How Engaging Online Is A Two-Way Street

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?


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • alece

    it's all about community for me, so engaging and dialoguing is huge. i never want to just be that girl who just talks AT people. i want to have real conversations WITH people — on my blog, twitter, etc.

    when i get a new twitter follower, i link over and check out their timeline. and i've gotta be honest — if there are no @replies, i won't follow back. i'm not interested in just more noise. i want to follow people who genuinely engage with others.

    your engagedness (is that even a word? it is now…) is one of the things i admire most about you. i think you do a great job at making people feel seen and valued by the way you build relationships online.

    great post, spence!

    • SpenceSmith

      Thanks Alece! You know… you are great at conversation and keeping people engaged. whether it's over coffee or online… you are engaging and i love that about you! You've got good engagedness:) ha!

  • SpenceSmith

    Good point Dave… it never hurts to join the conversation you start as a blogger. Some do it well… some don't do it at all and some are ineffective because of it. Thanks for your comment and your commitment to Compassion International!

  • Joni_In_MN

    Really like it when others reply to a post tho it doesn’t happen very often. Feel like I’m journaling or monologue talking much of the time on facebook. However, most often I reply to someone else’s blog or post on facebook. I have better conversations when picking up the phone & calling!

    • Spence Smith

      oh yes… phone calls can be so much better. I know for me it took just getting used to the fact that if i wanted to be in the space then i need to respond. It just makes sense to me and for a better experience. So… thank you for always commenting on facebook and anywhere else… i love that you have a good sense of humor about my craziness!

      • Joni_In_MN

        You’re welcome & thank you — a sense of humor is truly a blessing & certainly needed in this world… ha

  • Gina Burgess

    I totally agree! It took a long time for me to truly understand this lesson. I had built up a number of blogging buddies then got busy (while still blogging), but while I wasn’t looking my blogging buddies quit blogging. I have now had to start all over building up relationships. It is difficult, yet so worth it.

    • Spence Smith

      wow… its hard to stay connected to the foundation of things sometimes right? i get that. but yes… it’s so worth it. thanks Gina!

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