There are hundreds of articles that talk about the importance that engaging with your audience holds in the blogging and social media world.
Almost every marketer will tell you that building relationships is one of the most important ingredients to creating a blog that people want to visit.
And in reality that is true – engagement is THE way to get people to trust you. Building that trust helps you grow a loyal readership and in terms spread the word about your brand.
But that’s really general talking…
What are some of the more important engagement techniques that build up your credibility?
What are some of the things that you should always pay attention to in order to create a welcoming feeling among your followers?
Well there are different answers and today I will overview six of them!
The below paragraphs are aimed to help you understand how vital communication between the reader and the author is and also the types of engagement that you should not neglect.
Keep reading please!
1. Blog Commenting and the Role it Plays
Blog commenting is an especially effective way to increase awareness of your blog when you are just starting out.
Back in the days when I started, blog commenting gave me a huge helping hand in making the initial step from no traffic to some traffic. And that step I believe is the hardest.
It’s the same with making money blogging – earning the first dollars is the toughest. Once you “crack the code” however, keeping the flow and increasing it becomes easier.
There are two types of blog commenting:
- Comments from you on other blogs – they help you get to know the people who are basically running your niche, plus they are a good learning curve. That kind of engagement is very personal, which makes it a great way to solidify your relationships with other bloggers. Additionally most of them will return the favor by leaving a comment on a post of yours. The more comments your content receives, the more comments it encourages. And comments do help you stand apart as someone, whose opinion is valued.
- Replying to comments on your own articles – Although due to the huge number of comments I receive these days, I don’t have the time to get back to each and everyone who shares their thoughts, I do reply to the more thoughtful comments. If you are just starting though, I’d say that you should take the time to reply back to everyone. It’s another factor that adds up to your credibility, allows you to create new contacts and opens up new possibilities.
2. Contact Forms, Emails and Replying
Replying to emails is one of those tasks that don’t seem hard when you think of them, but that can be quite daunting once you start…
First there are those emails that you not sure if you want to reply to. Then there are the emails that you aren’t sure how to reply to. And thirdly there are requests that require more than 5-10 minutes of writing.
But all of this isn’t and shouldn’t be an excuse!
Setting up contact forms on your blog is very important for both you and your reader.
You will be surprised by how many people will contact you to let you know of issues with your blog. On the other hand there are lots of folks who might get in touch for a more specific advice. Email is also the best way to communicate with potential guest bloggers.
All in all allowing others to connect via email is key if you want to prove you are something more than a radio and value feedback. But then again don’t forget to actually reply to people’s requests.
Are you wondering how to create contact forms?
Contact Form 7 is a great WordPress plugin that simplifies the process!
3. Saying Thank You is More Powerful than You Think
Saying thank you when people retweet your latest posts, when they comment on them or when they just say a good word is sometimes all they need.
Most of your supporters simply want to hear that you are there. Knowing that the other person appreciates what you are doing for them gives a comforting feeling.
Although that’s not really a way to build relationships, it is a way to show that you care for the ones reading and sharing your posts.
And believe me – that matters more than you think it does! I’ve gotten quite some folks to mention me to others just because I always take the time to thank them for their support and ask how they are doing.
4. Sharing Other People’s Content Isn’t a Bad Idea
I recently published an article, where I talked about self-promotion and why promoting your own content isn’t a spammy marketing technique, but something that every blogger should be doing.
And although that’s true, you still need diversity. You need to mix different status updates in order to keep people’s interest on your profiles. On Google Plus that might come down to posting a funny picture that you come across, whereas on Facebook it might be creating a discussion of some sort and so on.
However one thing you should always add to the mix are articles from other relevant blogs that you trust and enjoy.
That is not only a way to keep your profiles active. Actually one of the best ways to get the attention of someone is by spreading the word about their posts.
I’ve noticed this myself more than once or twice – whenever I retweet an article from someone, whose content I’ve never shared before, the guy often takes the time to not only thank me but to also look at my work and promote it.
So basically the more blogs you start following, liking and retweeting, the better the chance to spark curiosity about your own brand. Reciprocation is an important type of engagement.
5. Why not Join Some Google Plus Communities?
As you probably know Google Plus recently enrolled a new feature – communities.
Joining communities on Google Plus works similarly to joining Facebook groups.
I do believe however that people really tend to neglect Google Plus as a Facebook alternative. You’ve probably read a lot about how Google’s social network is nothing more than a ghost town and let me tell you – that isn’t even close to the truth.
Once you sign up and once you start building up your following, you will see just how good the engagement level on Google’s social network is. One of the reason for that are probably the different algorithms that the two platforms utilize. Due to EdgeRank on Facebook, it’s hard to get lots of likes without having a ton of fans or friends. The same isn’t necessarily true on Google Plus.
So, whatever your niche, you can be pretty much sure there’s already a community, waiting for you to discover and there are people, willing to hear what you have to say!
More on improving your Google Plus presence:
5 Google Plus Tips to Help You Generate More Likes and Followers
6. Asking Questions is a Solid Strategy
You want your followers to start talking?
Well… how do you get someone to talk?
That’s right – you ask them a question. That straightforward approach is effective not only in face to face situations but also in the social media world.
For me I’ve found that Facebook is a great place to start. People tend to engage on Twitter as well, but the character limitation is sometimes making in hard to actually understand what the other one is saying. Additionally Facebook’s algorithm tends to give a boost to stories that contain nothing else but text. Add to that the fact that people love to answer (the right) questions and you end up with some of the most viewed Facebook posts in your stream.
Of course you have to actually participate in the discussion by sharing your point of view and replying to what others have to say.
Asking questions is good for a few reasons – first lots of people participate, secondly this initial engagement brings even more traffic and thirdly you solidify your relationships with your fans. Eventually this translates into more clicks and traffic.
More on how to engage your Facebook fans you can read in:
Facebook Tips: 5 Effective Ways to Engage Your Fan Page Audience
So to conclude, there isn’t a recipe for success when it comes to engaging in the internet marketing realm
The key considerations are the fact that you should be the one to start the talk and also that you have to always participate, be it by simply replying to the email you just received or by taking part in the discussion you created on your Facebook page.
In the end engaging is a great way to build relationships and to indirectly promote your blog to new people.
Now on to you friends! What else can you add up to the list? Do you agree with the points I’ve shared in the post?