Why is it so hard for the social media “experts” to agree on a definition of engagement? With any major change, such range of opinion is natural. The challenge is to create broad understanding and then drive adoption which will lead to accepted standards.
The Forrester report clearly admits that it is very difficult for organizations to gather all metrics. For social media analysis tools, it is important to articulate the assumptions for calculating engagement. Most of the times, a few select metrics will be used to provide a view of engagement on social media. I will elaborate further on this in my next post.
Here are 3 point of views on Engagement.
- From 2007 – 2009, Forrester presented a series of reports on engagement in which a big picture view of engagement (not limited to social media alone) was presented.
- In 2009 Altimeter Group created Engagement DB report which “ranks the world’s most valuable brands based on how they leverage social media to interact with customers.”
- In 2010, Engage, a book by Brian Solis was published. In this book, Brian talks in details about his views on engagement and invents the mantra of “Engage or Die”.
Let’s start with Forrester’s definition:
Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.
Four components make up the engagement framework — the four I’s:
· Involvement — the presence of a person at the various brand touchpoints. Metrics include Web site visitors, time spent per page, physical store visits, impressions from mass media advertising, etc. Data sources include Web Analytics, store traffic reports, etc.
· Interaction — the actions people take while present at those touchpoints. Metrics include click-throughs, online transactions, in-store purchases, uploaded photos or videos, etc. Data sources include eCommerce platforms, POS systems, social media platforms, etc.
· Intimacy — the affection or aversion a person holds for a brand. Metrics include sentiment measurement in blog posts, blog comments, discussion forums, customer service call sentiment etc. Data sources include brand monitoring services, survey responses, customer service call centers, etc.
· Influence — the likelihood a person is to advocate on behalf of the brand. Metrics include brand awareness, loyalty, affinity, repurchases, Net Promoter, satisfaction ratings, forwarded content, etc. Data sources include market research services, brand monitoring, customer service call centers, surveys, etc.
Brian Solis writes in a blog post about the importance of engagement and how it ties to the consumer’s decision process. And this is exactly why engagement as a concept is elusive: it spans across various business processes, some of which are hard to capture and quantify.
One of the most sought after answers in Social Media is whether or not engagement in social networks such as Twitter or Facebook directly correlates to customer acquisition, retention, and advocacy. Before we can earn customers however, we have to recognize that at any given time, there are also prospects. And, prospects require information and confidence in order to make decisions, in your favor of course. The answer to our question lies in social engagement.
Prospects are not only searching for guidance, comparisons, and experiences through Google, they are also becoming increasingly social in every step of a decision making process. If brands do not identify the various stages of choice and resolution and also the networks where they socialize and explore, opportunities will be missed.
If we’re not part of the decision making cycle, we are absent from decisions.
In the next post on engagement, I will delve deeper into some of the interactions metrics which are very good indicators of engagement.