If you’ve had the pleasure of speaking to any social media “guru” you’ve likely heard the word engagement more than a few times. It’s certainly a buzz-word nowadays. It makes perfect sense that engagement is a popular term, because now we have access to platforms that allow us to directly interact with anyone we choose. Having a high engagement rate is directly correlated to how many conversions we’re getting. Or is it?
When people interact with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… tan amazing opportunity exists to build a bond with users, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Instead of thinking about people who interact with you or your brand as “consumers” start thinking of them in terms of what they actually are: people.
It boils down to this: if you can keep people happy, they will like and support your brand/business/you. A happy person = a loyal person or (HP = LP) for those of you that are into equations. And yes, it’s really that simple.
Ah, the age old question, how to make someone happy. It’s actually not as hard as you might think.
First of all LISTEN to what people are saying, then REACT. If someone says, “product X is so terrible, don’t ever use it” on Twitter, it’s one thing to tweet out a quick response such as, “please contact our customer support,” and it’s another to actually deal with an unhappy person. Too many brands on social media fail on a regular basis when it comes to outreach and interaction. Take the time to listen to what the person is saying and respond in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Just because the interaction is taking place online doesn’t mean people are any less important than they are offline. People like being shown they’re important, so make them feel extra special and you’re on your way.
It’s not enough to just promote discussions and engage positively with people. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great place to start and should be a goal almost of everyone digital marketer who uses social media. However, figuring out what’s working and what isn’t, is equally, if not more important, than just interacting with your audience. Remember, Always Deliver Value or if you’re into acronyms ADV. Put yourself in the place of someone finding your online destination. Is the website/blog/FB page/etc providing something of substance, or just adding more noise to an already noisy arena.
Let data to drive your decisions. Make sure, no matter what you’re doing online, that you get data on things that are taking place. I don’t mean data in the sense of Big Brothering all of your users, just identify some key goals and metrics that you think will help you grow. Attribution (or determining where people are coming from) is becoming a crucial part of the web eco-system. It is absolutely critical that you gather relevant data so you can start making informed decisions. Check out this post on establishing a home base for some good tips on getting started with data. If you combine great customer service, a solid online presence and data-driven decisions you are formulating an excellent game plan for success.
Yes, engagement is important. But it’s not the end all and be all of leveraging social media to help promote awareness or drive sales. Remember to listen before you react, always deliver value and use data to drive decisions. If you keep those things in mind you’ve out yourself in a positin to succeed.