Beyond engagement SES London panel

We constantly hear “engage, & join the conversation” but what does it mean and why does it add value? How does a conversation add value to your brand? Engagement – can drive a lot of business value back to your brand. Engagement can be – commenting, liking, sharing, etc.

Key to successful social media management and execution is to find the right balance between business value (branding) & social traction (likes and shares but not heavily branded).  For instance the first could refer to a business extension/partnership which won’t get good results from social tractions and vice versa. The art is to create the right content  and balance for both.

Attention is not particularly the main focus BUT you need to integrate your product into your content to drive brand value.

So what does a social media plan include?:

  • marketing strategies
  • target audience
  • content
  • tools
  • implement
  • track & measure
  • adjust
  • listen

To establish and enhance your social media presence you have to think about your marketing funnel and understand it – to integrate accordingly.

The marketing funnel usually consists of:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • desire
  • action
  • retention
  • advocacy

Most brands use social media to encourage and stimulate the top levels of the marketing funnel hierarchy. What’s social media engagement – likes, comments, shares, tweets, reply. The value is in the fact that people freely choose to engage! Why does engagement matter? People want great content and if they are happy they will continue sharing it even beyond your brand’s reach.  If you get people to engage with you you’ll increase your social outreach and encourage people to have a dialogue with you as well as about you!

Social proof’s basic premises are that we like what our friends like. On networking sites it shows which of your friends like what and that will have an impact on your perception. Additionally, you will want to do similar things to your friends.

The Facebook multiplier effect for instance: when login onto Facebook it decides what to show you – how does facebook choose what to show in your newsfeed? This is purely based on how you interact with a person or page – how often, what time of day, how relevant that post is to you and how much engagement it has generated so far – the more people engage with content the more prominence that post will get and the more likely it will appear in your newsfeed.

We do business with brands and people based on: know (how well you know them, their reputation), like & trust. As a result brands have to harness the power of the social graph search feature as you are likely to find potential customers based on their preferences.

Engagement helps you to optimize your facebook content – since you already know what your audience wants to hear. Also this will gain you online visibility especially since personalization has become such a central part social media. Facebook’s graph search is probably the most current example for it!

A study by ComScore has shown that exposure to earned media on facebook drives a 21% lift in online & offline purchases!

The more you see something the more likely you are to buy it – again, know, like, trust applies. An interesting example is that if you meet 2 people at the same time but you spend more time with one person you will end up liking that person more – the same applies to social media engagement.

The amount of word-of-mouth conversations is rapidly growing with the growth of social networks – social media makes us more likely to 

  • try new things based on friends suggestions: 80%
  • encourage my friends to try new products: 74%
  • stay more engaged with brands I like: 72%
  • share any negative experiences I have had brands/products: 45%
  • not buy products because of negative customer experience: 32%

Another side of social media is that if an individual has purchased a vacuum cleaner they are probably not that likely to like their Facebook page but if they are enjoying the hoover experience they are likely to share that on their personal facebook sites – however the brand itself will never be able to see that.  Nevertheless it still results in positive word of mouth! Social media is a great starting point to build equity and positioning in relation to your  marketing objectives.