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Experts’ Tips on Keeping Your Online Community Engaged

Social media is a funny thing. A finicky thing really. Nowadays just about everyone and their brand is asking you to “like” their page or follow them on this, that, and the other. But what does that “like” mean if you have no interest in the Page’s topic? How likely will you be to actually engage?

The reason social media is so powerful is because of the engagement that blossoms between a strong community and authentic, interesting content. And while this may not sound like rocket science, there is some science behind understanding your community and finding the right content for them. If you misunderstand your audience or post material that offends or is uninteresting to them you’ll quickly learn just how finicky users can be. To avoid the radio silence many non-engaged pages and accounts experience, try these best practices shared from social media and community manager across the web.

1. From Pet360.com – The best way for getting members engaged is by asking them about themselves (and, in our case, their pets). I try to make it as much about them as I possibly can. We also do challenges/giveaways to get them to create and share content and as part of the award we feature their pets on site. – Rebecca Braglio

2. From Trudeau –  “Your page is about your fans, not your brand. When you talk about your products, make sure you focus on how it will make their lives easier, help them solve a problem they have, what it’s going to do for them, etc. Focusing only on the brand will result in fans losing interest in it. Engagement on social media is achieved in real-time. If you want to have a real conversation with your fans, make sure you respond in a timely manner.”-Melanie Lavigueur

3. From Lendafreehand –  “The old adage about a picture being worth 1000 words proves especially true on the internet. Pictures and videos attract more likes than text and are considerably more shareable.  Also ask yourself, “what would you want to share? Before posting anything, ask yourself  whether you’d post or share it from your own personal account. If yes, it’s likely something that is interesting enough to inspire others to do the same.” – Lynn Maleh

4. From FatWallet – “We keep our deal hunters sharing great savings and personal finance tips/tactics in our forums where we offer rewards, like forum badges, a leaderboard, a T-shirt contest, exclusive giveaways and coupons (via our forums and Facebook ) from some of the biggest retailers in the world and a Refer-a-friend bonus program so.  We also give them tools like apps, a stealth mobile site and Twitter / RSS feeds to help keep them in-the-know on-the-go. All of these (and much more) create engagement on many levels.” -Brent Shelton

5. From Morse Diving – “The easiest way to boost engagement on social media has been to ask questions. It may sound simple, but this tactic has proved very successful for Morse Diving. Not only is an active page a happy page, but increasing the activity is directly proportionate to seeing fan growth.” – Liz Theresa

6. From Money Crashers – “You must actively solicit the feedback of your readership. Even if it’s a short call to action at the end of each article, it’s a great way to encourage participation and keep your readers engaged. When you do get comments on your articles, be sure to respond to each one. You might simply include a quick thank you to the commenter. Readers who know that their opinion is valued and appreciated are likely to return to your site.” – Gyutae Park

To stay consistent with publishing great content and fostering an engaged community, Viralheat offers a number of tools to help you meet your goals. If time is your biggest obstacle try using Viralheat scheduling option to schedule posts in advance or are you having trouble understanding your audience? Find out more about your fans with detailed analytics so that know what content will resonate best with them. No matter what your ultimate goal is, social media should be about having fun, sharing great content, and connecting with your fans. Viralheat can help you with that!

 

 

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