Relationships are a two-way street, and that includes on social media. While it’s great to bask in the looks and likes on your own account (who doesn’t like to be loved?), reciprocity is the key to social media growth. Today, we’re going to take a look at outbound engagement and why it matters.

Outbound engagement: say what?

Outbound engagement is the opposite of inbound engagement, which is where people come to you. When you visit someone else’s profile to like, comment, remix or share, you’re doing outbound engagement. Yay! Look at you being social!

Outbound engagement matters because it takes some of the weight of the relationship off the other person’s shoulders – and shows that you’re invested in building a relationship that goes beyond “what’s in it for me?” Because being in a friendship where you’re the one taking the initiative every single time? That gets old, fast. 

Why going outbound matters

Responding to inbound engagement – DMs, likes, comments and so on – is a great start for putting the “social” back into social media. Pat on the back if you’re doing this instead of being a diva and just ignoring your fans’ efforts to connect. (Boo to diva behavior!)

But if you want to grow your audience, you need to think outside your profile page. Think about it: every time you visit an account to post great comments or share their content around, you’re tapping into new eyeballs – and hopefully landing new fans.

Getting outbound engagement right

Like anything, tact matters when it comes to outbound engagement. Don’t be a spammer, and don’t be a creeper. (And avoid these social media missteps.) Try the following:

  • Target complementary accounts. Find (non-competitor) brands, influencers and content creators, and meme accounts in your niche. Build relationships with local businesses and organizations, and slide into those DMs to talk collaborations or partnerships. When it comes to influencers and meme accounts, the trick is to comment, but to comment well. Add value (or wit) – but don’t be annoying or hijack the comment section. 


  • Visit potential customers’ profiles. This audience requires a bit more finesse. Commenting on someone’s LinkedIn posts? A-OK. Requesting a follow on someone’s private IG account…red flag. If someone has initiated a conversation with you or engages with your posts, it’s generally okay to stop by and return the “like”. If they’re a total stranger, saying “hi” or chiming in can still work – but it’s way more situationally dependent. ALWAYS read the room and give political or personal stuff a wide berth. (And don’t comment on people’s appearances, like, ever.)

Get outbound engagement right, and people will start coming to you. You’ll show up at the top of those comment feeds, and you’ll get the likes and upvotes that will help get the algorithm’s attention. The more your account grows, the less time you’ll need to spend on outbound engagement – but definitely set aside some time here and there to share the love.

Help, I don’t have time for that!

I know, I know, social media is a whole thing. If you’re short on time (hey entrepreneurs!) and need help growing your engagement, Oh Snap! is here to help. We can handle strategy, posting, and even your inbound and outbound engagement. We’ll work with you to define high-value accounts to interact with – and develop on-brand messaging that will result in clicks (and not cringe.)

Ready to fire up your outbound engagement? Our Fan Firestarter framework has everything you need to fan the flames of your social media presence. Let’s go!