4 R’s Boost Engagement: Respect, Respond, Relate, Recognize

boost engagementSo much of our success in business and life depends on our ability to be a “people person” and our likeability factor.

We spend a great deal of time interacting and dealing with people in person and equally online now.  Not everyone is a people person, or cut out to be a social butterfly. But it is an important skill that impacts our success.

From his book Engage, Brian Solis says:

“Engagement is shaped by the interpretation of its intentions. In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.”

There’s a lot of content talking about engagement, engagement marketing, connecting, making connections, growing fans, followers, and community. People are driven and on a mission, but don’t always go about it the right way. There is, in my opinion, a right way. And it’s based on common sense human principles.

I recently removed someone on LinkedIn who has a large following in their niche and is quite well known. They never responded to any of my efforts over time to engage them and then started sending me mass sales letters like we were great friends.

Not responding because you have too many followers and connections is not acceptable. I know many people with large followings who engage with their community.

Simple things like noticing, paying attention and doing your research on people goes a long way. Being clear and focused on what you need and what you have to give in return to people also goes a long way. Below are four simple, common sense R’s to boost engagement.

4 R’s to Boost Engagement

Boost Engagement by Showing Respect

There are many ways to show respect, especially online. Follow the etiquette and rules of engagement each site or platform requests and suggests. No need to use profanity to make any points, spew hate or be mean.

Show it, earn it, acknowledge it and encourage it and you will receive it back.

Unfollow anyone who doesn’t fit this criteria.

Boost Engagement by Being Responsive

If you put yourself out there, be responsive to people who comment or reach out to you, who you know or don’t know, unless it’s clearly spam. Thank people for finding you and taking the time to connect with you through your website or social sites. A simple, genuine reply is all you need to make.

If you blog regularly and you get comments, respond to them within reason or hire someone to help you with them. Make it about mutuality.

Boost Engagement by Finding Relatability

Find reasons and ways to relate to people and find commonality in their values, life experiences and ideas.

Relatability can be found in some of the simplest ways: Family, hobbies, animals, music, books, learning, etc.

Boost Engagement by Recognizing Others

If I’m paying attention and keeping up with people who are active in my community and doing good or need support, I acknowledge and support them. It will only foster more goodwill.

Honoring people you admire and respect by recognizing them creates great mutual karma.

boost engagement[Click image for full size infographic]

According to the infographic above by NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates, the good news is:

  • 58% want you to engage in times of need.
  • 42% wish to hear from you in good times.

The not so good news is:

  • 64% only want you listening, to be at their beck and call, only if they are speaking directly to you.
  • 50% of all consumers don’t want you listening at all. They want to talk in secret – about you.

To help improve products, services and relationships, NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates offers four steps to follow from their slide share on enhancing social listening and engagement.

If you’re going to be out there today and want to be found in the best possible way, then having a dedicated and consistent way to boost engagement is expected.

What tips do you have to boost engagement?

Four R’s Photo via Shutterstock


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane has been recognized as a Top 100 Small Business Champion and Top 50 SMB Influencer (Dunn and Bradstreet 2015). She is a career transition author, personal branding and social media specialist. Deborah's book "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

11 Reactions
  1. Great post, Deborah. Recognition is a big one. I’ve noticed that when I recognize my community my engagement and comments increase significantly. Thanks for sharing with us.


    • Thanks Ti, exactly. If we spend time online posting comments and joining conversations, then that’s appreciated and to some degree expected.

  2. I would add reciprocity. If you give first, people will give in return. You are in full control of beginning the cycle.

    • Yes Robert that is a very important one and is part of respect and responsive to me. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Marissa@Equibbly

    Love your insights, thanks! Now this got me thinking if customers feel that listening is intrusive, what more when tools out there are already in use that tracks their digital footprint, so that ads can be targeted at them? Annoying, I guess. If I were to add one more to your list, it’s R – for Resolve, to make sure that you provide a one-and-done resolution to customer queries on first point of contact.

    • Marissa, that a great one! Resolving customer issues as soon as possible is a no brainer for why engage!

  4. Thanks Craig for posting this on your site. Great articles about “Leadership”, certainly bolstered by engagement.

  5. Thanks Diane. If you like it then you should put your name on it!