How to create “engagement”?

 by The Marketing Bit

I hear small business operators who have made the leap into social media (good for them), complain that no one comments on their posts, no one

Social Media EngagementSocial Media Engagement

shares their updates or re-tweets their tweets, etc.  Without any interaction or payoff, small business begins to wonder if social media is really worth the effort.

What’s lacking is ‘engagement’.  Without engagement, social media becomes tiresome and boring.  Over time, people will stop paying attention.  But how does one stimulate engagement?

If you’re a small business and before you throw in the towel, I’d like to encourage you read the following engagement suggestions and test them out with your social media audiences.

It’s all about You or them?

One factor is the small business is not tweeting or posting items that are of interest to their audience.  Chances are it is all about the business or the product and not about adding value. The rule is to add value by sharing information that enlightens, educates, informs, shares and updates your audience.  Twenty percent (20%) or less of the posts and tweets can promote your business, products, store, but with care and not like a used car sales man.  Remember, social media is about building online buddies.

Take time to Buddy-up

Speaking of buddies, I don’t believe many small business proprietors are taking the time to really make buddies with their fans, followers, connections.  What do I mean?  Going beyond just thanking someone for joining your social community.  In addition, visit their profile or website.  See if you can find anything of interest to share with others in your network.  Talk directly t to them through the direct messaging tools that are available and become true buddies in the same way you would talk face-to-face if they were in your store or place of business.

You certainly can’t do this with everyone in your social media community, but you can cherry-pick those who are already the most engaged.  Start there and span out.

What do you want them to do?

Another factor that leads to a lack of engagement is there are few, if any, calls to action.  If you want your social media community  to take action then explain what you would like them to do, how to do it and give them a reason to do it.  Want your updates shared or re-tweeted?  Ask them to do just that and explain why.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Ask first.  Then deliver.

Few small businesses are asking members of their social media communities what they would like to know or learn about.  Instead, assumptions are made as to what folks want to hear about.  Ask and then respond.

Get them talking to each other

Create opportunities for them to interact with one another.  This could be some sort of collaboration or perhaps they could join forces to select a new product, a new color, etc.  Offer contests rather than discounts.  Get them hyped about some happening or cause.  Stir the pot with something controversial and get them to share their points of view.

Try a couple of these ideas and see if your engagement doesn’t increase.

Do you have some additional engagement ideas that have worked for you?  Then share them below so we can all benefit.

Original Article published at this LINK:

Link: ideas to stimulate social media engagement.%0A%0A–%0Asent via Shareaholic

Become a Subscriber!

If you are looking for anything in Pelham we invite you to make your localized search engine. Our social enterprise delivers continually updated, internet exposure to all sectors of our local community – business, non-profit groups, service clubs, sports organizations, farms, churches, schools, artists- you name it – it should be here.

My co-founding business partner, Melissa Wells and I began building the MyPelham community site in November 2009 in order to create a fully inclusive on-line environment where all community groups could share content and attract a common user base. In turn, all participants benefit by having the opportunity to cost-effectively promote their events, services and sales offers to a our growing local internet audience.

We are thrilled by the response that we have received from our local community. We now have over 50 business sponsors, more than 40 non-profit groups and several local bloggers actively submitting content.

Our weekly e-news is distributed every Monday to our 1,700 person (& continually growing) subscriber list. CLICK HERE NOW to review our past issues and register to receive your own copy delivered weekly to your personal in-box.


Over the past two years our community website has developed to become a comprehensive on-line source of information about all aspects of life, work and entertainment in the Town of Pelham. also provides promotional support to Pelham area businesses and organizations via social media. Our Facebook page serves as a free resource for local community members to share links and Melissa and I also actively utilize our @MyPelham Twitter profile to promote local events and the sales offered by our business sponsors.

One of our primary long term goals for is to create a sustainable, marketing resource that actively collaborates with other Niagara regional initiatives. is now linked with Tourism Niagara, Niagara Economic Development Corporation and MLS-Niagara. As the marketing strategist for, I also proactively interact with other regional organizations such as the Tourism Partnership of Niagara, Social Media Club Niagara, Climate Action Niagara, Niagara Original Brand Advisory Committee, Niagara Escarpment Commission, and Brock University to further enhance opportunities for future partnerships.

From Day One, we stated that we were not simply creating a website. We have established a social enterprise that provides long term economic development and tourism benefit to our Town. Our intention is to generate sufficient advertising revenue to function as a self-sustaining entity that limits the potential tax burden of Town promotion.

At this time, Melissa and I would like to express our deep appreciation for all the community members who have supported our efforts throughout the past two years. We are excited to embark on another year of collaborative community growth and new development opportunities.

Niagara Realty Source Report

 I research and analyze local economic data and write original commentary for my “Real Estate View” column published every 2nd week in the Pelham News. All past issues can be viewed on our Team Berkhout Bosse real estate BLOG  Here is a sample article to give you an overview of my writing style:
The Year that Was – 2010 Real Estate Review
(Published January 6th, 2011)
The Pelham real estate market finished the year off with a bang! With 18 single family unit sales in December compared to 10 in December 2009, sales for the month jumped 80%.

This surge was enough to offset the 4 per cent year to date dip reflected in our November results. Total sales in Pelham during 2010 reached 209 units – the exact same level as recorded in 2009.  How’s that for a balanced market?

Admittedly when we are working with such a limited sample size percentage results have a tendency to swing dramatically from month to month. When we review the larger market region of Niagara we are presented with an equally appealing snapshot of market activity.

According to the MLS statistics of the Niagara Association of REALTORS, there were 5,247 residential single family sales in Niagara in 2010 compared to 5,087 in 2009, representing an increase of 3.1%. Our neighbouring community of Welland also experienced an increase of 3% with sales of 726 units in 2010 up from 705 units in 2009.

The year ended stronger than was anticipated based on the weaker sales activity in the third quarter. In fact, it was just two months ago that the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced that it was revising its 2010 annual projection to predict an annual decline of 4.9 per cent over 2009 results.

This underlines the difficulties that economists are continuing to experience trying to read market conditions that have been teetering back and forth from quarter to quarter throughout the past two years.

One market statistic that has everyone smiling is the rising average price trend. According to the RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2011, examining trends and developments in 26 major centres across the country, found that virtually all areas were reporting an upswing in housing values, ranging from just under one per cent to 15 per cent this past year.

 In Pelham our 12 month average price was $324,584 – 5.8% higher than the figure of $306,854 recorded in December 2009. The Niagara average currently stands at $225,234 up 4.5% from last year’s level.

The RE/MAX national report concludes that we should expect greater stability to characterize the markets in 2011, Canadian housing sales to mirror 2010 levels with average prices escalating three per cent by year-end 2011. Let’s hope they’re right.