I was reading a post from my friend Ken Montville on his ‘other’ blog entitled, “” and it got me to thinking.
In his post he starts out talking about Facebook Ads, links out to a post on using the ‘dark post’ strategy , moves a bit into SEO, and then finishes with a bit about engagement.
Gone are the days, though, that just throwing something up on the web will generate any traffic. Or, what used to be called engagement. You know, that thing where people you’ve never met start to comment on your blog. You comment back. A little online conversation ensures. Maybe they come back. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re a troll and just want to see if they can push you buttons.
* Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of properly run FB ads campaigns and actively manage accounts for clients on a daily basis, I build lead capture websites that use the dark post strategy, oh and I tend to talk a bit here about SEO. Guilty as charged – but we can talk about that later. Back to the original point…
It’s true! The discussion rarely happens on the post itself these days. But that doesn’t mean engagement is dead. Most of the discussion happens over on Facebook, Google plus or wherever that post was shared. We all know this. If you’ve been a content creator (blogger) for a while you’ve seen it happening on your posts.
That said, this engagement thing is a two way street. You can’t expect engagement without first engaging yourself.
(or at least that’s what I think)
I realize I suck. Ok, maybe not suck, but I can do better and for the next month I’m going to try to fix it. Here’s my plan.
On Facebook I run lists, many lists. Nobody becomes a ‘friend’ without going into a list. One of my main lists are those people who tend to actively refer business to me on a regular basis. If there’s something happening in their life, I want to know about it. It’s the first list I check each morning. If something interests me in what they post I may leave a comment. If it’s only mildly interesting I may just give it a “like”.
The “LIKE” is a copout
I think in the beginning it was a way to digitally pat someone on the back but today it’s not so much about them as it is about me. It’s a selfish act. By liking your post I’m raising my hand and saying, “HEY! Look at me! I liked your post!” (I’m also saying that your post wasn’t worthy of the time it would take to write even a short comment).
Admit it. You have certain people in your sphere that like every post of yours yet never leave a comment and you know they do it just to digitally drop their name on you. No need to name names. I’m guilty of this myself.
That’s what I used to do
I’ve started a new list. I’m going to call it “engagers” and for the next 30 days everyone who engages with me (on my posts or my friends posts) goes on that list.
- Each morning I’ll check that list and see what’s happening in the world of “engagers”.
- I will not LIKE anything I don’t also comment on.
- The comments I leave will be of quality comments.
- People who engage with my comments will also go on that list.
- If they are a regular blogger I’ll also add them to my FeedReader.
- I’ll leave quality comments on their blog posts when applicable.
- And so on.
The Scientific Method
Obviously, I’m working along the lines of the Scientific Method here. We know the question, we have the background research, this post is my hypothesis, and I’ve laid out my plan.
In 30 days I hope to see better engagement on my posts. Maybe not on the posts themselves but in the FB stream of those shared posts.
Comments, Likes and Shares can easily be tracked and quantified but what I am looking for is an increase in the quality of those. That’s something that it’s hard to put a number to so it’ll just have to go by feel.
My list is ready, this post is published, we start the test today and I’ll be happy to report back to you the results in 30 days (or so).