Writing Prompt: Define Social Media Engagement Based on Personal Experiences

"I Know I Can" WNFIN Prompt 046

Social Media Engagement, Week #4

In our last full week of social media experiments, it is time to talk about the most interesting aspect of social media – engagement. Just like every other buzz word out there, the term “engagement” is loaded with meaning. It literally means something different to every person. Your job is to define social media engagement based on your personal experiences.

Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts

I never thought about engagement until after I had been blogging for several months. It wasn’t something that I thought about, knew about, or was familiar with. It was a foreign concept until I began to learn about it more formally. When I first started blogging, I did so under the guise of creating an author platform. I started off having a lot of one-sided conversations with myself on social media. Basically, I would write blog posts and had few page views or comments to make my efforts worthwhile.

As I started adapting to the finer nuances of blogging, I learned that, to make my social media efforts more successful, I would have to learn to engage, which is just a fancy technical way of saying “talk to people.” That meant I had to set aside my passive activities of sending link after link and jump in more actively by fearlessly striking up conversations with people, replying to them, asking questions, and leaving blog comments. In the one year since I’ve started blogging, I feel that I’ve done a great job expanding my horizons and experimenting with many different ways of engaging people on their blogs, my blogs, and on social media tools.

Helpful Resources

“My argument is they [people] shouldn’t focus on engagement as if it’s some sort of task on a check list. They should actually have conversations, ask questions and present ideas that the audiences will find interesting and react to.” – Jason Falls, for Social Media Explorer

“ ‘Engagement’ ” is defined as some action beyond exposure and implies an interaction between two or more parties. Social media engagement is an action that typically occurs in response to content on an owned channel – i.e. when someone engages with you.” – Bill Paarlberg, for #SMMStandards

Writing Prompt 046
  • Step 1: Think about some of the social media activities you’ve done. How did you interact with people? What did you like about these activities?
  • Step 2: Think about the concept of social media engagement. Read different viewpoints about how people define engagement, but start to formulate your own point of view.
  • Step 3: Define the term social media engagement based on your personal experiences.

Please be sure to leave comments about this writing prompt. We want to hear from you!

About the Author

Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch. Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors.

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  1. This is interesting…this “engagement” thing. It’s hard to engage readers on your blog when you don’t have many to engage, huh? 🙂

    I’ve recently (within the past month) joined in with Tammie Clark Gibbs and several other authors for this big Facebook party thing – Share An Excerpt Saturday (Virtual Ebook Fair). That’s been QUITE a learning experience. It seems like the more I try to engage there, the worse I do (as far as blog site hits and sales).

    Maybe I just don’t know HOW to engage with people at a Facebook party? Or maybe it’s just because I’ve been promoting the same book every week. Maybe people are getting tired of seeing the same old thing… Might be time to experiment some more!

    • Mishael,

      How about trying a blog tour? Get some bloggers to review your book? Or write some posts for them about your book or your writing process. Do a virtual book tour and get on some podcasts. Yelling “buy my book” in any way, shape or form does not engage in my experience. It’s much better to share great info related to your book.

      Hope that helps.


  2. Mishael:

    I’m thrilled to see you here. Thank you so much for stopping by WNFIN!!

    Your comments are very interesting. Based on what you wrote in these comments, I strongly encourage you to complete the writing prompt on your own blog and come back and post your permalink here.

    What I found most interesting is how you correlated engagement with conversion (i.e., page views on your blog and book sales). To me, the two are totally distinct concepts. When you engage with someone, you are conversing, talking, discussing. That is the first step, in my opinion, to a successful relationship online (or offline). Once you manage to strike up conversations and slowly develop a rapport, conversion fits in a little better.

    As for Facebook parties, you are right. Experimentation is definitely key. I do not know much about them either, but I strongly encourage you to write about your experiences and experiments on your own blog (hint).

    Nina Amir’s advice about the virtual book tours is right on the money. In fact, one of our associates from Melissa Foster’s group (Lori Verni-Fogarsi) just completed one. She’s a good one for you to reach out with your questions.

    • Engagement is about readers and fans “doing” something–sharing your content, spending time on your site, commenting, following your to your networks from your blog or to your blog from your networks, talking to you on your networks, etc.

  3. I actually get more quality blog comments from posts on facebook. The types of responses I typically get on my blog are from spammers, and so I have had to go to mediation. I delete the spam one by one. It’s time consuming and disheartening. Facebook replies are encouraging.

  4. Sally Ferguson:

    Your blog is really nice. I left a comment there this morning and noticed that it requires you to approve it before it posts to your blog. The moderation aspect should help. I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of spam completely. I have a lot of experience using WordPress. I encourage you to switch your blog over to WordPress as they have a lot of great anti-spam measures.

    I did not see your Facebook profile connected to your blog. You may want to link them up to make it easier for people to “Like” your page.

    Thank you for visiting us here at Write Non Fiction in November. I hope you had a chance to look at March’s theme: prayer.


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