When I engage someone in conversation, I’m expecting to have a… conversation. I say something… the other person responds… I say something again… the other person responds… you get the picture. Sometimes if a person is a master of conversation, I will hear… WOW so-and-so is such an engaging person; I love how they bring me right into conversation!
Engaging people online is much the same way. As much as I’m into teaching people to engage others online, I had to check myself. Am I really engaging people online or am I throwing out thoughts as a monologue and not creating dialogue?
To engage people online ultimately comes down to being willing to have conversation online.
Write a post, get a comment, writer responds to comment. If the conversation needs to continue in that forum, then it does.
Tweet out a message, someone @reply’s to your message, you reply back… and the conversation continues.
Post something on facebook, someone ‘likes’ it or leaves a comment, you reply back… and the conversation continues.
If you want to engage people online, YOU HAVE to be engaging. YOU HAVE to reply and comment back. Even if it’s to just say thanks.
This experience is a two-way street. If you have an online presence and you aren’t taking these steps to engage people (your clients, fans or friends)… then you are missing the point entirely and missing out on a better online experience… and potentially missing out on making a sale or a deeper connection to a better customer service experience for your company or brand.
So lets review:
Reply to comments on your blog. As many of them as you can. I try to reply to all comments these days. Intense Debate or Disqus are great plugins for this. You can replay back right from email.
Reply to comments on twitter. It doesn’t matter if it is an @reply to you or something you see in your stream. Reply.
Reply to comments on facebook. Again, reply back to as many as possible.
Oh… and one more thing. Commenting on other people’s blogs, twitter messages and things they post on facebook is a pretty good idea as well… when you can of course. Get the picture?
Question: How important is engaging others online to you? How does it make you feel? What results are you seeing for experience?