Engagement – Don’t Make The Same Mistake I Did At Your First Conference

Blogworld …land of the infamous and the not so famous…but where everybody wants to know someone or be known by someone.  At this point in my blogging career it has been about getting to know people. I have learned a great lesson from my Blogworld experience that I  thought I already knew, but now realize I haven’t done a very good job at. It’s that one simple word:  ENGAGEMENT.

Throughout the several conference sessions I have been to today I have heard repeatedly that engagement is one of the most important tools in social media.  When I say social media, I am including social networking, bookmarking and blogs. Yes, blogs…because your content creates conversations and allows comments.  Some blogs can have hundreds of comments on just one post.  I’d say that’s pretty social.  I’d also say that is a lot of reader engagement.

Why is engagement so very important?  Here are 5 obvious benefits:

1.  Personal interaction attracts long term relationships

People want to know that you care.  When a comment is left on your blog, it’s important to respond as soon as possible, and try to reply with another open ended question.  For instance, if the comment was about how your post helped a reader with a certain area they were having trouble understanding, try to engage them in a little more conversation to find out why.  Sales people call it probing.  “Why” is your favorite word when probing.

2.  Your audience will become your community.

I’m borrowing that phrase from Chris Pirillo who did an excellent job at Blogworld today.  An audience is about entertaining or educating people.  Entertainers have audiences everyday, but rarely do you see them engaging with their audience.  The one person I can say actually has a community is Vin Diesel.  He has a huge Facebook following and he personally interacts with his fans.  No longer are they just a face in the crowd, but a part of his community because they now feel connected to him.  (Women love him because he’s a super hottie, men love him because he is super tough looking…well, ok I admit that just makes him hotter, but the guys don’t have to know that!) 😉

3.  You are able to take your online community offline.

Here is the kick in the pants for me personally.  I have spent so much time trying to come up with content, designing my blog, learning new social media tactics that I have neglected the time I should be spending watching, listening & engaging.  Now I am paying for it at a live convention because there are only a handful of people I know well enough to feel comfortable to hang out with.  Don’t let this be you at your first convention (or ever)!

4.  You will form relationships with probloggers.

One of the best ways to engage with the big guys is to comment on their blogs or reply to their newsletters you have subscribed to.  I know Chris Brogan is awesome about responding to his fans and even recommends a few of his top picks in his newsletters.  Imagine what the “Brogan Effect” can do for your traffic!  I think he shut down Radian 6 on their soft launch with influx of traffic!

5.  It’s easier to befriend someone online if you tend to be shy.

Me?  Shy?  You would never guess, huh?  Well, I am one of those people that can be a little timid in new surroundings, but once I am fairly comfortable tend to be outspoken and fun loving.  I think that may be common for many of us, so I’m telling you now that it’s much easier to spark a conversation online where you have time to think of something witty or profound to say for your first impression.  The worst you can do is misspell a word.  Well, I suppose you could actually type something really stupid, but at least you have time to think of something REALLY stupid.

These are many more benefits to engagement, but I’m leaving this wide open for YOU!  Leave your suggestions and benefits in the comments so we can practice our engagement.  Not only will I see it and reply, but you never know who else may stop by and see your comment here and learn about you here.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~>Tweeting this post is NOT the same.  While I love the tweets, it’s not really engaging with me…it’s just hitting a button.  I will know nothing more about you or your personality, opinions or humor from a retweet.

P.S.S ~> Have you ever been to a White Elephant gift exchange party?  I love them because you get to give clues to your gift, tease friends, steal gifts, and play dirty!  My most wonderful sponsor for Blogworld, Bruce Christensen, has come up with an ONLINE white elephant game called AlbinoPhant through a new Facebook application.  It’s due to be released November 1st, just in time for fun Xmas gift exchanges w/long distance relatives.  Be sure to check out AlbinoPhant.com and play along when it launches in a few weeks! Thanks, Bruce!!


  1. Bob Watson says

    Wow…straight from your heart and into the hearts of anyone who has the privilege of reading this post. I’m apparently not alone as I figure all this out, and try to insert myself into the ‘live’ conversations when everyone else who seem to all know each other get together F2F. Over the course of the past 12 months I have met some truly remarkable people through social media. One of those people is @ericstegemann who always makes an effort to introduce me to his connections when we are at events together. My commitment is to reach out and introduce myself and connect others at events and now after reading your post will do so with less apprehension!

    • Coree says

      I always learn by trial & error. My dad used to tell me I’d take longer to think about HOW to do something than it would take to actually do it. Engagement doesn’t allow for that luxury of time. Like you, Bob, I have met some awesome people via social media, but I haven’t spent the time to take that initial meeting to a point of building the relationship level where I really know the person.

      When @ericstegemen introduces you are you exchanging cards, following up via email or twitter to acknowledge and thank your new friend? Try writing something down about that person on the back of their card right away so you have something familiar to talk to them about when you follow up. I’m growing right along with you, and plan to make next year’s convention a much smoother transition.

      PS> DM me to meet up and say hello before the expo is over!! @marketlikeachik

  2. Jim Gaudet@Costa Rica Web Design says

    Engagement! I find it is easiest when you have something in common, like being at a blog expo..

  3. Adam Covati says

    Great post, well stated. There are so many fantastic people out there that it’s far too easy to think they are unapproachable or just a bag of ideas. Embrace the person, get to know them, get to love them.

    BTW, some one who is great at this is @djwaldow (http://socialbutterflyguy.com) hang with him, he’ll show you the ropes.

    • Coree says

      So true, Adam…when we remember the human element it’s seems so silly to have ever been nervous. Sure, they are brilliant at what they do, but after talking with David Risley or Chris Brogan it was so apparent that really cared about their community, it would be insulting to them to be thought of as just a bag of ideas!

  4. Liz Dougherty says

    Great post, Coree. I can completely related to your statement that your dad would tell you you’d take longer to think about HOW to do something than it would take to actually do it.

    I hope to meet you next year at Blogworld Expo (that is, if I ever get over how best to start my blog!!)

    You’re doing a great job with your blog and your tweets!


    • Coree says

      Thanks Liz! Isn’t it funny how our parents end up being right? Another thing my dad used to say was, Never be afraid to approach people and ask for what you want…the worst they can do is say no. Pretty sad that even to this day I am rebelling from his advice! As women, I think we tend to spend way too much time analyzing and questioning ourselves & the situation.

      The goal of the biggest & smartest bloggers is to form a closer community with their readers…so why would they ever be anything but warm & welcoming if approached in sincerity? Easy for me to say now… :)

      What is it that’s holding you up on starting your blog? I thought I remembered you starting one a while back. I’d be glad to offer any advice I have if you let me know where you’re getting stuck!

  5. Trudy says


    I came across your blog because I was reading David Risley’s blog. Great post and you are so right about it being easier to start a conversation online.

    • Coree says

      Hi Trudy…always glad to have another fan of David to talk to! It is easier to spark up a conversation online and if you’re serious about building that network relationship it’s important to continue learning, asking questions & getting to know the person to the point that if you saw that person online it would be the most natural thing to come up and say hi.

      As one of David’s readers you must be interested in making money online…what is your goal? How can you see engagement fit in as part of your plan?