What is online engagement, what does it mean?
Here at Social Results we believe that successful online engagement is rooted in great conversation. So, let’s see what Google says about the word conversation and how this could apply to your online business communication strategy.
a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
What we have is an exchange between people, something very different to the corporate and brand broadcast styles of marketing used over the decades and more akin to a visit to your friendly local corner shop. Broadcast marketing isn't dead, but in the days of social media it should be considered an aspect, not the be all and end all, of your strategy.
This less formal approach is something that those who have worked in the client and customer relationship management fields will find to be second nature, however those unused to the spontaneity of talking directly with the public may find it a little daunting. Keep reading to get an insight into the world of public service delivery.
First of all remember that as long as you respond to people in a timely fashion, or approach people who are seeking what you are offering (intercept marketing) you have a very good chance of reinforcing and improving, your organisation’s reputation. These people already want your attention, or are warm to your offering, so don't be scared.
Remind yourself why you are in business and why people are better off using your services or products rather than a competitor's and get online and tell them in enthusiastic and friendly manner why you are the service to choose. Top tip: never ever bad mouth a competitor, even if you are right it will make you appear negative and possibly even spiteful which doesn't usually sell well, unless it is a gimmick.
Find out who the most influential people and organisations within your sector are and learn from them and, if possible, engage with them. An influencer in your sector recommending your services can significantly raise your profile and do wonders for your reputation, however respect their powers of influence as they cut both ways. Don't bombard them and they may come around to your services or products.
Answer queries as quickly as you can and be seen to be doing it in a polite and friendly manner. This approach can do wonders as not only does the person you are conversing with see your responses, anyone with access to your network can see it too, and if you are seen to be helpful are more likely to engage with you in the future.
If you are feeling brave enough, it suits your organisation, you are comfortable doing so, and it appropriate to the conversation don't be afraid to add a little humour. However, if someone is being negative we don't advise wisecracks as it can appear flippant and that you do not take people's concerns seriously. Take a look at our earlier blog entries concerning complaints handling and identifying trolls.
One of the hardest things is to keep thinking of new things to say, resorting to word or picture or Facebook Like challenges may get you a lot of superficial engagement on an network but will it get you business or accurately represent your organisation? If you are finding it difficult our team can help you to identify potential sources of meaningful, interesting and entertaining content, so get in touch.