You’ve done your research.

You’ve created an account with a really great profile picture.

You’ve entered all your key information (clever bio, contact details, website link, etc.).

You’ve followed people and businesses you already know.

And now you’ve just posted your first message to a social media platform.

Congratulations! So now what?

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 3.54.14 PMThe beauty of social media marketing as a tool for your business is that you have an ongoing program to actively engage with your followers.

What a great way to get insight into how people see and feel about your brand!

How are people reacting to your post? Is it being shared or reposted, liked or commented on? Are you gaining more followers?

Begin taking notes on what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your style accordingly.

And now that you’ve got your followers’ attention – engage! Here are a few ideas to help you along the way:

Step 1: Set Notifications

Make sure your notifications are turned on for your phone or email, so that you can see when someone has posted a comment or question to your post.

Timing is everything, and building a conversation in real time will earn you points when your followers have something to say.

Step 2: Monitor

You can also use a social media monitoring tool to give you a head’s up when people are talking about your brand online. Hootsuite is wonderful for easily letting you see who has mentioned you in a post or tweet.

Kred will help you measure your engagement by monitoring influence  (content that encourages others to share) and outreach (how much you share, retweet and respond to others).

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 3.50.14 PMStep 3: Use Insights

Use your analytics and insight tools to see when your audience is online.

If your followers are typically online between 9am-5pm, then you probably don’t need to be monitoring your posts at midnight.

Facebook Insights lets you see what time of day your posts are being viewed, and you easily can see which days of the week your tweets are getting the most action by viewing your Tweet Activity.

Now go forth and converse!

Have fun, ask questions, share stories, and remember to thank your followers for inviting you into their intimate social media streams.

Ready for more reading? Head over to 5 Reasons to Love Your Content Calendar