3 Surefire Ways to Engage Your Audience
By Rachel Wojo
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
You’ve attended conferences, taken notes, read books, and developed your speaking and writing platform. Whether email subscribers, social media followers, or any type of online community, you’ve worked hard to gain an audience. Congratulations! Your platform numbers are moving upward, even if gradually.
But you have another problem. It’s quiet. Too quiet. You don’t receive comments. You don’t receive emails from readers. You haven’t received a single response other than reads or likes. All you can hear in your online community is crickets. If engaging an online audience is your challenge, these 3 surefire ways to engage your online audience are the answer. Read on, Friend!
1. ASK A QUESTION – Show that you care.
You can pose a thought-provoking question to your online community in many ways. Maybe you want to engage your Facebook page to better prepare for an upcoming event. Form a thought-provoking question around the topic of the upcoming event and simply pose the question in a Facebook post. You don’t have to offer a dissertation, just a lending ear. Show your reader that you care.
Using simple surveys is another way to connect with readers. You will be surprised at what they want to share with you! Facebook posts allow for survey features with multiple choice answers. If Instagram is the platform you want to engage, post a unique photo along with a thought-provoking question to be answered in the comments. Maybe you aren’t sure of the most prevalent topics for your readers. Google forms are a wonderful tool to use to create a simple survey; you can send out the link through your email list.
You don’t have to be the conversation carrier; you want to be the conversation starter. Learning to ask questions of your audience will spark interest and give your audience the beauty of knowing that you are listening. Don’t forget to respond to their answers!
2. SHARE A PRACTICAL TIP, THEN ASK FOR THEIRS- Be helpful.
Once you’ve asked questions of your audience, then you’ve gained knowledge about their passions and problems. Whatever the passion or problem, sculpt a short, helpful tip. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, just a succinct practical word.
Brainstorm a list of unique problems your readers face and use it to make a short list of practical or inspirational tips. Share one or two a week with your communities and ask them to respond.
For example, with my audience, I might share a practical tip about how to choose a Bible reading plan, like: “Because I know my morning time constraint, I am careful not to choose a Bible reading plan with more than one chapter to read daily. Do you have a limit?”
Use the responses to craft another list of engaging questions and tips. Then continue the cycle!
3. BE CONSISTENT.- Don’t leave them hanging.
You polished up your lead magnet to gain email subscribers and it is a thing of beauty. You’ve been gaining subscribers each day and the excitement is overwhelming! Only you are concerned when they seem to want the freebie and then after the first “regular” email, they unsubscribe.
You’ve met Susie. She is so fun to be around at parties. No one can liven up a discussion like she can! She bursts into the room, gains a ton of attention, and leaves the party in the same manner. Your lead magnet is Susie.
In other words, make your lead magnet a fair representation of your blog. That probably means you need to step up your content and namely? Invite your readers to the party, but make sure they are receiving regular invitations. Don’t leave them hanging. Whatever the lead magnet topic covers, consider one blog post a week to further develop that topic.
Create a content calendar by which you can reasonably abide and create content CONSISTENTLY. Doesn’t matter if it is once a month, once a week, or once a quarter, compare your reader consistency to your content creation consistency. You’ll have folks who only want to visit with Susie. But over the course of consistency, you should see a steady gain of engaged readers who want to stick around because they want to read what you have to say and they long to respond.
No matter your topic, engaging readers doesn’t have to be complex. Follow just one of these 3 surefire ways to engage your online audience for a month and measure the difference in engagement. I promise that you’ll see readers and subscribers who recognize your care and consistency and long to create online conversations about the topics you present! Happy engaging!
Rachel Wojo hosts Bible reading challenges on her popular blog, rachelwojo.com, which rallies readers of all ages to search God’s Word for solutions to life’s problems. Her site has over 30,000 subscribers, and her six-week Bible reading plan for children is used by more than four million people worldwide. Rachel is the author of One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up. She is also a public speaker and contributes monthly articles for well-known faith-based companies. Rachel and her husband, Matt, reside in Ohio and are the parents of seven children.