Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

Does Engagement Matter More Than Followers?

Pied_Piper2For social media success, what is more important: engagement or followers?

This question came up recently during a strategic planning session when an organization talked about how the number of Facebook followers surged after a recent contest.

While having more followers looks impressive, the digital marketing team was asking what it really meant. Does having more followers mean their social media efforts are more successful, or does it give them more opportunities to be successful.

It’s a quality versus quantity proposition.

Personally, engagement strikes me as a more important consideration, although size does matter. A vibrant and active community can provide brands and organization with a powerful platform to drive strategic and tactical initiatives.

A large community, however, that is inactive or not terribly engaged delivers far less value.

In an ideal world, it would be great to have engagement and big numbers but this is probably a luxury that few brands get to enjoy.

In a recent blog post in Marketing Magazine (U.K.), Matthew Burns talked about how brands such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull are taking a close look at the effectiveness of Facebook as an engagement platform.

“The brands that are huge on the social site are the ones that were fastest to appreciate Facebook’s strengths, but are now also first to be wary of its limitations: why pay Facebook to reach and engage fans if we can achieve similar objectives, mostly for free, on other networks?”

Burns discovered, for example, that Red Bull’s main Facebook page has 44 million fans but it generated only 330,000 interactions in July. This is less than one monthly interaction for every 100 fans.

As brands look to drive more engagement to extract value from their social media activity, Burns suggests brands will start to explore other platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

The focus on quality versus quality reflects the fluid and dynamic of social media. As brands looking to drive return on investment, they are constantly tweaking the dials and looking for competitive advantages.

The interest in engagement suggests there may be too much of an investment happening to build bigger and bigger audiences. It could be that some brands will start to redeploy their social media efforts to get more people actively involved.

If engagement gains more momentum as a social media “must-have”, it could do two things: force existing players such as Facebook to adopt, or open the door for new engagement-friendly players to seize a golden opportunity.

What do you think? Is social engagement gaining more momentum?

Sysomos and Spredfast Change the Rules of Engagement

New Partnership Between Sysomos & SpredfastSysomos Heartbeat has always given users the ability to engage with Twitter and Facebook communities from within the platform. In fact, it allows our clients not only to have messages approved before they’re posted, but also to track all engagements through workflow management. We engineered Heartbeat that way precisely so people could monitor conversation, gain insights, and engage with their audience—take action on those insights—in one place.

But we also recognize that there’s more than one way to do things. The fact is, some of our clients might prefer to use Sysomos for social intelligence, but feel more comfortable using another solution for engagement. And because it’s our job to anticipate the needs of clients and incorporate them into our solutions, we’ve got some great news to share.

We’re proud to announce a partnership that ensures Heartbeat users will get all the robust features they’re used to—plus the ability to engage with audiences using the Spredfast Social Marketing Platform. Catering specifically to large enterprises, Spredfast allows users to collaborate, coordinate and track all of a social media team’s engagement on Facebook and Twitter.

So if you’re a Heartbeat user with a Spredfast account, you will soon be able to connect the two platforms so that the Spredfast Engage Button appears in the Heartbeat interface alongside posts you can engage with. Click the button, and Heartbeat will send that piece of content directly to the Spredfast Platform, where you can plan, approve and send messages when ready.

To our way of thinking, combining the best in social intelligence with the leader in enterprise-scale social engagement offers shared clients not only a solution that is potentially more powerful, but an experience that is more seamless—eliminating the need to continually jump between one platform and the other. And any time we can make our clients’ jobs easier and help them do those jobs better in the process, it’s a win-win situation.

As Darin Wolter, our EVP of Sales, says: “Sysomos and Spredfast have many clients in common, so integrating our solutions gives customers and the market the best of both worlds. Now they can glean deeper social insights, while also targeting their messages more effectively.

Stay tuned for more information about the Sysomos partnership with Spredfast in the weeks ahead.

In Social, It’s Engage Or Lose. Learn Why On March 18

The constant introduction of new social media platforms creates an ecosystem in which consumers no longer engage with brands on a single channel. More than ever, brand marketers must rely on social data to gain insight into customer behaviour on social media so they can reach the right people in the right place at the right time.

On Tuesday, March 18, Marketwired’s CMO Kurt Heinemann will host a complimentary webinar featuring Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, that examines customer behaviour in a whole new way, looking at the social channels customers tune into during various stages of the customer journey to boost social media marketing success.

During the webinar, Nate Elliott will examine results from a new, unpublished Forrester report and will share insights.  This discussion will arm brands with the knowledge to develop marketing programs and messages that support and engage customers throughout the lifecycle.

Topics of the webinar include:

  • How to use the ‘Marketing RaDAR’ model to increase effectiveness
  • How to leverage real-time social listening to determine engagement success
  • How influencers can unlock the messaging needed to drive engagement
  • Five reasons secondary social networks matter
  • Why photo sharing sites are your ace in the hole

WHAT:

Unlock Social Engagement:  The Secret of Social Media Success” – a free webinar presented by Marketwired

WHEN:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 —  1:00 – 2:00pm EDT

The one-hour session will be archived for later viewing. All registrants receive access to the archived webinar.

WHO:

  • Kurt Heinemann, CMO of Marketwired
  • Nate Elliott, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

TO REGISTER:

Click here or visit www.Marketwired.com.

This webinar is part of Marketwired’s ongoing efforts to help businesses keep pace with the changing marketplace, uncover new opportunities, and harness the power of influence.

Connect with @Marketwired on Twitter before the webinar, or follow along live on Tuesday, March 18, at #UnlockSocial.

What Do Customers Want from Brands on Social Media?

social media engagementWhat do consumers want from brands on social media?

Is it relevant or interesting content? Is it engagement and conversations? Free pastries? Contests?

Or are consumers looking to be engaged at all when push comes to shove?

The whole idea of engagement is starting to get more attention as having a social media presence is now table stakes.

The concept of engagement is, in theory, compelling to brands because it means having stronger relationships with consumers to drive awareness, loyalty and sales.

But how much do consumers want to engage with brands, and how well are brands doing to engage them?

According to a recent study by AdMap, less than 0.5% of Facebook fans engage with brands they have “Liked”. Of the 200 brands studied, only one brand had an engagement level of more than 2%, while only 10% of brands reached 1%.

So why the lack of engagement?

AdMap said the low engagement levels shouldn’t be a surprise because they reflect historical consumer behaviour. “Consumers don’t love their brands; rather, they are polygamously loyal to a small group of offerings in the category In effect, we are loyal switchers rather than brand loyals.”

Translation: Consumers don’t actively engage much with brands, regardless of the medium, so expectations that social media should be a more powerful engagement medium are off-base.

Here’s some more food for thought: A study by Corporate Executive Board that involved 7,000 consumers suggests it is a myth that brands can keep customers through engagement. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

The study found that only 23% of the consumers said they have a relationship with a brand, while 77% of consumers said they didn’t have a relationship with a brand because “It’s just a brand, not a member of my family.”. Instead, the study found what brands really want from brands when they go online are discounts.

So what should brands do if consumers have little interest in engaging or having a relationship with them?

CEB suggests brands need to re-set their expectations and behaviour. It recommends brands: “Stop bombarding consumers who don’t want a relationship with your attempts to build one through endless emails or complex loyalty programs.”

The bottom line may be consumers don’t want to engage with brands, and that engagement, like many things within the social media realm, is more hype than fact.

It may mean the “Like” button is little more than a click as opposed to the start of a new and promising relationship.

It could be engagement is not as important or relevant to consumers, or overblown.

Update: It was rightly pointed out I didn’t answer the question posed in the headline. Consumers may not want to engage but I think they’ll accept value-added information about products and services, particularly if it’s done creatively.

As someone said in a comment, consumers may not want regular contact but if a brand speaks to them (versus at them), they come back from time to time.

 

New Look, New Sentiment Languages and More Updates. Oh My!

Lots of updates to Sysomos products including sentiment in Spanish and German, a new look for the MAP dashboard and more engagement features 

We updated our Sysomos software just a little over a week ago by introducing Engagement Central and we’ve already made some more great updates to both MAP and Heartbeat. In this update we’ve added sentiment analysis in two more languages, Spanish and German. We’ve also added a few more bells and whistles to Engagement Central in Heartbeat to make engaging with your audience a better and richer experience. As well, we’ve given the Dashboard in MAP an all new (and pretty snazzy looking) makeover. Keep reading to learn more about all our new updates.

  

Multilingual Sentiment 

Earlier this year we started to expand on the languages that our industry-leading sentiment analysis engine could understand. In February we started analyzing sentiment in French, on top of English. Now we’re pleased to add two more languages to our capabilities; Spanish and German. We put a lot of hard work into creating new sentiment engines for each language and not just doing basic translations of our English engine to ensure that you get the best possible results.The multilingual sentiment will be automatically turned on in MAP (please note that, because you may see changes in your reporting right away). For Heartbeat, the Multilanguage sentiment is still opt-in and can be turned on with the help of your Account Manager.

Edit Your Word Cloud

Every once and a while a word gets mentioned a lot in conjunction with your query, but it doesn’t quite fit in with what you’re reporting on. Heartbeat and MAP now give you the ability to remove words from the word cloud to help make your reporting more accurate.

New Features for Engagement Central

Just a few a weeks ago we unveiled Engagement Central, a useful way to engage with your Twitter and Facebook audiences without ever having to leave the Heartbeat program. We got a lot of great feedback on Engagement Central and are excited to say that we’ve already managed to make it better and more useful. The new features include:

  • Post Rich Media to Your Facebook Fan PageHeartbeat has allowed you to post new status updates directly to your Facebook Fan Page in the past, but now you can add rich media and links. Simply add the link to your status update in Engagement Central and it will show up with the full preview right on your Fan Page.
  • See Conversation History on Twitter Have you ever gone to respond to someone on Twitter, but couldn’t remember earlier parts of the conversation because they were hours or even days before? That’s no longer a problem as we’ve added conversation history between you and the person you’re talking to right in the tooltip below the message box.

You’ll find the conversation history directly under the response box in the Engage tooltip

View Workflow History inside the Tooltip

Just like knowing the past of a conversation is important, so is knowing exactly what you or a team member has done in the past. Engagement Central now allows you to see the workflow history of interactions with your audience. For example, if one of your teammates gave a coupon to a Twitter follower in their last interaction, you will know about it in subsequent interactions and can leave notes for the next teammate as well.

 

Compare Facebook Fan Pages

The Compare tab in Heartbeat now allows you to add Facebook Fan Pages into your list of items to compare. If you have multiple Facebook Fan Pages (for instance different pages for different countries) you can now compare the activity from each of these side-by-side. As well, you can compare your Facebook Fan Page activity (wall posts and comments) against each other or any other of your tags in Heartbeat.

Please note that this feature is only available to Facebook Page Central subscribers.

 

As well, we’ve now made the Sentiment Measurement tab information exportable to a CSV for your reporting purposes.

Analyze a Google+ Page

MAP now gives you the ability to analyze a Google+ page just like it does for Facebook. Simply enter the URL of yours or any Google+ page in the Analyze A Fan Page Section of the Google+ tab. Inside you can view sentiment for the page and a buzzgraph made up from recent posts.

 

Brand New Look for the MAP Dashboard

The last update we have to tell you about today is probably the most exciting. As of today the Dashboard in MAP has an all new look. Not only does the dashboard look nicer, but we also give you more top level information about blogs, Twitter, online news, forums and videos right off the bat. See the screenshots below to see the new Dashboard look.

You’ll also find that the Most Authoratative page under the Twitter tab has a new look too.

If you’re already a Sysomos subscriber and have any questions or require assistance with any of these new updates, please feel free to contact your account manager who will be happy to assist. If you’re not already a Sysomos subscriber but would like to take a look at our software, please feel free to contact us.

Engage More with Less Effort Through Sysomos Heartbeat

Introducing Engagement Central in Sysomos Heartbeat

Engaging with your audience has become the main reason that most companies venture into the social space. The problem is that you have one tool for listening, one for publishing to one platform, one for publishing to another, one tool for learning about your fans and followers, and one for reporting. But not anymore. With our latest update to Heartbeat, Engagement Central, Heartbeat becomes your one-stop place to do all of the above. Best of all, there’s no additional cost for this new feature and like all Sysomos software, nothing to download and install.

Researching and engaging people that are talking about your brand doesn’t have to be hard, and we’ve just made it even easier. Keep reading to learn more about the exciting new Engagement Central in Heartbeat.

Heartbeat has always given users the ability to reply to tweets or Facebook posts directly from the tool tips in the Your Heartbeats tab. Our new Engagement Central still gives you an area to do this, but also so much more. You can do more without ever leaving Heartbeat.

Engage, Engage, and Engage

Deep integration with the Sysomos Heartbeat product suite allows effortless engagement from anywhere. You don’t need to have multiple social media tools.

Add Multiple Accounts

Link all of your Twitter accounts and Facebook Fan Pages to Engagement Central to manage them all from a single place.

Post, Reply and Schedule

Send out new messages/updates or reply and comment on an incoming one. Bit.ly integration is available for URL shortening. Schedule tweets for future publication.

Direct Messages and Re-tweets

Send and receive direct messages on Twitter. Follow, unfollow, re-tweet and much more in just a click.

Follower Analytics

Detailed analytics reports based on your followers. See the most authoritative followers or breakdowns by country or gender. Understand your follower’s demographics through our informative visuals.

Workflow and Collaboration

Engagement Central is designed for team collaboration. All actions and outgoing messages are recorded in an activity log. Workflow reporting keeps track of open cases and active assignments.

If you’re already a Heartbeat user and would like further information, or help connecting your Twitter accounts or Facebook Fan Pages to Heartbeat’s Engagement Central, please contact your Sales Representative or Account Manager.

If you’re not already using Heartbeat but would like to check it out, please feel free to contact us.

How Much Engagement is too Much?

I was reading a blog post yesterday on whether great customer service on social media could be seen as invasive. It’s based on the growing reality that if you mention a brand or product in a tweet, for example, it’s not surprising these days to quickly get a reply or be followed by a company that is carefully monitoring social media activity.

Is this good customer service or heavy-handed? Do consumers like the attention or does it make them feel uncomfortable?

If we step back from social customer service, it raises questions about engagement. In particular, it puts the spotlight on how much engagement is too much. There are companies who have social media specialists completely engaged and monitoring a wide variety of social media. They are armed, willing and able to engage at any opportunity at any time of the day.

Over the past couple of years, engaging – along with “conversations” – have become industry tenets and mantras. Companies that engage are seen to be proactive and aligned with the needs of existing and potential consumers. Companies that are not on social media or who don’t engage are seen as Luddites or laggards.

So far, no one has been accused of engaging too much – probably because the rules of engaged have still work in progress. Still, it begs to be asked if there is such thing as too much engagement? Can a company be so involved in conversations with consumers that it becomes too much and overbearing?

I think there is a danger of being too engaged, although the level of activity can hinge on a brand’s popularity and whether consumers are talking about it. Starbucks, for example, is the subject of a lot of social activity so it could engage all day if it wanted. But there is a downside to engaging all the time because it stops being interesting, and starts being annoying.

It may still be too early to establish hard and fast rules of engagement but how, when and how much is definitely worth considering.

What do you think? Is there such thing as too much engagement?

Social Media Engagement Takes Work

There are few tenets within social media that are repeated on a regular basis.

Some of the most popular include that social media is all about conversations, and that social media is about engagement.

While “conversations” is a concept that gets a lot of attention, engagement is something that is talked a lot about but not explored in a major way because it tends to be more abstract. At a high level, social media engagement is focused on how companies can establish relationships with customers, potential customers, partners, suppliers, employees or investors.

It is about reaching out to people in a way that meets the needs and objectives of both sides – whether it’s driving sales, customer service, brand building or solving problems.

One of the features within our Heartbeat (monitoring) and MAP (analytics) services is the ability to identify and engage with key influencers and opinion leaders. The identification is where our technology excels because we can filters through the social media conversations happening to put the spotlight on specific people.

It’s then that people using our services can engage with key influencers and opinion leaders by reaching out to them armed with knowledge and insight about their professional interests.

It is important to be clear that identifying key influencers is the just first step in building a relationship. A relationship can involve multiple engagements, which can be achieved through a personal connection or by giving people tools and content to interact with your company, brand or products.

For more thoughts about the importance of engagement, check out this blog post from bird’dog, which talks about the importance of being “social”.

Social Media Engagement in the Spotlight

If 2009 was the year of social media adoption and experimentation, the big theme for 2010 appears to be scrutinization. 2010 will be a year in which many of the social media pillars will be tested and benchmarked – these benchmarks include ROI (return on investment) and engagement.

While ROI is already a hot topic, engagement is also attracting a lot more attention. Earlier this week, social media consultant Jason Falls cast the spotlight on engagement with blog post that declared it to be “just a bullshit term made up to apply to making people do something in the online (or offline) space” such as buying products and services.”

The problem with “engagement” is it can be defined in different ways. While Falls contends engagement is about the bottom line, others believe engagement is also about building relationships with customers and potential customers, driving the brand, and encouraging other people to talk about and spread the word about your company using social media tools.

The reality is “engagement” is a mix of all of the above. To get people to buy products or services, you have to get them engaged with what you’re doing, and establish some sort of relationship to drive customers to ultimately make a purchase decision. Don’t get me wrong, the sale is the goal but the pre-sale elements shouldn’t be brushed aside in creating a definition for “engagement”.

The active discussions about engagement and ROI are healthy and much needed because they suggest the social media business is quickly evolving and starting to attract the same amount of attention as traditional marketing activities.

At the end of the day, these kind of discussions will go a long way in validating the role of social media within a company’s communications, marketing and sales arsenal.