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Engaging fans, followers, and other end-users to connect with your business is one of the main goals of social media marketing. Social media engagement comes in the forms of retweets, likes, page views, and conversion rates – basically the sharing of information. When it comes to social media engagement, it means the ability to establish a deep connection with your readers. The term “social” from social media gives users the ability to socialize with others, whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google +.
But how exactly do you engage or encourage users to participate in discussions and activities? Here are a few ideas that might help, as Jeff Clay of Search Engine Journal puts it: 
1. Initiate contact. Just like any relationship, if we wait for a long time for the other person to make the first move, that time may never come. Show initiative. While it may be weird or stalker-ish to start conversing with people out of the blue, it will grow on you in the long run. This doesn’t mean you should talk to every single fan or follower all of a sudden, though. Remember, engaging means building a meaningful relationship with another person, and this can’t be done with every single person who likes your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter. Quality over quantity. 
2. Break that wall down. While casual conversations are sufficient to get you started, it will not create a meaningful relationship at all. A personal message, a funny comment, or a useful remark should be enough to get the relationship on its feet. As long as the message evokes a response or emotion, it will drive the other person’s interest and encourage him or her to indulge in the conversation. 
3. Consistency is key. In doing social media marketing, there has to be consistency for your followers or fans to trust you. This means being around on a regular basis and simply not appearing only to disappear after a few months. You can start on one platform such as Facebook or Twitter then move on to the next, constantly communicating via email or blog. Not only is this taking social media in action, but it will also help once you actually see that individual in real life. 
4. Be nice and show authenticity. This means establishing a real relationship with another person and simply not using him or her for marketing purposes. Connect with someone and bring something to the table as well. Relationships are give and take. It doesn’t work well if only one person is putting in effort. 
Social media is primarily done to meet new people with the same interests. Sometimes social media marketing practitioners forget that they aim to build professional relationships because social media has forged their connections into more personal ones. Social media is good for business but in the long run, it enhances the individuals through their relationships built over time.
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