For the first 16,000 years, we were mainly an agrarian society. Over the next 200 years we became industrialists and entrepreneurs. In the last 50 years we’ve become focused on information and technology. Today, the age of relationship is upon us and the heart of relationship marketing is engagement.
Engagement: What Does That Look Like?
In his most recent book, Engage! , Brian Solis has this to say: “Social Media has democratized influence, forever changing the way businesses communicate with customers and the way customers affect the decisions of their peers. With platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests, challenges and beliefs—creating communities that shape and steer the perception of brands. Without engagement in these communities, we miss major opportunities to shape our marketing messages.” (Engage!, Brian Solis, excerpt from Amazon)
Simply put, engagement is conversation—business to client, client to client and, most importantly, client to peers. The dilemma the marketer is faced with is finding where those conversations are taking place, joining the conversation and adding value to the discussion. Let’s take a look at three platforms and how they facilitate engagement.
The twitter experience can be a bit overwhelming at first. Who has all day to spend just “listening” to the chatter that is going on online? Darren Rowse of Problogger shares on Twitip about how Twitter helps the conversation. Twitter allows you to insert your brand into the conversation. It is also a great resource for finding trends in the conversation. While tweeting, you have the opportunity to share new ideas, get new ideas, ask questions and collaboratively problem-solve. He compares it to the office watercooler, where you can bounce ideas off other peeps. OnlinePRmedia talks about blogging as a way of building brand awareness and communicating directly with readers. There is an opportunity to elevate and separate yourself from your competition as you share your unique perspective on topics in your industry. It can become a source of media and public relations outreach as you raise objections about issues specific to your industry and then offer solutions to those problems. And don’t forget that leaving comments on other blogs is just as valuable as posting a blog yourself.
Blogs are another great platform for adding value to the dialogue. In his post about the benefits of blogging, Gary Bourgeault talks about blogging as a way of building brand awareness and communicating directly with readers. There is an opportunity to elevate and separate yourself from your competition as you share your unique perspective on topics in your industry. It can become a source of media and public relations outreach as you raise objections about issues specific to your industry and then offer solutions to those problems. And don’t forget that leaving comments on other blogs is just as valuable as posting a blog yourself.
I’m sure you’ve heard the mantra. Facebook is the fastest-growing social media network. Here are the latest stats
• More than 500 million active users
• 50% of active users log on in any given day
• Average user has 130 friends
• Peeps spend over 700 billion mins/mo on Facebook
At Marketing Jive, Jody talks about how to join the conversation. Facebook has many of the same opportunites as Twitter and Blogging. In addition to raising brand awareness and customer engagement on your wall, there are opportunities for lead generation and the acquisition of new customers. This is the perfect example of the maxim, “It’s who you know.”
Not sure where to start? Aaron Lee considered a Twitter Powerhouse by Huffington Post uses the rule of 5 to structure his daily social media regimen:
• Engage 5 people on Twitter daily
• Write 5 wall posts on Facebook daily
• Comment on 5 blogs daily
What are you doing to engage?
- The Beginning of the End of Business As Usual (briansolis.com)
- 5 Engaging Ways to Increase Your Likes on Facebook (kylelacy.com)
- The Socialization of Business: Your Dirty Little Secrets are No Longer Secrets (briansolis.com)
- Brian Solis on association member engagement (blogs.asaecenter.org)
- Relationships vs. Marketing (blogs.asaecenter.org)