Published June 28, 2011
Tags: brand engagement
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.
A handshake is nothing but a handshake. It can be about meeting for the first time, it can about seeing someone again, and it can mean that we are in agreement. At the end of the day, it’s what’s “behind” the action that defines the action. The same holds true for the word engagement.
At some point over the past few years social media has caused us to redefine the term “engagement” to mean something more than what it really means. Or is it less? We actually have “dumbed” down the term engagement. For some, and it may be brands that are more guilty of this than others, engagement is viewed as garnering a “Like” or a “Follow”. It’s not conversations, it’s not discussions, nor is it customer centric inquiries. Some brands are collecting Likes and Followers at rapid rates and then are telling everyone who will listen, that they are engaged with X amount of customers on social networks.
Uhhhh. No. You’re treating and collecting people like they are baseball cards. When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with a baseball card?
Just as social media has redefined what a “friend” is, so is it that “fan”, “like”, and “follower” mean something completely different than it did 10 years ago. We can now add “engagement” to that list. Quit treating the accumulation of fans, likes and followers like it’s an arms race and assuming that you are engaged with these people. From now on you must apply a new rule. You’re not engaged with that person on a social network until you have had 3 conversations or interactions with them that are longer than one word sound bites.
Do you ever hear anyone after a huge win, a major client victory or a momentous occasion within an organization say the following? “Without the short cuts and the corners we cut, we would have never made it…”
In the world of digital, there exists the potential to aggregate your activities and consolidate your digital streams so as not to duplicate work. That’s not really a short cut. THAT is much different than buying followers on Twitter. Additionally, creating an editorial calendar for when you are going to blog and what your topics will be and what the content might be is a lot different than paying someone to load you up with bland, link baited light on content,articles to fill your blog with.
Furthermore, taking the time to develop a database of customers that you curate and nurture along and turn into brand advocates that you can send targeted emails and Facebook offers and coupons to, does not resemble buying a used, stepped on, non-qualified list of names that you can email blast to without permission.
“Just” throwing up a website pales in comparison to taking the time to find out from your audience what they want and making sure that what you sell or offer online is meeting the needs and expectations of your buyers, customers and prospects. We don’t live in a brochure-ware web world any longer.
Last point. Don’t discount new technologies because you don’t understand them and because you don’t want to take the time to understand them. That’s not hard work. That’s saying, “It’s too hard for me to understand and it probably won’t benefit me…”
You need to know that there are basic steps here in every digital channel that you need to do and do right if you want to be here next year. At every digital juncture you have the potential to make a choice. A short cut or hard work? Believe it or not, your audience knows the difference.