What Does Engagement With Your Customer Really Mean?

by Sarah Lazell

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At BeeLiked we never underestimate the importance of customer engagement. We talk about it a lot; here and here for example.

A successful engagement strategy will always be an ongoing process of improvement. Part and parcel of any campaign will be the analysis of results, and then refinement of the message and delivery for subsequent rounds. Basically, we need to know what is working and what isn’t, and tweak our approach accordingly.

Interaction

If people are not interacting with your communications they are not engaged. Sending out a huge number of newsletters can feel like you are communicating with a huge number of people - but, if only 20 of the recipients then go on to open it, then you have only actually engaged with that 20, and the rest is simply spam and a poor use of time and resources. So finding a way to get feedback (manual or automated) on what the recipients do with your communications, is a valuable tool for measuring the levels of engagement you are generating.

Influence

Beyond the initial evidence of interaction is influence. This measures how much action is taken due to the communications you deliver - click throughs to the website, likes and shares across platforms, for example. Plus, of course, sales!

These responses demonstrate that people didn’t just see your communications but were influenced by them, and acted on them by buying, sharing, sending to others and spreading your message. Thanks to the tools available to online marketers and analysts, we can understand in more detail than ever before what responses are generated across large numbers of recipients, by each individual communication. Looking at your levels of interaction and influence can really help gauge the effectiveness of your engagement with prospects and customers alike.

Influence can be seen as a measure of the reach of your message. So an engaged audience that regularly shares your messages or, better, responds gives you a bigger reach, as your message becomes amplified through their networks too. But if there is zero interaction or responses to your messages, then you have zero engagement - which is also a valuable form of feedback, since it tells you there is something that you need to change.

For those looking to improve their interaction and influence here are a few suggestions:

Timing

Not just the key to delivering a great joke; tweaking the timing your messages could lead to a higher hit rate. There are lots of analytics that can help determine the optimal time for posting your message - this article, along with many others  goes into the subject in detail.

If you have an international following, you’ll need to make sure that you are considering them with your timing, too and have planned your communications around different time zones.


Post frequently

How often should I post? has been a long debated question with many complicated answers. Everyone is aiming for that precarious balance of being noticed, but not pushy; being seen often enough, but not looking like you are trying too hard.

Unfortunately there is no magic formula - how often you decide to post will depend on your goals, audience, social media channels and the results you get. We recommend experimenting with your frequency until you find what works for your brand. Remember that your brand is unique and what works for one company won’t necessarily work for another.


Always include a picture

Visuals - be it photos, videos, infographics, gifs or illustrations - help your messages stand out. In fact, tweets with photos have been found to generate 313% more engagement than those without. Although you don’t see posts without pictures as much as you used to, it is good practice to include something along with your text to draw the audience's eye.

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It pays to be consistent

If your messages, style or tone tend to change it may be confusing to your audience. Are you authoritative one minute and jokey the next? Maybe your customers don't know how to take you, or think that you don't really understand your own brand This is one to be aware of particularly if more than one person runs different areas of your social media presence.

Another way you can stay consistent is to  build engagement by coming up with a few regular events you can do that invite people to participate,  comment or click through, for example a weekly quiz. It can take a little time to see results, so be prepared to be patient when taking this approach.

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A call to action

This may seem rather obvious, but have you tried asking your audience? A simple call to action may be enough to get customers clicking.

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BeeLiked is a marketing platform offering a wide range of digital campaigns to help brands engage with their existing audiences and reach new customers through the viral and social nature of the contests and games. Our easy to use online platform is complimented by a highly creative team able to support both concept and content creation.

Talk to us today about how we can help create a buzz for your business.