If you want to increase engage­ment with your social media fol­low­ers, there are two fun­da­men­tal things you must do: increase fol­low­ers and rec­i­p­ro­cate.

I’ve already talked about increas­ing fol­low­ers, so I want to focus on rec­i­p­ro­ca­tion today. Rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing is basi­cal­ly doing to oth­ers what they do to you.

For exam­ple, if some­one retweets some­thing you tweet­ed, then you should retweet some­thing they tweet­ed. If some­one repins one of your pins, you should repin one of theirs.

Here are 5 rea­sons why rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing works:

1. It says thank you.

Rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing oth­ers’ con­tent is a way to say thanks for their com­ment, or their like, or their retweet, or their repin. Sure you can always say thanks to them, but social engage­ments work, too.

2. It val­i­dates their con­tent.

By retweet­ing some­thing your fol­low­er tweet­ed, you’re telling that per­son that you find val­ue in what they post­ed. It encour­ages them to post sim­i­lar con­tent in the future.

3. It gives you con­tent.

By reshar­ing their con­tent, it allows you to pop­u­late your social media feeds with con­tent you didn’t need to cre­ate.

4. It increas­es your fol­low­ers.

If you reshare some­thing your fol­low­ers share, the con­tent author may fol­low your account.

5. It encour­ages them to inter­act again

Reshar­ing your fol­low­ers‘ con­tent encour­ages them to vis­it your feed again to rec­i­p­ro­cate what you have done. And the cycle con­tin­ues.

Rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing social actions is one of the most impor­tant things you need to do to suc­ceed on social media. If you don’t give back, and you only take, then peo­ple will start to ignore you.

Do you make it a habit to give back to those who give to you? What are your favourite ways to rec­i­p­ro­cate social actions with your fol­low­ers?

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness. Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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