and entertain them to hold their attention.

Another way to get your message heard in the noisy world of social media is to use visual storytelling. Pictures really are worth a thousand words, especially when trying to stand out amongst all the other marketers out there vying for your audience’s eyes. Photos are key when trying to boost engagement.

The point is, no matter how many fans you have on Facebook or Twitter, etc., those numbers don’t mean much if your posts aren’t creating enough interest to make your fans want to actually interact with you. Keep an eye on your engagement by monitoring your Facebook Insights (the free analytics offered by Facebook for Pages). Once your post goes up, you can see exactly how many users viewed it, as well as how much engagement it generated. Play close attention to which posts performed the best so you know what type of content to keep posting in the future for the most engagement.

Now that you have a better understanding of what social engagement means and how to increase it, try your hand at creating more engaging posts. I’d love to hear what methods work best for you. Share your success stories with us by sending me an email. You may just see your case study in a future column!

Ana Montoya is Social Media Director at First Vision Media Group.

email me at am@visioncareproducts.com


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