Engaging your supporters in what amounts to a genuine conversation on social media is challenging. Just having a presence on Twitter or Facebook and posting tweets and updates isn’t enough in today’s digital environment.

Campaigns and candidates need to engage their supporters – and that doesn’t mean shouting at them. Here are a few ways to get a positive dialogue going online.

Images, images, images: Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they all respond extremely well to the use of images and graphics in the presentation of information. Instead of posting a bland status update or article from your website try incorporating an image to grab people’s attention.

Be genuine: One problem that many organizations run into is they forget to be genuine in their messaging. Facebook in particular is a place where advertising is everywhere. If you want to cut through the noise you need to provide something that stands out. Being “real” will help you to distinguish yourself from other pages and the countless ads users are hit with each day.

Consistency: Most organizations feel that they need to be on a number of different social media platforms but they don’t understand that there is a large time commitment that goes with each site. If you really want to try and build a large online following you need to be prepared to spend significant time each and every day posting things that are going to engage your audience.

Get away from the so-called gimme mentality: Too many times I’ve heard people discuss what they can get out of social media. There’s a major problem with thinking like that: 90 percent of what you’re going to do on your Facebook and Twitter account is going to be for the benefit of your followers. It’s only when you’ve gained their respect over time by providing them with quality content can you ask them for something.

Social media is a two-way conversation: You need to understand that social media is far different than a one–way medium like television and start thinking about how your followers have the ability to directly speak to what you’re posting each day. Listen to their questions and concerns and try to modify your content to better serve them.

Aaron Windeknecht is the new media manager for Campaign Headquarters and creator of “The Comical Conservative” Facebook page.