Everything you read about social media tells you must ‘engage’ or build ‘engagement’ with your audience, your target group of clients/customers.
I attended a Media Training course a couple of years ago that warned you to use plain English and against using jargon as these words go in and out of fashion. Who remembers ‘synergy’ and ‘benchmarking’? Both of these started wholesale changes in many businesses but failed to deliver the promised Utopia.
What does engagement mean?
My preference was to think about social media as a dialogue, a conversation or maybe just a chat with your target audience. However, I decided to look up ‘engage’ in the dictionary – online, of course. The definitions were
- occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)
- secure for aid, employment, use, hire
- attract and hold fast
- attract or please
- bind, as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; make liable.
These definitions are exactly what you do want to achieve with your social media marketing so I am going to have to use engage from now on!
Whilst on the subject of engaging, here are some general principles, courtesy of Guy Kawasaki:
- Engage fast
- Engage many
- Engage often
- Use multiple media
- Provide value
- Give credit
- Give people the benefit of the doubt
As I engage, I plan to follow these principles and recommend you do too.
Seriously, though it is with engagement that you get the best results from social media. The different platforms like to see that you are interacting with others rather than just broadcasting. After all, it is social!