What is engagement?
What we know is that consumers today expect to be engaged by brands. That wasn’t the case say ten years ago.De Pastino said that 91 per cent of generation C (“C” stands for content for the YouTube generation born between March 12, 1988 and April 24, 1993) is engaging with brands online.
“Engagement” is also number eight on Mashable’s 30 overused buzzwords in digital marketing.
Engagement is actually really hard to define even though everyone is talking about it,” said De Pastino. Still, engagement is about the symbol of one’s commitment. It is the bedrock or foundation of how we communicate online.
De Pastino offered his 10 rules of online engagement:
1. Demonstrate and deliver value. That’s when we ask ourselves, “am I actually going to take time to do it? De Pastino said one example where the organization actually does this well is in the Condé Nast Style Society.
2. Build relationships. Organizations have to value individuals interested in their content and allow enough time to build a relationship with them.
In Welcome to the Human Era, John Marshall and Graham Ritchie describe it as a time when “customer insight yields more intimate relationships, which in turn accelerates insight. Across industries, we see this leading to higher profitability, deeper share-of-wallet relationships, and stronger market values.”
He said one important test is to ask questions you’re willing to answer. If you’re not willing to answer them, chances are others aren’t going to be either.
3. Be transparent. For this point, De Pastino used the example of Generation Benz asking the question “What’s your favourite vodka?” They were the title sponsor along with Skyy Vodka of the Sex in the City movie. And providing that context was key to their engagement.
4. Involve the brand. To do this De Pastino says to challenge executives to also participate. Get them to ask questions, provide answers and be willing to reply in the way that Richard Branson does through #askRichard.
5. Show impact. Reporting back the value of participation is also key to continue the momentum with engagement. One such example is My Starbucks Idea, which in 2012 turned 277 ideas into life.
6. Recognize and reward. De Pastino says it’s key to create a vested interest in the community to build engagement. One way is to make your community members famous in your community by recognizing their milestones or achievements.
7. Write engaging content. While this rule may seem obvious, De Pastino recognizes creating engaging content is actually a difficult job. He pointed to Oreo’s Twitter feed, Coca Cola’s Facebook, Dunkin Donuts’ Vine and Old Spice’s Instagram as examples.
8. Communicate regularly. De Pastino says it’s best to make it easy – make it stupid simple.
9. Refresh the member base. No one should ever let their number of followers lull them into believing they’re doing ok. We should always in constant recruitment mode – every single day.
10. Moderate closely. De Pastino says there is nothing worse than not responding to a negative post. He says organizations have to reply and protect members from other members – that’s part of the responsibility of community management. He added UPS’s customer service Twitter account and the Nike Running Facebook page as organizations that do it well.
See the 10 golden rules of engagement slide deck below:
Need help with your organization’s engagement? We can help you make a ruckus.
Also check out Make Your Own Engagement for more highlights from CM1.
Once again Facebook is adapting its algorithms – and frankly that’s nothing new, but the platform has been ramping up the frequency with which it announces these changes. The main issue lately has become the vague or cryptic outcomes of these changes – i.e. “what does this mean for my brand?” making it harder as social marketers to know where and what to adjust.
Facebook not only keeps moving the target on what they consider to be “promotional” content, but also give end users more agency about regulating their personal feeds and deciding what they want and do not want to see. The latest update continues the effort to reduce the volume of “overly promotional” content in your Newsfeed. Specifically, they focused on three definitions:
- “Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app”
- i.e. “Our [Product] has arrived, click here to buy [link]
- “Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context”
- i.e. “Like this post and enter for your chance to win” or “It’s a great day for some tacos, get 10% off at any of our chains [link]” or “We’ve appreciate everything what you do for us we wanted to give something back. Enter our official holiday giveaway [link]”
- “Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”
- i.e. “Check out our Superbowl Ad. Whoa, someone is in trouble [Link]”
So what does this all mean?
First and foremost, this is the end to “lazy content” from copywriters and brand managers. Under these rules, “like-baiting” will also be qualified as “overly promotional,” marking the end of “like if you agree” phrasing. Marketers will have to get accustomed to telling more authentic stories that offer value in return for views.
Marketers will have to pay more attention to trends and analytics, listening to social conversations and judging what resonates, producing content that adds value to the narrative. Instead of asking audiences to buy or enter, we have to provide them with content that entertains, informs and in all cases engages. Producing content without relying on “promotional” language is like threading a needle and you improve your chances the more you listen to your audience and the better you understand what they find valuable.
Lastly, this will also call for tighter budgeting around what brands put ad dollars behind. Contests, promotions, and “like-baiting” posts that displayed good organic growth before will be less effective, calling for a more even budget distribution behind paid reach. In the end though, better organic reach will give you more bang for your buck when you decide to go paid.
In the end, this is just another step towards brands becoming parts of the conversation rather than holding a monopoly over it.
This week’s ruckus makers (June 1 – 5)
- Twitter continues to improve the usability experience with Periscope. Last week the released the app for Android, and now you can discover streamers in your area.
- If you’ve been noticing more ads on your Instagram feed, you are not alone. DigiDay delivers it’s verdict (so far) on the image sharing platform.
- In case you missed it, Pinterest finally announced that they will be adding a “buy” button to their boards. You can also catch up on Pinterest with our What the Ruckus issue about the platform.
This week’s ruckus makers (April 20 – 24)
- Digiday explores how Facebook targeting can make marketers lives easier, but simultaneously increasing their dependence on the platform.
- A deeper dive into YouTube demographics to help you better understand your audiences.
- Did you get a chance to check out the new Star Wars trailer yet? Twitter certainly did, and they celebrated by releasing franchise specific emojis.
- Mosquito bites can carry disease and other negative effects, which poses a question: how to best educate a socially engage audience?
- Social media has made it easier for everyone to criticize and offer their opinion. Here is a master class from Groupon on how to handle it.
- Social media and technology collide in surprising way to address societal concerns. This safety app is a prime example of how:
This week’s ruckus makers (April 6 – 10)
- Google has been changing a few things on Google+ and one of the latest updates visually revamps the way stories will appear in your feed.
- An exploration of the direction Domino’s is headed with its digital infrastructure.
- How fashion and Instagram co-exist in the digital environment.
- Luxury brands are experimenting with E-Commerce and it seems to be working for these three in particular.
- Pinterest has always been a platform skewed towards the female demographic (check out our WTR), but this campaign is looking to change that with a slick visual revamp.
- Samsung continues their CSR work with this partnership to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s. It’s also a great way to demonstrate how mobile technology effects lives.
- It didn’t take long for brands to embrace Meerkat. Some even went as far as launching new products via the live streaming app.
- Travel & Leisure has taken the platform approach online, and it has been working out tremendously for them.
Snapchat has had its fair share of doubters and naysayers since emerging on the scene. But when you look at how younger audiences are flocking to it (at the expense of other, larger social channels) it’s tough to argue its importance and value to the larger social ecosystem. What do you think – is it worth a second look?
Can you still be successful on Facebook? Yes
I’m seeing this sentiment (or less G-rated versions of it) every day from colleagues, contemporaries and clients. Everyone’s scrambling to figure out why their organic reach and engagement fall off a cliff in the past month.
“What’s up with Facebook?”
I’m seeing this sentiment (or less G-rated versions of it) every day from colleagues, contemporaries and clients. Everyone’s scrambling to figure out why their organic reach and engagement fell off a cliff in the past month.
The answer – Facebook recently adapted their algorithm to adjust the content people are seeing in their newsfeed. The idea being that regular users get more quality content served to them. The affect for marketers – users see less branded content in the process.
If this algorithm sticks, this will reshape everything social marketers have been preaching and creates an entirely new recipe for success on Facebook.
Before, success meant:
- Post everyday (including weekends)
- Keep it visual (lots of images)
- Find your voice and stick with it
- Keep things light, short and too point for the most visibility
Now the game has changed. And while it’s really early to point to any one way to be affective, it seems now like the recipe is more like:
- Pick 2, maybe 3 posts each week
- Boost your posts with a dedicated ad spend
- Hope that post engagement turns into brand awareness and community growth.
Clearly things are shifting for a pay-to-play model, and how Facebook runs their platform (a free one) is completely up to them. It could even be argued marketers and brands were getting a free ride up until now and presented with this new model many smaller players are going to opt out of Facebook completely. The frustration I’m hearing from people is the almost secretive way this was rolled out. A little more transparency might have gone a long way.
What do you think? Are you seeing these same issues? If so, how are you adapting?
“One of our goals for experimentation is to continue improving your home timeline. After all, that’s the best way to keep up with everything happening in your world.”
The above quote comes directly from Twitter as they prepare to roll out a new experiment in which they’ll surface tweets and accounts from people you don’t currently follow, in your existing timeline.
Already, there’s a lot negativity and pushback about what this will mean for your personal experience. Of course these changes are being compared to Facebook’s update earlier this year to their Newsfeed algorithm (in which they started to filter what you were seeing to make your experience more personalized).
While on the surface these changes seem harmless as the two social juggernauts attempt to curate a more tailored experience for their users. But does anyone else get an uneasy “Big Brother” type feel to these updates?
Yes – computers are getting more and more intelligent about predicting content and people and products that I probably want to see, but this is all based on historical data and doesn’t account for me finding new interests, experiencing new things and generally evolving as a person. Without some human oversight, the data is dumb and one-dimensional. For someone like my wife, who already finds Twitter too cluttered and busy, this exacerbates an existing problem with the platform. Twitter works best when you curate your own lists and feeds depending on personal topics and interest.
There are many factors at play – most of which stem from the two platforms generating a profit and pulling in new advertisers – and at the end of the day, these are their platforms to do with as they wish.
One could argue that no other social channel has been more shaped and defined by it’s users than Twitter, so a change of this magnitude could come back to haunt them, but is it enough for people to jump ship? What are your thoughts?
This week’s ruckus makers (May 11 – 15)
- AdWeek made a useful list of all digital stats from the last month you need to be aware off.
- While more of a traditional media event, the ESPN vs. Bill Simmons conflict brings the debate of utility vs. content into the forefront.
- Not a surprise that brands got involved with Cinco De Mayo on social media, however, not all of them got it right. Here is an example of someone who did: