Social media is an ongoing evolution – the only constant being change. While it’s not always easy to know which social media tip or trick to invest in, the rule of engagement is one standby you can rely on despite the ever-changing landscape.In the online world, relationships are everything. There is an endless number of impressive products and services on the market, but if you’re not able to create compelling content that builds an engaged community around your brand and grows your following, you will inevitably get lost in the social media abyss. Here are three solutions to up your social media engagement game.Listen. While growing your followers is integral to building brand awareness, in order to become an influencer, you need to cultivate a real connection with your audience. Pay close attention to your analytics in order to do this successfully. Tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow you to build meaningful moments with your followers and understand the conversations taking place around your brand through tracking keywords, handles, hashtags, and trends to see what people are talking about in the moment. The key is finding a balance between what you need to promote and what your audience actually wants to hear.Acknowledge. Everyone is looking for a community to connect with – a tribal experience. When you honour the people who have chosen to include you in their personal bubble by acknowledging and replying to interactions, your validation encourages a more meaningful engagement. This can be as straightforward as a simple thank you, a shout out to other brands you respect and admire, or a sincere statement of gratitude to your followers when you hit a milestone.Plan carefully. Most of us have a tendency to want to say everything at once, but it’s important to be strategic with both your content and the timing of your posts. If your valuable content is shared when your audience is busy, it’s all too easy for them to swipe away the notification. Choose moments like right after work, on a Wednesday after lunch, or on a Sunday evening when your followers are seeking a distraction. Bring your audience on a journey by posting content in stages to entice them to come back. Give them an escape by providing a glimpse into your brand’s lifestyle, and always take the time to produce amazing quality content that can speak for itself. The bottom line is to be present, consistent, and useful.It takes a commitment to creativity, patience, learning, and experimenting to drive engagement. Social marketing isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. If you want to see results and build a long-term social following, you should constantly be training.