OK, I know what you’re thinking.
“Margie, engaging is fine, but people are generally just nasty boogers. Everyone on Social Media is just trying to promote him or herself, plus I’m an introvert and don’t like putting myself out there with just anybody. So…how can engagement possibly work for me?”
Well, have no fear. We can talk about that, dear.
How to find the diamonds in the rough
Out of all of the millions and millions of people on Twitter, on Facebook, and in the blogosphere, there are sure to be at least a couple of people with whom you can get along. Here are five ways to dig those diamonds up out of the rough.
1. Look for Twitter Chats: I can’t really emphasize the importance of twitter chats enough (obviously, since I tend to talk about them once a week). The thing about chats is that people tend to open up a bit more, so you get a better feel for what they are like. The other nice thing about chats is that you can peruse them and find ones that mesh with your interests. Much like joining a club in real life, you can be fairly sure that a lot of the chatters will have at least one interest in common with you. That’s a good place to start! Here’s a link with 330 Twitter chats to choose from!
2. Look for conversations: One of the things I enjoy doing the most is just scanning my “timeline” on Twitter to see what people are talking about. This is skim reading, for sure, especially since there are about 20-30 new tweets every minute. However, you can skim carefully enough to see tweets that look interesting. If the tweet looks interesting and it’s directed to someone, then I dig further and see what they’re talking about. Of course, on Facebook this is a lot easier – just jump into the comments. Same on a blog. And don’t feel like you just have to comment to the blogger. If you see a comment you like, go ahead and reply to that person directly!
3. Speaking of blogs…read ’em! Just like people tend to loosen up a bit when they’re in chats, you often get a better idea of what someone is really like by reading their blog posts. Sometimes what you find can be scary, I’m not going to lie. However, a lot of times you realize that a person whom you just passed by in the Twitter stream actually has a lot of neat perspectives on things that you also care about. Start visiting their posts and converse with them about what brings you both together.
4. Search search search. People often talk about using the search functions on Twitter and Facebook as ways to “listen” to your customers or competition, and that’s totally on point. However, you can also search for, say, a movie name that you like, or maybe something broader like “knitting” or “chess.” Who is talking about those things? Now, you want to make sure you scan their profile before jumping in and following. Maybe they’re talking about how much they hate knitting, in which case an enthusiastic tweet from you would seem kind of silly.
5. Track who comments and tweets out your posts. This is kind of reverse psychology, I suppose. However, if people keep coming back to your blog posts and remain enthusiastic about them, maybe you have something in common with them. Check out their blog site. Check their stream out on Twitter. See if they’re on Facebook. Why do they gravitate toward your content? Flesh out that relationship and see what happens.
Have you tried other methods of seeking out people you will like in this crazy online world? I’d love to hear your ideas!
This is post number 9 in The Engagement Series. Remember, to make sure you don’t miss a post, hit that subscribe button 🙂
Image by prangdao nupradit. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/prangdao