So, I’ve shamelessly plagiarised the title from an article I’ve just read for Media Guardian’s Changing Advertising Summit (at least I added a prefix). This is mostly because as it’s a sponsored feature (done in association with Say Media), there is no comment function so I’m making my own here.
Kate Bulkley has written very succinctly about the need for engagement, not just followers and “like’s”. It makes me shudder when I hear targets being talked about in terms of x number of followers on twitter or x number of like’s for Facebook pages. I spend a lot of time explaining why this is only (or not even) half the story so it’s always refreshing to see an article that’s talking sense about the need for interaction rather than just mass.
In an earlier post, I talked about how you can help friends raise awareness of any given campaign without having to always donate. I pointed out there that although “like’s” are great, leaving a comment is better. The same principle applies when you’re looking at a campaign from the other side. Twitter is full of users talking about customer service (good and bad)* and your social media strategy should be about engaging with this feedback and using it to improve. The same could be said for developing new products and campaigns. Don’t just talk about reaching your thousandth follower, make your followers feel like part of your organisations journey. Ask for opinion and DON’T IGNORE THE RESPONSE!
All of this activity increases your engagement and in turn your influence. If you still don’t believe this is as important as your number of followers, have another look at the twitter stats in the article link above… very compelling. Not only that, as mentioned in the original article, products like Klout and PeerIndex (as well as others like RetweetRank) are gaining more traction every day. Importantly, they do not see number of followers as the sole measure of breadth of influence and rightly so.
I have had many conversations on twitter about the merits of Klout and among my circle the jury is definitely still out as like any data, it can be manipulated. However, what isn’t in doubt is the importance of having a strategy which gives high priority to qualitative rather than just quantitative measurements.
What do you think about the importance of engagement for brands in this digital age?