So, your business is taking off and someone tells you that you’d better get your butt online and start building a social media presence because otherwise you don’t really exist in the eyes of anyone under the age of 40.

You sit down, open a Facebook page, dream up a Twitter handle and briefly consider an Instagram account before giving up and hitting the wine a little earlier than usual.


Two weeks down the line you muster the courage to post a little something about the promotion you’re running. You get a few likes, feel encouraged and post a funny inside joke related to your industry that gets reposted by an influential person with a nice big social media reach. You pat yourself on the back and tick social media engagement off your ‘to do’ list. Right?


This type of approach to social media engagement is the online equivalent of meeting a hot-looking dude at a party who knocks your socks off with a fresh, witty pickup line, gives you a winning smile and…promptly disappears.  Hey, where did the hot dude go?!


Hot dude, come back! Come back here and be hot at me some more!

You should be thinking of social media engagement as an on-going conversation with your followers. You can’t whet their appetite with a few stellar posts and then leave them hanging. They’ll be confused, then hurt and eventually drown their sorrows in the complimentary punch. Oh wait; I got a wee bit tangled up in the metaphor there. What I meant to say was they’ll lose interest and look toward other brands that have a sustained social media presence.

In the world of online marketing you want to be the guy who opens with that witty one-liner, strikes up an interesting, nuanced conversation, takes you out to dinner, introduces you to his parents, books a flight to Paris to pop the question in a cosy little patisserie while rain pelts against the window, marries the hell out of you in a jaunty tweed suit on a beautiful day in August and loves you for the rest of your life.


Or something like that. Long story short – you can’t start out sprinting and then lose steam. Ensure that your social media engagement plan is sustainable and you’ll retain your followers rather than letting them down.