The One Question Social Media Engagement Must Always Answer

social media outreachAs we have mentioned in several previous blog posts, social media engagement is the name of the game for contemporary SEO. If you want to get better search results, you need to reach out to potential link sources and media allies through social media. You have to engage people on social media to get on the radar. You have to build a social media presence that clearly establishes your expertise and credibility in your niche. These factors all flow together.

With that said, it’s too easy for social media marketers to define engagement as flattering people on social media. Simply saying to people, “Hey, I like your content,” or “Great post,” is not enough. In fact, considering the huge amount of background noise being generated on social media like Twitter or Facebook groups day after day, this kind of engagement only amounts to spam. If this is how you define engagement, I seriously recommend that you stop. Right now.

Instead, focus on the central question that your social media engagement efforts should focus on. If you neglect this question, you have really dropped the ball with your social media efforts. Either you’re settling for a tiny fraction of the results you could be getting, or you are not getting any results at all. Regardless of your particular situation, you need to focus on this one big question so you can get better results. Keep reading below.

What’s in It for Me?

This is the central question of social media engagement. If you want to engage people so that they can enter into a content marketing alliance with you or even acknowledge your brand, you have to always answer this question: what’s in it for me?

Interestingly enough, it’s not about money. Sure, it may eventually lead to money, but at least initially, it’s not about money. When influence leaders on social media subconsciously ask themselves this question when they are looking through the many different messages sent to them, they are looking for some sort of benefit. The good news is that there is no limit to the kind of benefits social media engagement can bring to your targets. They can get credibility, they can increase their brand awareness, they can increase their brand authority in their niche, or they can benefit in terms of getting more clout in their niche. The list is only limited by your imagination. What’s important is you always have to focus on how your social media engagement can benefit the influence leaders you are trying to target. Otherwise, it’s too easy to look at social media engagement based on the benefits it will bring you and your online brand. Unfortunately, that should be the lowest priority. If you want other people to benefit you, you first have to benefit them.

Use the Power of BECAUSE

There was a famous social experiment several decades back where students who lined up for the photocopy machine let another student cut ahead of the line just because the person said, “I would like to cut ahead of you, if you don’t mind, because I need to make some copies.” Do you see how ridiculous that reason is? Everybody in the line is going to make copies, what makes this person different? Regardless, people still let the person cut in front due to the fact that this person used the word “because.”

This is extremely important. If you are going to engage people on social media, you have to understand that they have very, very busy schedules. They don’t have all the time in the world to engage in a long, drawn-out conversation with you. You have to make the point clear in the beginning, and if you are trying to get on the radar of an influence leader to establish your credibility, use the word “because” a lot. Of course, you have to follow the word “because” with solid reasoning and facts. Regardless, “because” opens a lot of doors in terms of social media engagement. Keep it short and sweet, but pack a lot of meaning in your social media engagement. If you do this right, your messages will rise above the background noise that normally attends social media engagement efforts.