5 types of status updates to build social engagement

5 status updates to build online engagementThis post doesn’t really apply to one single social network. In fact, you could apply it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (or even one of the other smaller social networks that you’ve joined). We’re talking about status updates.

Just being on the hottest social network doesn’t guarantee that you’ll instantly amass a large following. It also doesn’t matter how many fans, friends or followers you have. No, you need to be engaging. We’re not talking about going around and meeting every single person that you’re connected with (that would take a ridiculous amount of time). Instead, we’re talking about using the basics that all social networks are built around – the status update.

Every social network offers a variation of the status update. For Facebook users, it could be a quote, sharing an event, posting engaging photos, or simply using the questions appTwitter users are a little more confined – 140 characters to be exact, yet the status update is still relevant to share links, break news, or even tweet a photo from your encounter with your favorite celebrity. For Pinterest users, the status update isn’t just the photo that you pin to your pinboards – that’s a good chuck of it. In addition, be sure you include keyword rich descriptions (there’s a nifty search feature as well).

So enough with the examples, right? Take me to the 5 types of status updates that you can post to help build your engagement levels!

5 types of status updates to help you build your social engagement:

Share a link to your email newsletter
Why is this important? If you run your own blog, don’t expect fans to know you’re out there. It’s like having a birthday party and choosing not to send out the invites to the guests. If you have an email newsletter, encourage friends, fans and followers to sign-up for it. Also be sure to upsell your newsletter, such as mentioning that it is free (most are).

Ask a hypothetical question
If you could _________, One place I would go on vacation is _______, My favorite skin moisturizer is ________. There are lots of examples to choose from. The key here is to be on point and remember to keep it simple! If you’re fresh out of ideas, look at your products that you offer. If you sell clothing like t-shirts, focus on different aspects that fans might be interested in, such as My favorite color is ______.

Let customers help you decide!
If there is one thing that businesses forget to do, it’s to get customers involved. Sure, you’re not going to let fans decide who gets hired, but you should let them be involved in deciding which new line of products you are looking to come out with. Customers are the heart and should of your business. Without them, all you have is your product. Keep them involved when looking at a new line, ask them questions, and most importantly, instead of shooting down their ideas (or taking them for your own), thank them. It will go a long way in the end.

Respond to fans’ comments and “likes” on your statuses
Just as letting customers get involved with certain aspects of a business is important, also be sure to respond to fans’ comments, “likes,” retweets, and pins. Not only does this show that you’re active, but it also shows that you’re approachable. This in itself makes you and your content more likable.

Include a call to action
A call to action can come in many forms. On Twitter, it might be including RT in front of your tweet – to encourage followers to retweet a specific tweet. On Facebook, it might be asking fans to Click “LIKE” if they agree or disagree with something. If you’re launching a new website and want your fans to tell their friends, ask them to Click “SHARE.” One thing is certain, having a call to action is KEY. And speaking of one, there should typically be only one call to action per status update.  This way the message that you are trying to convey doesn’t get confused and wires don’t get crossed somewhere.

Putting it all together, just by posting these simple, yet very powerful status updates, you should see an increase in your social engagement. While you’re engaging, I also want you to do something for me – keep an eye out for what content works (it should be getting likes, comments and retweets, the number doesn’t matter) and what isn’t working (no likes, no comments). Also notice which of your fans are the most active.

These key indicators (likes, comments, retweets, pins) along with knowing who your active fans and customers are — together – can help you to not only build better engagement, but also get to know who the people you influence are. This way as you grow, you know who to reach out to and who to ask for advice so that you can find out what they think.

If  you have additional ideas on the types of status updates you can use to build better engagement, I would love to hear them! Share your ideas below.