Engagement: The Foundation of a Digital Strategy

By Luca Massaro WePlay Comments Off on Engagement: The Foundation of a Digital Strategy

Engagement is a word routinely used by brands to describe actions they take on social media. The term is banded around so much it’s now being taken for granted that almost any social media post will engage with your audience. The reality is that, no matter how many followers see your post or interact with it, only those who take further action are truly engaging with you. Creating an engagement strategy is therefore crucial for getting the most out of your followers.

Fans are central to any brand as the driving force for long term growth, but how can brands clearly define the way they should go about engaging with their fans and what would be the purpose for said engagement?

As a digital agency, we are defined by the activity that occurs between the brand and the consumers. 

Traditional World vs Social World

Traditional marketing is based on a one-to-many approach, meaning you can reach a large audience, but the message is solely between the brand and the person viewing the advertising.

In a social world, the marketing is labelled as one-to-one-to-many and shows that the initial responder of the marketing now has the ability to have a relationship with both the brand and the rest of the marketplace. It opens up the possibilities for a much richer experience, with consumption between digital networks allowing for mass participation across hours and days, rather than minutes.

This type of experience relies on engagement and allows brands to gather  accurate, real time information based on the reactions of fans.

What is True Engagement?

So what defines true engagement? It’s where people are deeply connected with a topic, category or brand and are part of a topical micro-community.

This ‘connected activity’ can be split into four sub-categories:

  1. Contribution – where the audience creates their own content, also known as ‘user generated content’ (UGC)

  2. Collaboration – where the audience participates in content creation with other consumers or with the brand

  3. Influence – where the audience are influential over other consumers

  4. Advocacy – where the audience adopts a sense of ownership and affinity

It is with an engagement strategy that we advance practices in awareness based marketing (PR/Traditional marketing), to where fans grow with the brand and are very much a part of the activity rather than merely the recipients. The business objectives that we can enforce at this stage can drive actionable outcomes such as signups, transactions, downloads and purchases etc, with the long term goals having a loyal and retained user base.

What is key to remember is that engagement is not achieved from a singular post. Single post ‘interactions’ have long been confused for true engagement, however true engagement occurs as part of a much longer journey.  

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