On the social web you will find quite a lot of discussion going on regarding “social media engagement”. How should engagement be defined? Many people jumping on the social media bandwagon defines “engagement” as a consumer sharing a link, clicking “like” or re tweeting a status update. Even though these can be used to define “engagement” and measure it, are they actually helping you get to the bottom line with your social media strategy?

In my opinion it’s the best if you view “engagement” through the eyes of your clients. This means that engagement needs to support and identify a behavior or action resulting in an outcome of value to an organization such as sales, signups, etc. With this said, it’s very important that if you want to measure “engagement” with your social media campaign, you have to identify and filter all the behaviours that aligns with the metrics you are going to use for measurement.

Engagement = take an action

When I consult with my clients about measuring and identifying social media engagement, they usually have very specific ideas in mind. Find below a couple of examples.

  • If you have a call center, it will be necessary to equip the personal of your call center with the knowledge and right message of any emerging issues before your customers starts calling them.
  • For retail owners, it might require doing a complete assessment of your consumers that are actively shopping in your store or expressed an intention to buy.
  • If you are doing video marketing, it’s going to be important to identify your target audience and to know exactly what interests them. What will make them take an action?
The point with the examples above is that “engagement” simply means taking an action towards meeting new clients, your target audience, or the needs of your clients based on social intelligence. It’s that “action”, the behavior or response that underpins the engagement, informed by listening outposts and analytics that needs to be appropriate and relevant.

Where should you engage?

What should I say? On which platform should I say it? These are very common questions, but understanding your target audience’s preference and intentions requires both a view of real-time analysis and emerging trends to answer those questions. This is why it’s important to have a strategy for acting upon all the insights that can initiate additional consumer interaction creating a measurable feedback loop.

There’s really no point in filtering all the data, identifying the needs of your consumers when they want to purchase or who have issues in your store, if your organization isn’t equipped to take action (engagement) upon all those insights. So if you want to define “engagement” in your company, think about what the measurement or value of success is within your company and how your company can promote the value of your clients.