What does ‘engagement’ mean to you? The word used to mean bethrotal and would hopefully end in marriage. A prior engagment means you’re busy and we’ve all been engaged in a conversation, some of us even in battle. In Britain, your telephone line can be engaged – even your lavatory can be engaged. These types of enagement have been around for a long old time but the use of the word engagement has been hijacked by a very strong force…. Social media.
Any social media ‘guru’ will tell you that success online is only about one thing – engagement. Not sure how many blog posts I have read from ‘experts’ that outline a situation with a company which seems to be doing ok, they have a fancy social media presence but for some reason there is a lack of interaction with users. The ‘expert’ then comes up with the insightful advice of engaging with the community and everyone reading the post leaves a comment agreeing.
That was great back in 2009 but by now you would think any comms or PR person working with social media would understand to the need to communicate with people. Sometimes companies get this wrong but I think it has more to do with the corporate culture than anything else. If a company puts you on hold on the phone for 30 minutes, if they rarely respond to letters, you can probably expect their Twitter response time to be rather slow. Any advice on social media engagement is not going to change the behavior of this organisation overnight.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have all been so engaged nowadays online that even the multi-author blog Social Media Today has its own category for Engagement on their blog. I for one never felt tempted to check out that section – did you? Perhaps it’s just the term I’m sick of. It just feels very dated and like something everyone has to say instead of something innovative, creative or even original.
Are you engaged or disengaged? Let me know your thoughts….