There has been a lot of articles recently concentrating on social engagement for businesses and engagement marketing, mainly saying that this is something new. However very few seem to define it in a way we can understand. If it is new and we don’t understand the concept how can we know if we should use it and also more to the point how will we know if we have been successful at it?
What is Social Media?
We here tend to look at things very simplistically, because that’s usually a good starting point. So we all know that social media are tools we all use to be sociable – right? Examples are that I tweet my Grandchildren instead of writing to them (who uses letters these days – I still do if I can); or I set up a group of friends who share my interest and we use Google Plus or Linkedin to bring our friends together and share messages and content.
Using these tools I get a response from my Grandchildren (if they are not too busy) or I get responses from my friends to the messages I send out. It’s a two way process if I am lucky.
So now lets turn to marketing and see why there seems to be a mystique about social media engagement and social media marketing.
As a business, if I use these tools I will send messages to my clients, and/or prospective clients and expect a response. Not much different so far – right?
Pre media days would see my business advertise and send out fliers or set up messages on a bill board (if we could afford it), and expect a response. As awareness of our business grew we would track the most cost effective advertising so we could spend our advertising budget as wisely as possible.
Someone in our business would be tasked with getting the advertisements together (the messages) and the logistics of setting up the adverts.
Social media is really no different so far, except that it may well be cheaper, because the delivery mechanism is the web. We still send out information to our clients via social media, someone has to put this together in a format and message content which is inviting. Just as with pre social media advertising many recipients will hit the delete key and a few will respond. Don’t see a difference so far.
One key difference
However there is one difference which is substantial. If I get a response from a client then it is very possible that they have sent my initial message to their friends, clients etc and it from these that I might get additional responses or even sales. This was not possible before social media because we didn’t have contacts all over the world which are know known as our following etc.
So is it just a numbers game?
So really then it’s about numbers is it? If I email 200 clients and they send the email on to their groups which total 2000 people then I have an audience of 2200, from my initial email – that’s a big difference. On the other hand of course the initial email may not be worth much to my clients and they may delete it.
Engagement VS Customer Service?
So now we come to the engagement bit and it begins to make some sense, but is it really different to what we should already be doing? What we need to be able to do is to engage our clients so that they will spread the word about us. In essence this is no different to giving outstanding customer service when someone rings your business or visits your store. It simply means that you have to give that level of service using social media so that the customer will come back again and again and will tell others. Didn’t we get the same messages in the era of Customer Service where every company was waking up to the fact that if they gave better service they would retain more customers?
The need to learn how to use Social Media?
The mechanics of social media marketing and engagement need to be learned I think – you will need to plan what to do, tie it in with your business objectives and measure the outcome. However I still think that when it comes to the detail your ability to create a great message in order to attract your clients using these media tools is no different to the ability you have always needed to engage with your clients, and that’s what I see as the only difference between those that can use Social Media Marketing and Engagement successfully and those that don’t.
Enjoy learning how to use social media in your business by clicking the picture below: