Engagement Is Not Just A Marriage Proposal
I remember the day I got engaged to my wife like it was yesterday. It took a village. My friend from work was having a party. When I told her I was planning to get engaged, she brought in a team and we created a plan. We were going to play truth or dare. The questions were planted in Easter eggs and people would pick one and ask another person “Truth or Dare?” Of course, they would have to choose to tell a truth or take a dare. My friend Dano (Dan McKissack) had an egg hidden and asked me the last one. He pulled it out, opened the egg and asked me… “Brian, I DARE YOU to ask Kim to marry you!” (The ring was hidden in the egg as well.) So I did and you can guess the outcome because she is my wife.
It took the engagement of a bunch of friends to plan, and pull off a big surprise, but that is what engagement is also. Having people love and support you in your life and business!
5 Things Not To Do
I in no way want to be the engagement police on social media, but I have learned through trial and error. Here are a few things that you may want to consider as ways not to engage your audience…
1. Avoid Questions & Quizzes
Recently on Facebook, there’s been this phenomenon within the last week or two, and it is known as, “The 10 concerts I’ve been to, and 1 is a lie.” People have been posting this, and you’re supposed to guess which one is the lie of the 10 concerts that somebody has gone to. And, it’s kind of overtaken Facebook, and a lot of people are just going, “What the heck is this?” It’s one of those ways that people are trying to create this new sort of engagement. The other thing that people have been doing, is just constantly posting questions.
That’s number one, is just posting stuff out there, like these questions or quizzes. Quizzes were really big a while ago. Even games, like playing games and stuff like that. Some of it can be fun, but when you get everybody and their brother are constantly posting it, it just becomes overwhelming. So the first thing to do is just don’t jump on the trend and play along with everybody else. Be original. Do something that is going to really get people engaged, post something of value to people.
2. Starting Arguments
The second thing that you want to avoid like the plague on any kind of social media, is starting an argument. Now I always say that if you want to alienate 50% of your friends on any social media, the first thing you do is post about politics, religion, or sex. And I’m not necessarily talking about the act of sex, it’s even simply posting about men vs. women. Could be the other, but that’s not what I’m talking about. So if you post something about the current administration, 50% of the people are going to agree with you, and 50% are not. When there’s been some mass shootings I posted some things about guns. Whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun, you can ask a question about it, and it’s so polarizing. What happens is it brings out a lot of trolls who will just fight their argument to death. No matter what you believe, no matter what kind of question you ask, no matter how congenial you are, they are going to beat you down, and prove you wrong. That’s their whole goal. It’s my way or the highway. Believe the way that I think, or you’re an idiot, right?
That goes across the board with all of the things that I’m talking about. So don’t put up controversial stuff, because it’s just going to lower the amount of people that are going to pay attention to you, and also it’s going to create some division between the people that are following you. Whether you do it on your business page or your personal page, it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is, don’t start arguments. Don’t post things that are going to allow people to get into arguments. Keep it kind of innocuous. Make it fun. Make it engaging. But don’t make it controversial.
3. Colored Boxes And Latest Trends
The third thing is another one of those new-fangled things on Facebook alone, the latest trend. Some of the latest trends include colored boxes. So now you can post a question, as I said in the first one, “What is your favorite color?” And then you put it in a colored box so it stands out more. Well, those colored boxes are frankly just annoying. If you want to engage people with using some kind of art to get them engaged, then use a picture. Find a picture. Take a picture. Do something that’s slightly different than everybody else.
The other thing that people have jumped on is the live video stream thing. Where they’re constantly streaming live video. Now some people are doing it from a business standpoint. Other people are just doing it as like, here’s my thought of the day. “Butterflies. They’re like butters that fly. Why is it? Why do they fly and where are they going?” You know, it’s like they’re just off on these completely esoteric topics, and they’re just doing it because they can post a video. Unless there’s a purpose and some kind of sequence behind what you’re doing, then don’t just jump on the latest trend to post video because that’s what everybody else is doing. Be original. Find some reason to really share something. A tip. A trick. Something of value. And the other thing is, don’t go off on these 25- or 45-minute rants. Make it quick.
There’s a reason why the average song is three minutes. And to be honest with you, a 30-second, 60-second, 90-second video is way more engaging than a four or five-minute video. So don’t just jump on the latest trends of the colored boxes and the video. If you’re going to do that, do it with a purpose. Add some picture. Take some picture. Do something original.
4. Offering No REAL Value
The other thing that you have to be aware of is that you should do something that offers value, and be consistent about it. Don’t just randomly post stuff unless there’s a purpose behind it. Now one of the things that I do every single morning, is I have my quote of the day. In the evening, I have my caption contest. I’m incredibly consistent, seven days a week, in posting a quote of the day in the morning, and a caption contest at night. And that engages a lot of people. I will get upwards of 20 to 50 and 100 people commenting on some of those. Some will like, some will comment, some will share. And that’s what engagement really is. Is getting people to like, comment and share.
One of the things I talk about in my books and in my speeches is that I assign a value to each one of those. A like is worth one point, because all you have to do is click a button, and you can put a smiley face or a heart or whatever. But it’s still a like. It just has a different graphic. A comment takes a little bit more time, so people actually have to think it out. They have to type, they have to spell check, all that kind of stuff. So it’s takes a little bit more to engage with that, and I give that five points. And then the final thing is when people share, that means they’re taking your content and they’re sharing it with other people. So that’s worth 25 points, because now your name and your content is being put in front of their friends.
5. Connect And Sell
The final thing that I don’t want you to do is constantly just connect and sell. Now this happens to me all the time – mostly on LinkedIn, but occasionally on Facebook. What happens is somebody will send you a connection request, and then you connect with them, and you’re thinking, “Okay, I’ll connect with you,” and then 30 seconds later, they are sending you a direct message that says, “Hey, this is what I do, and this is how I can help you, and are you ready to get started?” And the answer is no.
I had one guy send me a message: “Hi, I help companies with their land purchases, and if you spend up to $100,000 to start we can go up to one million dollars and help you. Hey, what do you do?” And I messaged him back and said, “What I do is help people create authentic connections online, with people who could actually possibly use what you’re selling. Because I work out of my home-based office, I’m not going to go out and buy a hundred thousand dollar building.” The guy had spent no time researching me, no time figuring out who I am, and basically just dove in and sold me. The same thing happens on Facebook and other social media.
So don’t be that guy or girl. Don’t be the person that goes in and connects with people expecting them to buy right away. This is about relationship marketing. This is about spending time to provide value. This is about having fun and creating engagement. If you want to sell people, you want them to come to you. Because the chances of walking up to somebody in a bar, tapping them on the shoulder and saying, “Hey, you look good, want to get married?” are slim to none. And that’s the way that it feels when people just meet you online and then decide that they’re going to try and sell you something.
We are all in the relationship business. Engagement is all about being human, caring for others, being connected, and most importantly… giving a damn about your audience. Remember, it’s their choice to be engaged with you, not the other way around. That is called advertising!
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share ways that you have owned, managed, and created GREAT engagement!
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/
This article originally appeared in B2B Interactive Marketing Inc..