The history of marketing and advertising is heavy with examples of maximizing the value of minimalistic interactions. Impressions, views, clicks, and calls have given way to likes, fans, followers, shares and pins. All have become examples we claim are engagement. It is a shame that this word has come to symbolize something that has very little real value. It would be stupid to claim that these things are not important as they are required interactions to start the process, but as a measurement to evaluate effectiveness of your marketing, they fail.
When I proposed to my wife and she agreed to our engagement, it meant something. It symbolized the decision to enter into a long term relationship with me. We had invested the time and effort into each other that demonstrated commitment, compatibility, caring and trust. We were truly engaged.
When we take that same approach to social media, it becomes apparent that marketing with this platform has its work cut out to achieve this level of connection.
While big numbers may feel nice, brands see higher advocacies and conversions from true fans, aka those that go out of their way to interact with social media posts. In turn, those interactions will organically create higher Impressions through Shares and Retweets. With Facebook announcing that all brand content will now be seen as promotional, marketers must adjust goals to focus on true engagements instead of mass numbers of eyeballs on a post. How are fans truly engaging with content? Are views translating into actions and advocacies?
To accomplish these goals your focus has to emphasize these three keys.
Content – Todays content must demonstrate a value to the reader. It is not good enough to just catch their eye, it has to keep it. Educating, rewarding and entertaining content will ensure social media users keep coming back and even better share with their spheres of influence. You are not going to appeal to everyone, so do not make that your goal. Tailor your message to reach those that your product or service has the greatest compatibility.
Community – People that have taken the time to follow you on social media have some type of connection with you already. It is your job to take the relationship to the next level. Interacting with individual posts, joining groups, sharing your actual thoughts and actions in your community will tell your network that you really care.
Conversion – Depending on your profession, there are many ways that you can drive and measure conversions, but they should all have one goal in common. They must deepen the relationship between your network and your business. Increasing subscribers to your newsletter, email opt-ins, blog readers and free downloads are simple yet effective ways to convert fans into fanatics. Showing your commitment will build trust.
The responsibility of eliciting deeper relationships with social media users falls on the marketer, and as a marketer our goals must be to deliver real value in our approach to each customer and providing meaningful content.