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Saturday, 27 April 2013

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The Importance of Engagement & Balance on Social Media


Engagement on Social Media platforms is paramount.

A number of clients have approached me with the universal question “I have a Facebook/Twitter account, I am posting Interesting material yet people are not answering questions or engaging the way I would like them. Why?”

There are two problems here. What constitutes “Interesting Material?” and the other obvious one; People are not engaging on their platform the way they would like.

Let’s first begin by defining what being engaging on Social Media is. Social Media engagement is defined as the real interaction between the page admin/management and its followers or subscribers on the platforms and networks (Technorati). Whether that entails asking open-ended questions, responding, posting and inducing an environment encouraging ideas, is set by the mission statement and target audience at hand.
Forbes mentions that the successful users “monitor, observe and response based on what they learn,” and they go to great lengths to actually talk to their followers instead of only relying on automatic posts.

It’s important to note, the most valuable brand in the history of the world, Apple, has no social media engagement (Shaefer). On the contrary, Dell, the gold standard of social engagement, is flapping and has a stock price hovering nearing a five-year low.  So is “engagement” a real predictor of success?

More importantly, “engagement” is not a valuable activity unless it is tied to some organizational goal, in line with the company/business mission statement, such as:

·          Acquiring new customers
·         Brand awareness
·         Reputation management
·         Investing in new ventures with the use of Online Media
·         New product development
·         Promoting registrations (email, etc.)
·         Promoting a service (existing or new)
·         Employment/recruiting

Would you invest, purchase or do business with an “engaging-only” organization, promoting just engagement and no ties to any business or direction? It is paramount in maintaining a professional online feel as well inducing an environment welcoming questions, engagement and brand advocacy. If done well, the benefits are priceless.
Finding the correct balance is difficult, particularly if one does not understand their audience and what message they are trying to convey.
Tips for creating an “Engaging” environment:
  • Photos > Text only posts
  • Call to action Posts
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Polls
  • Visually striking images
  • Respond to questions and requests promptly
  • Thank your users for engaging/replying
  • Celebrate milestones with your users/followers

Above are a number of observations on engagement and I welcome your views and additions in the comment section! 






Taha Sayed
The Fine Social Media Group


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