With new media channels comes new nomenclature and ways of doing business. This is true for the term, social engagement.
But what is social engagement? What does it achieve? Does it result in more sales? Better awareness? Greater loyalty? How do you know it’s working?
Or, is it just a new way of saying customer service, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and relationship building using social metrics such as Likes, Comments, Views and Shares?
Here’s what 21 experts tell us social engagement means and does.
- In the social context at GE, engagement is the discovery and exchange of shared values and interests. - Linda Boff, global executive director of digital, advertising and design, GE
- The process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people. – Center for Disease Control
- The basis for effective communication, and together these are the foundation for mutual awareness, respect, and understanding, which in turn are the foundation for relationship building. – Center for Excellence in Mining Innovation
- The action of engaging with others using computer-mediated communication tools. Engagement means establishing and sustaining relationships, while developing a level of trust that makes people comfortable enough to do business with you. - Urs E. Gattiker, Author of ComMetrics
- Likes, or shares or comments. But then for our educational series, views may be the engagement. The metrics continue to solidify over time, and there is no one answer to all programs. - Scott Gulbransen, director of social business strategy, H&R Block
- The number of unique people who have clicked on your posts. This number encompasses only the first 28 days after a post’s publication. – Facebook
- The process of working collaboratively with community groups to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. Activities that help firms engage the community include credible and transparent reporting, town hall meetings and collaborative decision making. – Financial Times
- The level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time. – Forrester
- The process of working with people with similar situations, special interests or geographic proximity to address issues affecting their quality of life. – Genesse County Health Department
- The ability to reach out to and get response from a company (as a consumer) or an audience (as a company). For instance, if I go onto Twitter and post a question to a specific company (@Ebay, for example), I hope to receive a response. That’s engagement. Instant, human. – Angela Hausman, Associate Professor and CEO, Howard University and Hausman and Associates
- The level of authentic involvement, intensity, contribution, and ownership. Attention + Interaction + Velocity + Authority + Relevant Attributes (variable). – Jeremiah Owyang, Partner of Customer Strategy, Altimeter Group
- An estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set of goals. Eric Peterson, Web Analytics Demystified
- Any action a consumer takes with your content. It’s a Like, view, comment or share. Social success should be based on the most valuable engagement, sharing and the earned reach that it generates around a key message. - Matt Rednor, vp of global strategy and analytics, MRY
- Does the person like/love the brand? Does the person just want the discount coupon you’re offering? Is the person just interested in what you’re up to this week, or in general? Is it a passing fancy or of life-long heartfelt significance? – Philip Sheldrake, Co-Founder, International International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)
- How a brand and consumer connect and interact within their networks of relevance; measured by takeaway value, sentiment or feelings, and resulting actions following the exchange. - Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group, and Author of Engage
- Connectedness, or creating a closer relationship with your audience. Brands can be engaging by creating compeling ideas and useful content that people want to share. - Pat Stern, chief creative officer, iCrossing
- A social event that involves your directly and/or has impact on your social presence. Examples of engagement include: new comments, RTs, check-in to your venues, likes of your videos on YouTube, clicks on your links, etc, etc. - Social Report
- A positive emotional return on social media marketing activities can be delivered over time, providing you give, give, give. – Chris Street, Commercial Content Creator, Bristol Editor
- Social engagement is: 1) Provide high-quality content, 2) answer questions, 3) participate in conversations, 4) provide great customer service to customers and potential customers and 5) go offline - Sysomos
- The new currency for social marketing effectiveness – Bernard Warner, Journalist and Auther
- A social phenomenon enabled by the wide adoption of the internet in the late 1990s and taking off with the technical developments in connection speed (broadband) in the decade that followed. – Wikipedia
Taking these definitions into account, I’d explain social engagement as good, old fashioned relationship principles that have proven to work in the past; only now, they are taking advantage of online social channels and sharing to build community faster and influence more people in real time for better results. That’s why I do it.
How would you explain social engagement? Is it worth doing for your brand?