We might have mentioned this previously, but besides the occassional need for some other form of management, the actions you perform on social media can be divided into three main categories: growing your audience, engaging your audience, and creating content. This post will go into how to engage your audience with HustleCool.
Engaging your audience and seeing them engage you is much like pushing a boulder over a hill that then turns into a valley. It's hard at first, but after you reach a point inertia starts working for you and you can pretty worry a little bit less about your engagement levels. Think of celebrities (actual old school celebrities, not Instagram ones), do they worry about engaging their audience, or liking or sharing or commenting stuff from their fans? Pretty much none of them does that. Why? They know that they don't have to. People will like and share and comment their posts no matter what they do. In fact, catering too much to their audience might even hurt their engagement levels. If you're on this corner of the Internet, we can safely assume that you're not a celebrity yet. For you to increase your engagement levels, you can a) do nothing outside of posting your content, or b) be the first to engage your audience and continue to engage those that you build a good relationship with. After you build a number of such relationships, your engagement numbers will improve.
Likes are free. I mean, technically they do cost time, but it's a tiny amount of it, and they also don't cost a lot of mental energy. That's mostly because the consequences of you liking a post are miniscule. If you're a small or rather unknown account, people barely care about what you post, yet alone like. So liking stuff (even if you don't necessarily like it that much) brings you on peoples' radars.
Shares are similar in some ways, but they carry more weight because the same content ends up on your profile as well. Which means people are more careful with what they share. But that doesn't make them a less powerful tool. It might make them even more powerful, you just have to use them more sparingly. So they are free in the sense that they don't cost any actual human money, but they do need at least a few seconds of consideration, often more.
Well, comments also don't cost money, but they do cost mental energy and time. You could just post 'awesome' and 'aww that's cute' everywhere, but the effects are proportional to the effort and contribution to the discussion, so you'll usually try and add valuable insights to whatever it is you're commenting on. Unlike likes and shares, comments are your actual words, so there's even less room for error here.
Armed with these three tools, which are almost universal across every social media network, you can start engaging your audience and getting noticed. Your skills will get sharper, especially when commenting, and you'll be able to join discussions faster and be more useful. People will appreciate that. HustleCool will help you get as much as you can out of your engagement efforts with the Engage context. As usual, you will experiment and test things a lot, but your accounts will come with some predetermined settings that match the general intersection between best practices and polite behaviour on social media.
Each account has a set of parameters describing how will that account engage its audience. Not every setting applies for every social network, so every setting has besides it the icons of the social networks it applies to.
Interests are the sources where you'll get your engage opportunities from. It is a text field where you enter your interests separated by a comma. On every request for opportunities, you will be presented with opportunities on some of the specified interests. The result set won't contain opportunities from all the interests because that would result in extremely slow queries, instead each team or account will only get opportunities from one or two of its interests (and one from its influencers or partners). There are four different operators for the Interests field:
The Interests list is usually updated semi-frequently, experimentation and testing is encouraged. There is one difference between Instagram and the rest of the social networks currently - with the way Instagram is integrated, it is possible to like and comment on posts only from people your account follows. Sharing is currently not implemented for Instagram, but it probably will be soon.
An important feature that is recommended to be left turned on is the Be Friendly flag. This little switch brings you back posts from people that have engaged you in some way and you can engage them back and start or continue building your relationship with them. So with Be Friendly on, you will see posts from people that have retweeted you or commented on your tweets for Twitter, and liked or commented on your posts on Instagram. You can immediately return the favour.
Good behaviour on social media is defined by moderance. Liking, sharing or commenting too much flags you as a spammer and might get you banned. That's why it's smart to put a few checks for yourself, and you can achieve that with the Target and Limit parameters. You can set them for all three activities, for liking, sharing and commenting. It is smart and productive to work towards a daily goal and incorporate that into your routine, so set high but achievable targets. Setting the limits to two times your targets is a simple strategy that will often hit the balance between being engaging yet having consideration. After you hit your targets, you get a status message notifying you of that, so you can stop if you don't feel like engaging anymore. Or you can continue with engagement until you hit your limits. The limits are not the word of God, they are numbers over which you have full control and their only goal is to stop yourself from shooting yourself in the foot. Just be reasonable and you should be fine, targets like 200 likes are more than fine for most networks, 100 comments is also fine probably (though it's really tiresome). I like to go easier on the shares and target around 20 of those.
The Max Content Age setting will make sure that you only see content from users that is as fresh as you need it to be. If you set the number to 24, all content pieces created 24 hours before that point will be filtered out.
The Tweet Type setting is relevant to Twitter content only and it determines whether you'll see original tweets only, retweets only, or both.
The four Content From... are used to decide what content to see depending on your relationship with the content's poster. So, Content From Friends shows you content from people that you follow and follow you back, Content From Admirers shows you content from people that only follow you, Content From Not Following Back shows you content from people that you follow but are not followed by, and Content From Strangers shows you content from people with whom you have no relationship.
These are all the parts of an account's strategy. The other important aspect of it are the account's use of filters.
Filters are reusable objects that you define once and can later add or remove on a result set. Currently the same filters are used in both the Grow and Engage contexts, but that might change if needed, basically the audience will voice its opinion on this. The best way to work with filters is creating a bunch of them and adding them or removing them on a result set. Multiple filters operate as if they're connected by an 'AND' operator, meaning that if you see a result in a result set it means that the result has passed all the filters defined. By turning multiple filters on and off, you get a powerful way to experiment with a lot of content and determine the best way to engage it, like say commenting on the best pieces only and liking the mediocre ones. With a clever use of filters, you'll be able to easily identify potentially viral content and take advantage of it.
The name of the filter must be unique among all the other filters. There are many parameters in a filter, and probably even more will be added. Some parameters are irrelevant to the Grow context and are only used in the Engage context. They are marked by the '(content)' suffix, meaning they don't affect Grow in any way. All of the parameters are applied in the Engage content, which means that posts are filtered on stats about the content piece itself and the user that posted it. This is a full list of all the parameters in a filter and what they mean:
The properties that are not set or are left with their value being 0 are ignored when applying that filter.
The filters can be used as labels as well. Instead of removing posts from the result set, the filters only stick a label to every result that would have passed the filter. The labels are checked in the Labels section instead of the Filters section. Labels are useful for quickly identifying content pieces that would fit into a predefined category. I've found it easier to have filters and labels with only a few parameters defined, making them very granular, and frequently checking and unchecking them to give every result set a good spin and exploring it thoroughly. My content filters are separate objects that only look at the '(content)' parameters, and I used them as both filters and labels interchangeably.
Chances are you will work on more than one social media account at a time, and probably even more account per network too. When a few accounts are targeting a similar sphere or domain, it is advised that those accounts are placed in a team. When in a team, those accounts will have a few added benefits that will enable them to work in a more synchronized fashion.
In the Engage context, accounts in a team can benefit from two feature. One of them is "Don't engage same users in team", and when turned on, it makes sure that all the content from the result set is evenly distributed among all the accounts in the team that are interested in that content. This will aid you in things like not engaging the same piece of content from different accounts, and if that's how your strategy works in should be left turned on. The second feature is "Shuffle Suggestions", which specifies whether the results should be shuffled, so that performing the engage actions is spread out across time, resulting in distributing the activity across time and decreasing the chances of having one of your accounts banned.
Once you click the "Get Opportunities" button and wait a few moments, you will get a result set of content pieces for the accounts you've included and matching your current strategy. The posts are ready to be engaged with. Currently all the networks have the ability for you to perform a Like or a Comment, and Twitter has the additional abilities that let you Retweet/Share or Quote a content piece, with the Quote being similar to a Retweet but also with your commentary on top of it. You also have the ability to follow a user from Engage as well, but we recommend doing that on the rare occasion where it seems like a smart move to make, since the Engage context lacks the advanced optimizations for audience management that Grow has. So follow people if you need to, it's not that bad, but do most of your following in Grow, it's better for the Follow/Unfollow strategy. You can also unfollow people in Engage as well. You have the option to assign roles to a user, with the current options being the Partner, Influencer and Competitor role, and more to come soon, probably even custom user defined ones. Muting or blocking a user will also be available soon. For faster work and smoother flow, all of the mentions of users, the hashtags and the urls found in either the poster's description or the content piece are taken out into special little containers below the post and can be further used as leads sources or interests, assigning roles to them, or just clicking and going through the urls. When you're done engaging with a content piece and you want it removed from the result set, you click "Done".
Similarly to the Grow context, the Engage context has a few hotkeys of its own that speed up your process. The hotkeys are used to quickly interact with whatever piece of content is at the top of your stack. This will be a matter of change, but for now we have the "F" hotkey (or the swipe right action on a phone) to follow the top user, the "U" hotkey to unfollow that user, the "L"/double tap to like the top post, the "R" hotkey to share it, and the "D"/swipe right to be done with the top content piece.
Since engaging your audience is one of the most important activities you will do on social media, you will find that you will play around with your Engage strategies a lot. It would be great to share your thoughts, experience and ideas on it.
Engage your audience in the most natural and efficient way currently in existence.