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The simple strategy to get more from your social presence

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Picture this: You’re at a party, engrossed in a conversation when suddenly someone joins your circle and listens for a minute before chiming in with their own input. You give them a thumbs up and maybe shoot them a Jim Halpert-esque smile and eyebrow raise before resuming the conversation with the original person.

When that person goes home that night, do you think they’ll remember you? Do you think they’ll want to follow up on the potential relationship?

Probably not.

Imagine instead that you responded to their comment with something interesting, introduced yourself, and made them feel like they were part of the conversation. Now you’re building a relationship with someone new.

Pretty easy to see which is more likely to lead to business for you, right?

Most people act on social like the first example. Tap the like button to a comment and move on. Or they’re the person joining a conversation and just saying, “That’s awesome 🔥” and nothing else.

When you picture these interactions as in-person interactions, you’ll see how a lot of social engagement isn’t going to lead to anything for your business.

Start treating your social presence like you’re having these interactions in person. With that in mind, here are some tips for engaging better on social media.


Engage with others


Don’t engage only with people who comment and reply to your content, engage with other people’s content as well. It makes them way more likely to engage with your future content AND gives them that little dopamine hit.

Engage with people you follow but also go and engage with other local accounts. The types of accounts that your ideal clients would engage with as well. Not only will you build a relationship with the people influencing your ideal clients, but they’ll also likely, over time, see your name popping up and check out your profile, wondering who you are.


The last 50


Let’s oversimplify what we know about social algorithms. They’re big complicated beasts. So we’ll simplify it to “The last 50” concept. The people who are going to see your content the most are the people who are in your last 50 interactions.

Similar to in-person interactions, you’re going to remember the last few people you had conversations with and interacted with the most instead of that random passing interaction.

You want to be in people’s last 50 interactions, whether that’s with your content or theirs. The more you engage with them, the more likely they are to see your posts and engage with you.

Don’t overthink trying to work the algorithm. Focus on being in someone’s Last 50 meaningful interactions.


Ask Questions


As a wise man once said, and that man is the great Phil M. Jones, “Questions create conversations, conversations create relationships, relationships create opportunities, and opportunities create sales.”

On social, ask lots of questions. The key to people thinking you’re interesting and wanting to talk with you more is to get them to spend as much time as possible talking about themselves. If someone posts their dinner at a restaurant, ask them what they thought of that dish or that specific restaurant.

If they’re posting vacation photos, ask them what their favourite place is in that location so far. Get them talking. If you ask questions, it elicits replies, signalling to the algorithm there’s a relationship there. This makes the algorithm more likely to recommend your content to them later.

The more questions you ask, the more conversations you end up in. As you talk to more people, you’ll be more likely to find opportunities for sales. It’s a pretty straightforward approach. If you just drop a fire emoji, that’s not leading to anything deeper.


The stupidly simple strategy to accomplish this


If you follow Gary Vaynerchuck (and let’s be honest, a lot of other speakers and advice givers over the years), you’ve probably heard of the 5-5-5 rule. We took that with a slight modifier, what we call the 5-5-5+1 rule.

It’s a daily task list of things to do on social media. So every day, it will break down like this:

  • Five likes on someone’s post.
  • Five significant comments on someone’s post (should NOT be from the same posts you liked): these should be comments that elicit a reply, like a question. Emojis do not count as a comment.
  • Five direct messages or story replies, again, emojis don’t count. You send an actual comment that should elicit a reply from the person you’re sending it to.

Simple, right?

Now the +1 modifier I mentioned. Next week you turn the 5-5-5 into 6-6-6. Then 7-7-7, 8-8-8, etc., until you find the reasonable limit. 

Some people might get as high as 20-20-20 or more, and others may go back to 5-5-5.

Do this consistently, and you’ll watch your engagement increase and your followers, too.


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