It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Social Media has changed the way we #communicate. In recent times, even rolling news channels struggle to keep up with the immediacy and interactivity of platforms like Twitter, so it’s not surprising that we’re spending time talking about how marketing can best ingratiate itself into this fledgling medium.

Whilst companies jostle for position on Twitter-feeds worldwide, they are finding that unlike in the world of television, paying for advertising space isn’t the be all and end all. Promoted posts ensure visibility, but how effective is this visibility on its own? Erik Qualman’s socialnomic finds that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust adverts. You can see that it is the engagement on social media that proves invaluable. When it comes to marketing on social media, there is a significantly higher ROE (return on engagement) than ROI, and that is why you must think seriously about how to engage effectively.

Like in any area, the better you understand how engagement through social media works, the better you can harness its benefits. A well run twitter account will see a significant return on their engagement, and it’s interesting to look at how this happens.

Your output

It goes without saying that you want to present yourself well online, and your output is how people will judge you. Firstly, you want to make sure that you are being seen by the right people – what good is it having slick online activity if no one sees it? Reaching a wide network of relevant people is achievable, and is reliant on a strong core following and making sure your output is frequently appealing to them.

Output on twitter should be clear, content heavy, and well scheduled (the time of day you post really does make a difference!). Effective hashtagging can be a useful tool for widening you posts’ reach.  If your posts are being seen, and are engaging people to look at relevant content, then you will start to prove your account as a valuable online resource.

It couldn’t be easier to discern how your followers feel about your output. Twitter gives you access to immediate, honest feedback at a glance. Using this free market research, we can see that people are keen to respond to content-sharing. It’s important to try and get your posts shared, as this will vastly widen your network beyond your followers, and sharing content is a great way to do that.

Once you begin to engage on Twitter, you can hone your output by using the whole platform as a sounding board. If your article detailing, say, the benefits of engaging on social media is gaining hits and retweets, then you’ll know to continue to create and that sort of content. This process will put you in a position where you can better understand your customer, as they simultaneously gain a better understanding of your product or service. It is through these ends that you begin to see the Return on Engagement.

Your responses

As a company on twitter, customers will invariably engage with you, it’s important to realise that it’s a two way street. You should tweet back. Lots of companies engage with negative feedback, as a means of bridge-building to the point where it’s virtually a necessity. When you tweet to a company to complain, wouldn’t you expect some sort of reply? However, fewer companies engage with the positive feedback they receive. They’ve taken the time to get in touch with you, the least you can do is respond, and you’ll be surprised how much it’s appreciated.

Opening this dialogue builds a rapport with your customer in a public forum. It’s relatively common for twitter users to retweet your response, increasing the number of people seeing your engagement. Being seen as an engaging presence increases the likelihood of more customers getting initiating conversation; due to the fact they see more chance of a response. Again, you can see that a strong social media presence represents an opportunity for engagement that’s too good to miss.

By engaging sensibly and with purpose on social media, you’re presenting yourself well, and you’re being seen by a large network people. You can see a return on your engagement in form of exposure and understanding your customers’ perception of your company, and these are worth their weight in gold!