In recent months, a lot has been written about how Social Media channels are different from “traditional” media channels like Print, Radio, TV and about the importance of Social Media in marketing.
I think the biggest argument in favor of Social Media is that it provides great tools for “engaging” the customer. Unlike traditional media channels where the information flow is one way, one to many – where consumer or target audience group is “passive”, Social media communication is not only two-way, one-to-one, but consumer is active participant and “owns” the conversation.
Moreover, conversations over Social Media channels are public – visible to all. And customers and potential customers are discussing about products and brands on Social Media channels whether the marketer is participating in the discussion or not.This is why it is utmost important for marketer to have a Social CRM strategy and invest in Social Media tools for effectively engaging customers and prospects. Gone are the days of one way “passive” advertising, thanks to Social Media (for definition of Social CRM, see my earlier post titled What is Social CRM?)
Level of customer engagement will determine mind-share and market-share for a brand. Those marketers who effectively engage their customers and prospects will emerge as winners and those who are not good in customer engagement will lose market share. If any one wants proof of importance of Social Media engagement to performance, here it is!
Engagementdb has published a study that shows strong evidence that Social Media Engagement correlates to Financial Performance (see report on The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged?)
According to this study “”Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN quantify it. There is statistically significant correlation between social media engagement and the two most meaningful financial performance metrics – revenue and profit”. This study further states that:
- It pays to engage meaningfully in social media. Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
- Engagement is more than just setting up a blog or Facebook profile and letting viewers post comments, it’s keeping your content fresh and replying to comments; it’s building your friends network and updating your profile status.
- To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job. You must do something, else risk falling far behind other brands, not only in your industry, but across your customers’ general online experience.
- Engagement can’t be skin-deep, nor is it a campaign that can be turned on and off. True engagement means full engagement in the channels where you choose to invest.
This clearly illustrates the importance of engaging customers via Social Media for building trust and loyalty towards the brand – the essence of Social CRM (for more see What is Social CRM and why it is important and Dear CMOs, Wake up to Social Media challenge).
What do you think? Are you convinced that customer engagement will determine winning brands in Social Era? Please share your comments: