Social Media: It’s About Engagement

When I first got my Twitter account, I used it to follow other accounts. I hadn’t planned on tweeting much myself – I just felt obligated to be part of Twittersphere being a journalism major. But as I figured out more what I wanted to do professionally, and how to be that person on Twitter, I wanted to find a following. I wanted people to engage with me. That’s the tricky thing about social media, at least, that’s what I think is the tricky part.

I’ve realized through the years that I have been on Twitter and other social media, that if you want engagement, you also need to engage with others. I can’t just be the account that posts things and expect others to interact with me if I am not interacting with others.

So it has become a goal of mine to not only try to post regularly (not necessarily once a day, but every couple of days if not more), but to try and comment, retweet, like, reply to others on social media. There are tons of great things being said that if you aren’t interacting with others, you are just becoming that crazy person yelling at others on the corner of the street. To make yourself important to the community, you have to be part of the community.

Here are some easy ways you can engage with others on Twitter:

  • Follow hashtags. If you are a writer, one popular hashtag is #amwriting (if you weren’t already familiar). Scope it out a couple times a day. Follow someone new from it. Comment on someone’s question. Check out someone’s blog. Use it to find other like-minded people who you want to engage with. A great way to keep constant tabs on a hashtag is TweetDeck. You can create a column that will live-stream a hashtag. I have a couple of these going to keep myself engaged.
  • Twitter chats. I know I’ve talked about this one before, but they are seriously one of my favorite parts of Twitter. They act as a concentrated hashtag where a moderator usually asks people a bunch of topical questions, and a conversation happens around those answers. The other day I participated in one with NaNoWriMo and New Leaf Literary Agency about queries and it was AMAZING! If you missed out – I created a Storify of some golden nuggets from the chat.
  • Who to follow. Twitter gives you a couple of suggestions of who to follow. Check out some of those people from time to time. You never know when a gem might show up! I typically will check out the last couple of tweets from a person to see if I would enjoy what they have to say before following.
  • Simple interactions. I mentioned this before, but it’s really the easiest part of engaging with the community. If you see a tweet in your feed that strikes you in any particular way, respond to it, retweet it, do something! It’s as simple as that. Don’t just let good tweets pass through without your engagement – especially if they stop you among the clutter that can be your feed. (Oh wait, that’s just my feed? Carry on.)

Featured image by Howard Lake on Flickr.

7 thoughts on “Social Media: It’s About Engagement

  1. Love these tips! I sometimes feel that spectator syndrome creeping up on me as I’m enough of an introvert writer type to feel shy even on the internet – but these are some really practical tips for jumping in (and inspired me to comment on your blog today!). Thanks!

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