It would be extremely hard these days to find a company that is not using some form of social media for their business. Well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook are utilized by big corporations and small business as a way for them to promote themselves. However, just because your business is “on” these platforms, doesn’t mean that you are using them to their full potential.

The key to using social media properly is engagement. If your business is not using its social media profiles to engage with your consumers, then you are really just wasting your time. Engagement allows customers to feel personally connected to your business and builds brand loyalty. Being flat when it comes to social media engagement can truly make or break your business. Here are five ways to boost social media engagement:

1. Talk to your customers, not at them

It is easy to create a post on Facebook. The real talent is turning that post into a conversation. When people post comments on your social media, respond quickly. Give your customers the chance to actually talk to you. Allow your customers to feel like they are talking to a human being, not an automated reply system. You can post all the content you want or send it to them, but if they don’t feel as if they are a valuable part of the conversation, it is pointless.

2. Allow the customer to do the talking:

Sometimes, the best marketing comes the customers themselves. It is perfectly fine to allow people to promote your business. Allow people to share their experience with your business. Whenever you receive a great customer review or testimonial, showcase it or share it to your page or profile. Consumers are more willing to take the word of another people over yours. Welcome the opportunity for customers to comment and share their experience.

3. Host Q &A Sessions:

Giving customers a direct line of communication by hosting a Q&A session is a great way to boost engagement. A great suggestion is to let someone who is higher up in the company answer the questions directly from the customer. Host your sessions on Facebook or Twitter, since those are more than likely your most used platforms. These sessions can be between 30 minutes to 1 hour long. Just be sure to let the customers guide the conversation but not to the point that they are trolling you.

4. Contests

Who doesn’t love winning free stuff? Contests are great ways to boost social media engagement. Contests with great prizes encourage people to participate. Creating a contest that is related to your brand will boost engagement with those who are already followers and can help you increase the number of subscribers by requiring those that don’t follow or like your page yet to do so in order to win.

5. Show your Personality

Not every post has to be about your business. Show that your company has personality. Post a funny picture or video of your employees at work. It’s okay to be lighthearted sometimes. Have fun on social media. Customers will love that you are willing to laugh and that will help them to build a connection to your brand. Just be careful with the content. Make sure that it is appropriate for your audience.

Brittani McCray-Fleureme is an MBA student in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at