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Author's profile photo Margot Heiligman

What’s Not To “Like”? The Impact of Social Media On Customer Engagement

What is the true impact of social media on customer engagement?  This blog will dig deeper to discover where content, brand, and community intersect to provide actionable insights to make you better in the eyes of your prospective and current customers.

Wearables and Social engagement_SM.pngWhat is the relationship between social media and customer engagement?
Since the beginning of “social media” time, language and parlance has grown from rudimentary to nuanced. For example: In the not-so-distant past, if a prospective customer posted a question such as “Can someone recommend a customer service tool for the banking industry?” out on the web, I might see the question and respond with a link to my company’s web page.  Impact on engagement: hard to know.  Today, however, I may proactively join a community to take part in similar conversations across a spectrum of social properties in order to engage and hear about similar inquiries.  And while engaging, I’d drill down to learn more about that possible buyer’s role, buying stage, content consumed, past interactions, recommended next steps, and much more.  I’d understand better how I could choose from a number of precisely-crafted answers in order to keep that conversation going.  And I’d be authentic, open, and helpful.  Impact: # interactions, engagement ratio, click-thru’s, requests for more information, downloads, and lead-tracking – thru to sale.

What is the true impact of social media on customer engagement?

There will always be a need to scale our customer interactions.  Once there was just Facebook; and a few other mainstream social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter.  Google+ emerged, and has been around now for nearly 3 years.  With YouTube, Foursquare, Tumblr, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and much more – each interaction is tunneling attention directly to your brand – where it will be judged by the experience enabled by that app’s exposure to your brand.  So what is ‘out there’ becomes ever more important.

Engagement becomes more meaningful over time

We’ve advanced to a place where there’s no turning back – moving forward means connecting all (not just some) of the dots.   Much customer engagement data is collected today via social network and community interactions; and also by wearables on consumers and sensors on serviceable products.  How are we able to find actionable insights from this data in order to be more relevant and scale our responses?   Since customers decide how, when, and where they engage with your brand, a content strategy and content framework can provide a unified view of your brand and message to the market – and can provide actionable results and feedback to approach your audience and customers more intelligently.

A content strategy can help us to learn if we are successful at Customer Engagement.

Obviously there are social media analytics and monitoring tools which can help us ‘walk in our customers’ digital footprints’ and to see how products and brands are perceived – likes, dislikes, attitudes toward your products and brand, and key attributes, emotions and behaviors – all are ways to take actions which can bring that direct feedback closer to your customer advocacy teams.

What’s makes for ‘engaging’ brand content?

Michael Brito, head of social business strategy at Edelman, recommends taking the brand pillars —the brand positioning statement, the brand or product guidelines — as part of your content strategy and then introducing additional content builds. You can add viewpoints of 3rd party influencers and other perceptions of your company – plus what customers and prospective customers and communities are saying about you on Facebook or Twitter, or a blog. Learn by trial and re-trial what type of content performs [generates the most clicks, shares, comments] for which audience?   Be smart about seeing how prospective customers search for you. This, in sum, should shape the content strategy and factor into your social media strategy as a means to engage more intelligently with customers.

If you’d like to learn more about the impact of social media on customer engagement, join a panel of experts on the topic: with Barry TrailerBrent Leary, Peter Kim, and more here on The Customer Edge

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