These days, everyone knows you need a social media presence to engage the public, and it can be hard to get much done without one. The magic formula for successful social engagement is still a mystery, however, and many non-profits drive themselves crazy trying to crack the secret code. The single most important thing you can do to get others involved and excited about the cause you believe in, however, is simple: Make it a conversation.

After all, it’s in the name. Social media is designed as a format for social interaction, not just receiving information. If you are using your social profiles solely to broadcast information and preach your message, you probably won’t get much traction, no matter how important and moving your cause.

Instead, make it a priority to reach a deeper level of engagement. Take the time to respond to those who message you or tweet at you. Post in ways that ask for other’s opinions and involve them in the decision making processes of your organization. Give updates and thank those who have participated. Treat your social outreach as an active, two way conversation and before you know it you’ll have an avid following that’s eager to pitch in!

It may not seem like the most important work you do, but your organization needs enthusiastic support to make a difference, and anything that gets people involved is time well spent. Don’t let this golden opportunity become a chore! Keep learning more about engaging your followers on social media.