Blogger: Mary Keeley
Do you like the new, more interactive format of our Books & Such blogs? Adding the photos makes it feel almost like Skype or Google+ when we comment back and forth. And having the blogger’s reply appear just below the comment encourages interaction. I’ve noticed a difference in the way and extent to which everyone is commenting—more three-way conversations going on. Let’s get a conversation going here about a format change can provide positive results, and how you can apply that idea to your social media.
Observation #1: As noted already, the format change lends itself more to conversation. Rather than a top-down structure in which the comments mainly occurred between the blogging agent and individual commenters one at a time, there is growing involvement with each other. And in the course of frequent conversation, you get to know each other better. The fruit of that is you start to care about each other, and supportive relationships start to grow. It’s encouraging when others take the time to involve themselves with your comments.
Observation #2: The increasing involvement seems to build as sharing and problem-solving take place. When there is true engagement with each other’s needs or interests—not just the “hey, great to hear from you; see you at the next conference” variety—people come back for more. We need each other. After all, God created us for fellowship. Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose (Philippians 2:1-2).
Try engaging with your followers, fans, and FB friends in this way and see if it makes a difference in your social media effectiveness. I know…you’re thinking there’s no way you have time to engage on that level with them. But it takes only a minute or two extra to respond in a more focused way to show them they had your full attention. “Liking” a comment on FB isn’t the same as actually saying something. And, as elsewhere in life, you’ll have acquaintances and you’ll have closer friends. High numbers of followers look great, but they don’t guarantee follow-through. The more social media contacts you try to truly engage with, the more likely they will buy your books and spread the word to others.
What differences do you see between your interactions with social media friends and your closer, “live” friends? If your current social media is different, are you reaping the results you think you should be, based on your numbers?