Many put forward the notion of “Engagement” as the objective of Social Media and web based activity, it crops up with the regularity of a hot dog seller at a big football game.
However, I have yet to see a definition of “engagement” that I am comfortable with. Sticking it in Google is no help, 374 million responses, most, probably predictably, about the lead in to marriage from rings to places to blow the house deposit on a reception.
Wether you are setting out to “engage” a potential customer on social media, have employees contribute some of their ideas and brainpower to the enterprise, or just having a casual conversation with someone, if “engagement” is what you are seeking, it will only evolve after one or more of several other things are in line:
- What you have to say is interesting to the other party.
- The other party or audience has a need or desire for information you can deliver
- There is something your audience wants from you
- There is a specific problem you can solve.
- There is the opportunity and desire for a two way flow of conversation
- You have met “the one”. This has nothing to do with this blog and its contents, but good luck to you.
“Engagement” has many meanings, and I suspect most would define it in the context of what they are seeking. For me, as a marketing professional, it means there is mutual value in some activity, from a simple conversation, to someone reading and commenting on this blog, to a collaborative effort with a colleague, to adding value to one of my clients. Whatever “engagement” means you, it is certain that there is a lot of other stuff to do first to build the foundations that make the interaction worthwhile, and offer the chance of becoming an “engagement”.
Engagement is an outcome, not a strategy, and successful strategies are always about doing something that matters, that makes a difference.