People want to get to know you, so showing up is the most important way to drive engagement. If you don’t feel naturally drawn to social media, it’s easy to think about your followers and your engagements as just more metrics to be manipulated. It’s important to remember though, that social media is only useful if you’re building real relationships with real people. Real people want to know you. Even if you have plenty of content to post and a VA who is posting it for you, it’s important for you to show up.
The best kind of engagement is replying to your followers’ comments. Instagram loves back and forth engagement. Liking their comments also counts as engagement. Engagement in this sense means more than just saying “Love this!” Say something that actually merits a response. Say something that indicates that you actually read the comment. Keep the conversation going by asking a question.
Getting personal and vulnerable builds trust and makes people feel like there is a real person behind your account. Just like the first point that people want you to show up, when you show up it really builds trust to show people the real you. Everyone has set backs and bad days and places where they lack confidence, but social media is a place where most people don’t share those things. Sometimes social media feels like a contest where everyone is competing to make their lives seem as perfect as possible, but you can transcend that by posting about real vulnerabilities and struggles that you’re going through. The occasional vulnerable post will be interpreted as honesty and integrity by most people and it’s an incredible way to build trust with your followers. You can also ask people if they can relate as a great way to boost engagement. Everyone has vulnerabilities, but most people don’t feel like they’re allowed to talk about them.
Engage on other peoples’ posts organically. Pick some people who have commented on your posts, go through their feeds, and leave real comments. Once again, this is more than just saying “Love this!” Try to actually engage with the content. Show that you’ve actually read and thought about what they’ve written. A bot can like a thousand posts, but it takes a real person to thoughtfully reply, and that’s what it takes to build real relationships with people.
Share your face on your feed. There are a lot of businesses out there trying to have relationships with people, but people don’t really want relationships with businesses, they want relationships with people. So show your face on your feed! Let people know that there is a real human behind your brand. People love buying from small businesses when they can, and they love buying from people they know and respect.