Engagement is a hot topic these days, especially with regard to on-line and social media activities. But are we clear what this means? We’ll give some thoughts, but would really like to know what you think. (It is, after all, all about YOU.)
Business managers are being told they must have “engagement” with customers, business partners, or employees, in order to enjoy increasing sales, more profitable business integration, and productivity. Corporate scorecards are now containing “Engagement” as a goal, with metrics to support it. For social media initiatives, the metrics typically include “likes” or “shares” on various social media sites.
Is this valid? According to Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer, an education and information company focused on social media, the answer is irrelevant, because the question is wrong. Interviewed in eMarketer, Falls says, “engagement is not a goal, it’s a result. It happens organically. The goal should be to produce content that is so good that people have to talk about it.”
Falls conducted a simple scan of Twitter and Facebook content of the the top 20 consumer brands based on “Likes” and “Shares”. The result: They all talk about themselves. Falls conclusion: ” I don’t know about you, but when someone walks into the room and starts a conversation by talking about themselves, they turn me off. If you’re going to post nothing but ad copy and coupons and deals and stuff like that, I’m going to get bored with you really quick.”
Ryan Hanley, Millennial insurance agent and social media evangelist makes the same point in a recent blog post, entitled, Why No One Buys From You Online? His answer is line one: “You speak in Terms of YOU instead of ME!”
And, as Ryan points out throughout the following screed,
It’s about ME stupid!
ME. ME. ME.
So how do we measure social media engagement? Falls says it depends on what the real end goal is. If it is customer service and customer satisfaction, there are tools like surveys and focus groups. If it is to build a community, there are other measures. If it is sales, measure the units sold that originated on various media. According to Falls, the problem is not the lack of measures, but something more fundamental: “many people don’t know what they’re trying to get out of social media, so they’re not sure what to measure,” he says.
Hanley puts this in first person:
When I find the website that connects MY ME PROBLEMS with YOUR YOU SOLUTIONS…
Well… Then… I’m going BUY. BUY. BUY.
What do you think? Are insurance sites ‘Engaging’? Do we seem to know what ‘Engagement’ means? How are you ‘engaging’ your customers, prospect, partners, employees? What are your measures? Share your successes.
This is, after all, all about YOU!