Let’s Get Engaged!


Let’s face it: any  PR pro working on social media projects is after the brass ring: engagement. (If you’re not, you should be!) Simply put, engagement is the connection made among social media users, whether it is likes, shares or comments. No matter how great your news, if it doesn’t get eyeballs, it’s not getting out. Experts offer many useful suggestions on how to increase engagement, but I’m going to add my short list to the mix.

Timing is Everything. Consider the time of day you are posting your content. If you’re posting based on the convenience of your schedule rather than the needs of your stakeholders, you’re missing out. Use the scheduling tool to post at times most likely to reach your audience. For example, morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up may be an opportune time to share content.

The Hook. Good writing, like good manners, is still important. If you’re hurriedly rushing through your writing to post, this is a missed opportunity. There is nothing wrong with lifting your own work to repurpose it for social.

The Payoff. Develop content that gives your stakeholders a payoff (and your organization too). By selectively choosing your content to include interesting visuals, you can advance your key messages while evoking emotion. Remember those newsworthiness values? They work on social media, too.

The Look. After you’ve submitted your post, you’ve gotta look . . . at the analytics. This form of measurement offers so much information and validation if you’re doing it right.

My office recently changed our social media approach when it comes to sharing content. For articles, we use pull quotes to draw people to click to read it. We’re doing the same for video too, and we’re using our analytics to determine when to post.

Curious how it worked? Our analytics show an increase in engagement of 122% over last week.


How’s that for grabbing the brass ring?




Are you social on social media?

I once heard it said that a website is your living room, and social media is more like the kitchen or backyard. And because I can’t pass up a good mullet analogy, I think of it as business in the front, party in the back.

Social media isn’t just another website or newsletter — it’s a distinct space, a community of give and take. Here are a few ways to use this dynamic to your advantage and maximize engagement:

Be human. If you read your post aloud and it doesn’t sound the way you’d talk to your neighbor or friend, keep editing until you get it right.

When others post or comment, think of how you’d handle it in person. (Highly unlikely you’d walk away or sit in silence.) The vast majority of engagements deserve your attention, even if it’s just clicking like or favorite. If you’re dealing with a troll or unreasonable individual, go high. Respond once, invite an offline conversation (if appropriate) and — if it’s clear a fight is a higher priority than a solution — resist the temptation to engage further.

Be honest. Authenticity is the foundation of any friendship. If we can’t be honest when times are good — and honest when times are difficult — we can’t really be friends. When you need to share difficult news, or explain after an embarrassing incident that you’re already planning how you’ll do better next time, remember that you are actively building trust.

Loosen up. Generally speaking, we humans love warmth, humor and high fives. When the timing and tone is right, don’t be afraid to joke around or throw down some slang, a meme or a GIF. (It goes without saying, but there is no appropriate moment for a district voice to use vulgarity of any sort.)

Full throttle snark can be fun, but keep in mind it works best in certain social media communities and sites. It’s best to consider your platform, your audience and your purpose before adding “Be snarky” to your list of social media strategies.

If you’re not quite sure about letting down your guard, here are some simple examples that could play well in virtually any district:

Facebook Tools for Administrators to Help Connect with Others

Facebook recently released two new tools that give page administrators easier access to connect with users.

Someone liked your content but not your page? Directly invite them!
Ever had someone like your Facebook content but not the page? Of course. We are all faced with this issue. Facebook now has a tool that allows page administrators to directly invite someone, who likes a specific post, to like the page. With Facebook recently changing their algorithm (again) the reach that pages have is once again decreased. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach people who haven’t already liked your page. However, users can and will still see a post or posts because a friend liked it or because it was sponsored content. Grow your page by inviting those who like your content to join the page.

How does it work?
Click on the list of people who have liked a post. It will bring up a new window with the list of the people who have liked that post. To the right of each name it will say invite or liked. If it says liked, the individual already likes your page. If it says invite, click the invite box to invite them to like your page.


Direct Message Those Who Comment On Your Page
In the past, it has been somewhat cumbersome for page administrators to directly message those that comment on a Facebook page. Now under each individual’s name, you will see three options: like, reply and message (see below). If you click on message, you will be able to send a direct message to the individual. When possible, always try to respond to the post via the thread so all visitors see the response. You show transparency and build trust this way. However, in the instances that the comment needs to be handled privately and not in the social media world, this is particularly handy. Individuals can still set their privacy so administrators may not be able to message everyone, but it is a start.