Written by Craig Robinson

Engaging on social media is something that goes well beyond having someone click “like” on your post or even commenting on a photo or video. Every click and comment does count, but engagement in social media is something that’s ongoing. It’s dialogue; it’s meaningful conversations, even extending to legitimate relationships.

When you’re speaking about social media engagement, you’re talking about a blog-like following to your social page, discussion-forum-like dialogue going on, and the type of friendly customer service (ala speaking directly to your base) that you’d find in a mom ‘n’ pop shop.

So, how do you land that type of engagement in social media? Here are a few ways to get started.

7 Great Ways to Bolster Your Engagement Numbers

1: Show Your Actual Face on Facebook
This doesn’t necessarily mean to post your personal photos, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. What it means, more than anything is to actually be open, honest, and to show your genuine brand by displaying your entire company. Show your employees. Post photos of different events. Give bios on people working for you. Let people peek behind the proverbial curtain to see what’s actually going on. A warm, personal brand is a brand that people in the social realm want to engage with.

2: Try LinkedIn, and Take it seriously
A lot of people using LinkedIn in conjunction with their Facebook page just post some personal information, reach out occasionally, and then call it quits, allowing their page to become stagnant. Take advantage of LinkedIn by joining different groups and starting up various and valuable conversations. You can do the same with Google+ Communities, but the idea here is to engage with other professionals.

3: Use Interesting Status Updates
Showing a cropped photo and asking, “Do you know where this is?” or simply asking a legitimate, niche-specific question are a couple of great ways to spark up legitimate social engagement with nothing but a mere, slim-character status update. This is what people are reading before deciding to read further, so try to make it intriguing and entertaining.

4: Tweet, Retweet, and Tweet Some More
Twitter is a great site, despite the bad reputation it gets. Now, if you’re going to pull a Ricky Gervais and use the site to slam people all day, or act like Donald Trump and pick fights, then Twitter is worthless. However, if you’re actually posting legitimate news, updates, teasers, etc, then you can develop a loyal following that will actually engage with you. Just don’t forget to play your role, too; make sure you actually follow others and engage.

5: Offer Something to People
The best social media marketing approach to take is one that really appeals to as many people as possible. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should operate a broad-reaching campaign; you still want to target a narrow niche for the best results. However, what you’re offering should appeal to more on social media due to the “friends of friends” factor. For instance, offering up a good coupon or hosting a contest or some giveaway will directly appeal to your initial followers, but it’s something that may also really appeal to their friends.

6: Be Consistent Throughout Your Networks
Using social media in general to market, rather than just Facebook and perhaps one or two other sites means that you may easily lose track. Having half a dozen or more social sites is a lot to keep track of. But if you can manage to keep your brand consistent and use this networking to direct traffic, then you can incrementally increase engagement on each site until the overall engagement grows exponentially.

7: Always Remember the Quality
Quality doesn’t only mean to post clean grammar, unique and interesting photos and videos, and material that’s more likely to be received well by a sheer aesthetic appeal. It also means to stay within the wheelhouse of your niche and to solve a problem for your audience. You want to appear as an authority. Your brand should stand out and people should want to seek you out when they have an issue. The quality most certainly extends to that area.

Engaging in social media can open up a lot of doors for you. Not only does it give you a bigger audience, but it gives you a better audience with more members becoming more likely to work their way through your sales funnel. And it also lowers your advertising costs and allows you to reach more of these people organically.

Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, he also enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums.