By: Gary J. Nix | Reading Time: 3 min
I understand that this may be your reaction with such a buzzword-y, clickbait-y title, but you won’t believe what happens next! Some information that you can use.
SPOILER ALERT: The answer is YES! With a caveat.
Engagement has long been the metric used in social media to measure the effectiveness of a brand’s programs. However, engagement for the case of engagement—which is what some brands devolved to aspire to attain—does nothing for your brand’s business needs. Thus, to figure out why constructive engagement is important, we take a look at this element of the social space through a lens that includes traditional marketing principles and a bit of BRANDarchy.
BRANDarchy and traditional marketing suggest that we examine buyers’ behaviors during the decision making process and we’ve linked the intrinsic consumer behaviors to their digital social behaviors and the methods brands can (and should) use to communicate.
It all begins with INTEREST
All forms of media can be used to cultivate interest in your brand. However, in order to avoid asking the proverbial tree in the empty forest question, it is necessary that you maximize your awareness by paying attention to metrics such as reach and impressions. KEEP IN MIND this does not mean that you try to reach everyone. Be sure to know who your target audience is and pay attention to what is being said about your brand. Just sayin’ #kanyeshrug
INVOLVEMENT is the next step
Now that you have consumers interested, they need to begin taking some sort of action. This first stage of involvement tends to manifest itself on social platforms in the form of Fans or Followers, page visits and other ways of gaining familiarity. These efforts can be driven by PAID MEDIA. Much of the social media ecosystem has changed now that many of the platforms need to monetize in order to remain in existence long-term.
OWN what you say
Remember, you control what you say about your brand. While you may not be able to have the final word on what your brand is (that word belongs to the consumer), you CAN lead the conversation and let consumers know brand details that they may not readily have. This is where OWNED MEDIA comes in and the effectiveness of such is proven by the following to behaviors:
INTERACTION – Are consumers liking, sharing or commenting on the posts that you create? Are they asking you questions? Are you answering them in a timely manner? All of these interactions are signals that need to be read in order to make intelligent business decisions for your brand.
INTIMACY – This behavior is certainly related to interaction. What are you doing to foster conversation? How is your brand being received at an intellectual or emotional level? Figure these elements out and you’re well on your way to another holy grail of sorts in social media.
INFLUENCE will always be a thing
A major reason for being active in social media is to establish and create influence. A brand’s favorite type of influence comes from the consumer. The advocacy that is produced from the stories consumers tell hold considerable weight when it comes to making a decision to buy.
All of these true behaviors are attached to engagement and when your content is true to both the brand and the consumer (which is also one thing, but we’ll get into that another day), success is inevitable and, moreover, resistance to buying becomes futile. So, once again, the answer is a resounding YES, it is absolutely necessary to