Yesterday, we discussed how to create engagement in social media. Today, I’d like to give some concrete advice on how to manage engagement in social media.
It’s really not enough to create engagement in social media; you have to manage engagement by energizing your social network to take action — Like, comment, share, RT, etc. But, remember, your end goal isn’t just to get engagement alone. You build engagement with your social network in hopes of building your brand and increasing your ROI (Return on Investment). If you’re not converting your engagement in social media into improved loyalty, higher levels of customer satisfaction, better brand image, more brand exposure, and, ultimately, greater sales, you’ve wasted your time.
Transforming engaged fans/ followers into customers (donors, clients, etc)
must happen for engagement in social media to create success.
Here’s the sequence of engagement I use and the tools I recommend to generate success by managing your engagement in social media:
I recommend a blog as the backbone of your social media engagement.
- It gives a home to your online marketing efforts
- It helps establish you as a subject expert in a way that’s difficult using microblogging (Twitter) and Facebook
- It provides a place to convert visitors. You can promote products by creating landing pages and incorporating ecommerce into your blog.
- You reach new audiences when you show up in searches through effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
You’ll need to buy a domain (I use GoDaddy) and get hosting from Godaddy or Host Gator – both are easy to set up and affordable. The entire package will cost less than $100 per year, although you can spend much more if using custom themes, plugins, and other things that make your site easier to use and maintain.
If you’ve never done this before, I have great videos to help get you started on my YouTube channel.
Of course, you’ll need to do a little research on the best words (keywords — actually keyword phrases) to use for your domain and for content in your blog. This ensures you get as many visitors through Internet searches as possible. I recommend Market Samurai because it’s powerful and has videos to help you make the most of your keyword search. They offer a FREE trial before you buy the product (if you use the link provided). You can also use the FREE tool from Google to get some information about number of searches and competition for likely keywords.
Once you’ve set up your blog, you need to share content with your social networks – LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ as well as bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon to build engagement. I use Hootsuite to help manage my content sharing because it allows you to post links in multiple networks at once and you can schedule your posts so they appear when your network is online. I share both content I created and content I curate from other web sources using Google Alerts to help me find valuable posts based on my keywords.
Hootsuite also provides analytics to show how your efforts are working and even integrates with Google Analytics (which shows how your blog is doing). These analytics help you improve your performance by determining what works and what doesn’t.
Other tools you might like to help you share content and manage engagement in social media are Sendible and SproutSocial. I prefer Hootsuite because it does much of what these tools do for a lot less — $10/ month. There’s even a less powerful version of Hootsuite that’s free.
Putting a form on your blog (and your Facebook FanPage) to collect email subscribers is easy using software like AWeber. Offer subscribers something of value – like my ebook — and you’ll build your newsletter subscription list faster. You can also embed your email subscription form in a post, like the one below. That way, when other websites or your social media community share your content, the subscription form is easily available for readers.
Generating a newsletter every week or every month is a great way to build community, share content with them, and you can invite subscribers to share the newsletter by including share buttons. Remember, the success of a newsletter rests on creating value to subscribers, so do more than just share the content from your blog. Create exciting, unique content to share with subscribers.
If you do a great job of creating value with your newsletter, you can even sneak in a paid link or a discount offer for a product on your newsletter, so you can make a little money that way, as well. When I interviewed Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner, he confided this is his biggest moneymaker — selling his webinars using his newsletter (he’s also an AWeber customer).