Social media enables direct contact and participation into the conversations had by your customers, prospects, influencers and more. Engaging in social can solidify relationships and establish a more direct connection with your brand.

There are many ways to engage in social media. In fact, we can name 100. Check out this not-so-short list of examples that can be applied to your social media strategy for engagement success.
Much like our 100 uses of social media monitoring list, we've divided this into 10 categories to help organize it by areas of interest.

Customer Service

1. Respond to customer questions
2. Respond to customer complaints
3. Share links to FAQs
4. Share customer success stories
5. Ask for customer testimonials
6. Share case studies with prospects
7. Respond to customer compliments
8. Respond to customer feedback
9. Ask questions to prospects
10. Crowdsource content from customers

Content Sharing

11. Tweet links to your content
12. Share content with your Google+ circles
13. Create visual content to pin on Pinterest
14. Bookmark content and share it in your email signature
15. Link to others’ content in your blog posts
16. Create and share videos from events and conferences
17. Create events with Foursquare
18. Post behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram
19. Post company event pictures on Flickr
20. Share content that highlights industry trends

Thought Leadership

Lead a Google+ hangout21. Lead a Google+ hangout
22. Engage in a Twitter chat
23. Share content from industry leaders
24. Like and follow other brands and people in your industry
25. Do a weekly podcast
26. Lead a webinar
27. Post your presentations on Slideshare
28. Guest post on notable industry blogs
29. Comment on industry leaders’ blog posts
30. Create and monitor a forum

Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness

31. Create a Facebook poll
32. Offer discounts and promotions
33. Ask for feedback on campaigns
34. Request user generated content
35. Create a Foursquare campaign
36. Create a hashtag around your campaign
37. Use Facebook as your campaign landing page
38. Premiere your TV spots on YouTube
39. Let users vote for their favorite ads
40. Update your campaign based on user feedback

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

41. Include key phrases in your Tweets
42. Link to your blog from Facebook
43. Ask followers to link to your website
44. Use keywords on your LinkedIn company page
45. Include keywords in your blog post headlines and body
46. Tag and name your images
47. Categorize and tag your blog with key phrases
48. Share ebooks using key phrases
49. Upload videos to YouTube (2nd largest search engine)
50. Encourage sharing with the G+ button on your web pages

Crisis Communications

51. Develop a 3R plan: roles, responsibilities, and prepared responses
52. Tweet updates as they arise
53. Respond quickly to posts
54. Create a Facebook group around the issue
55. Build a command center
56. Use Twitter DMs for private conversations
57. Write about the story and publish on Slideshare
58. Create a video response
59. Interview customers after the fact
60. Share press releases on social channels

Influencer Outreach

61. Introduce yourself to influencers on Twitter
62. Plan Tweetups at conferences
63. Interview them on your blog
64. Ask them for a guest blog post
65. Plan a webinar around them
66. Post their presentations to Slideshare
67. Create a video interview
68. Create a podcast interview
69. Create a badge for them
70. Link to their content

Product Development

Join an existing forum71. Have social media influencers test your product
72. Survey customers on your site
73. Share a limited time offer
74. Announce products on your blog
75. Create a Facebook poll
76. Create a compelling Facebook app
77. Blog about product updates
78. Crowdsource ideas
79. Create a forum
80. Join an existing forum
81. Link back to your landing page for conversion
82. Blog about helpful information
83. Promote a strong call to action
84. Use Help a Reporter Out to offer information
85. Answer all questions
86. Share peer referrals
87. Promote offers
88. Optimize site and blog for mobile viewers
89. Start a LinkedIn group
90. Create visuals for Pinterest

Competitive Intelligence

91. Look at competitors’ Facebook fan count
92. Look at their followers on Twitter
93. See if they have a Pinterest page
94. Try out their Facebook apps
95. Learn where they’re posting
96. Learn how often they’re posting
97. Read their blog
98. Know which of their posts are successful
99. Watch their YouTube videos
100. View their Slideshare presentations

Learn more about competitive intelligence

20 ways to succeed at social media engagement
This doesn't cover everything (believe it or not), and some categories didn't make the cut so feel free to add more in the comments below. And thanks to Jeff Cohen for helping me with this extensive list.
Learn more about how you can start social media engagement with our free ebook, 20 Ways to Succeed at Social Media Engagement.