Social Media – Engage Your Users

Social Media - Engage Your UsersLately I’ve noticed a trend when I opt to follow someone on several of the social media sites that I use.  Within seconds of adding the person to those that I perceive to have something interesting to read, I start recieving SPAM messages to my inbox.  The extent of their social media activities is nothing more than message after message about how I can extend my reach on the social networks and make more money online.

Here’s a news flash – social media success is more than just spamming your followers – it is about engaging those people that have opted into your social media updates.  Social media is not a license to spam, it’s a mechanism that allows you to reach out to the community that has decided to follow you.

This appears to be the worst on Twitter.  The value I find in this micro blogging platform for me has come the great suggestions that I get from all those that I follow.  I have the ability to follow several of the big names in social media and get a feel for how they interact with their followers.  I feel engaged when they respond to some of my comments, some have visited my blog and others have made suggestions on how I can improve my online presence.  I have even made several potential business partners and have extended my reach in the social media world on many fronts.

Utilizing social media effectively has to have a balance that promotes your online presence and your sponsors along with those posts that adds some value to those who follow your social media updates.  If you have a rather large online reputation, you may be able to avoid being perceived as a spammer because many will perceive your word as gospel.  Personally, I could care less about your reputation.  For me, I have to feel engaged and not simply a bulletin board where you can continually advertise.

I’ve stopped following several of the so-called elite on Twitter because I haven’t felt engaged.  I have stopped following others who have massive numbers of subscribers simply because they have immediately spammed me when I opted into their social media stream.  Nowhere is it explicitly said that I will get spammed by you if I opt into your social media stream – I do understand that there will be some of this, but within seconds?

Get real folks, social media is about engaging your user community.  Build your reputation in the social media world and then use it to effectively promote and market but even then use this sparingly.

While I am not the social media guru that some are, I do know what works for me and what I expect as a user.  I realize that marketing potential of social media and understand that the commercialization of the Internet is driving many businesses both online and those that are bricks and mortar.  If you want to be successful in the social media arena you must understand the balance and leverage a combination of your reputation and your social reach.  It’s that simple.

For me, I continue to experiment in social media and learn from those that engage me.  I will continue to raise my knowledge and reach in the social media world while trying to walk the balance between being engaging and leveraging the reach I develop.  Remember, social media success is about being engaging and knowing how to utilize your reach to your advantage.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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