Is blog and Facebook engagement obsolete?

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2011/04/14 · 17 comments 13,284 views

in a analysis: gaining insights,a analytics smarter & actionable KPIs,a analytics: rating and ranking - who's #1,b why benchmark analytics

This post is about monitoring metrics to get results EVERY time.

Several weeks ago we launched the ComMetrics social media cost classification model (see also 2011 trends: The social media cost-benefit pyramid). Previous posts have addressed

We also outlined how to achieve better cost control of your Facebook activities as a whole and promote your brand on Facebook while staying on budget (watch another of our award-winning webinars and check out the slides). Now, we offer several posts that address the engagement issue:

Get the next post in our series about Facebook engagement, impact and ROI – and how to measure them – by signing up here with your email:
These days, everyone focuses on engagement and tools to improve customer relationship management using social media. In July 2009 I stated that Twitter is really not scalable and most of us will not gain clients through such interactions. Engagement can still happen in social business, but you have to go beyond the numbers to figure out what it means in the context of your organization.

The table below suggests what to look at when getting feedback in the form of a Facebook Like, blog post comment, tweet or re-tweet of something you shared.
Image - ComMetrics' full cost accounting model for social media marketing - learning more about the audience you want to reach on Facebook - GET IT RIGHT - it helps improve ROI.

    All else being equal – Understanding to engage

We are more likely to engage our target audience if we have a better understanding of them. However, this does not always work as planned and in some cases little of the hoped-for engagement will be forthcoming. In other instances, you unexpectedly get tons of comments that add great value and insight. Here are some tips and hard-learned truisms:

    1. The more difficult the subject of a post, the fewer people will add a comment, so follow the KISS principle whenever possible.
    2. The longer your post the fewer people will read it, so try to explain calculus in 140 characters or less.
    3. Playing devil’s advocate, and being counter-intuitive increases the number of audience responses, so provoke without upsetting.
    4. Talking about a subject your audience craves knowing about helps, so discuss the latest and add a twist.
    5. People increasingly get their information via smartphone or iPad, so make sure the headline and first two lines of each post entice readers to reach the finish line.
    6. Unless all this engaging helps improve your bottom line, it is just a hobby – engage to help people develop enough trust to be willing to do business with you.
    Bottom line

In spite of that, your context may be such that provocation fails. Your clientele might be so conservative and cautious (remember your local banker) that they will rarely if ever risk commenting on something you posted. In this case, the 900-98-1.5-0.5 rule applies, which states that maybe 1.5 out of every 1,000 people will click Like on Facebook and only every second person will take the time to write an insightful comment. If you do better than that, congratulations!

In light of this, who are your clients? What kind of image, brand and reputation are you or your organization pursuing (e.g., being hip and part of the zeitgeist or trustworthy and conservative)? This will determine what your posts look like, and as the research paper below demonstrates, fewer close social ties may be more helpful in fostering engagement and building relationships than many weak ones.

Okay, here are the questions I have for you:

    1. How has engagement increased your product sales or donations to your cause?
    2. Have you stopped engaging on Facebook? If so, have there been any consequences?

The comments, as always, are yours!

Include the word ComMetrics in your search query to find more information about customer engagement and relationship management and watch the video below.
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  • By @ShigoCreatives

    Is blog and Facebook engagement obsolete?

  • Gunner Technology

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  • Chris Isaac

    Is blog and Facebook engagement obsolete?

  • World Economic Forum

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  • Cathrine Thaning

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  • Gaby Feile

    Dear Urs,nnAgain a very insightful article with lots of information. I like a lot your 6 points on how to engage people. They can be tried easily. nnHowever, I do not agree with you that only if you gain business, your Social Media activity is successful. On the contrary, I doubt that SM is about doing business. To me it is about gaining trust and polishing your image. It is about communication and exchange. It is about delivering helpful news and resources. It is about learning from others.nnThe result can be that people buy from you or recommend you to someone who buys. It can be that your brand awareness increases. It can be that your image gets better. Or it can be that people want to work for you!nnAll this really depends on what you do Social Media for and what you would like to achieve. nnCheers,nnGaby

    • Urs E. Gattiker

      GabynnThanks so much for your comment. As usual it is insightful in itself.nnYou state: “I do not agree with you that only if you gain business, your Social Media activity is successful.”nnI totally agree with your point above social media activity is not directly about gaining new business.nnI believe we may have a slight misunderstanding due to semantics. I stated in point 6nn”6. Unless all this engaging helps improve your bottom line, it is just a hobby u2013 engage to help people develop enough trust to be willing to do business with you.”nnPut differently, unless people know about your watches, how can they go and purchase one. Hence, social media is about developing your visibility, image, reputation and this does, of course, happen by you sharing content, insight, comments that your target audience (possible clients that is) find useful if not valuable.nnAnd even then, you and I probably can agree that depending upon the product (e.g., selling books versus consulting or web-based software) this will happen in different ways. While different people reviewing a book on your website might make you sell more books, having good content on your blog or a checklist for downloading will help those that might want to hire you to fix their communication strategy or a hotel’s branding.nnSocial media helps to engage and become visible. Ultimately, unless you sell you close shop. This is what I wanted to make clear with point 6 above. I am sorry if I failed to communicate this properly and thank you for putting things straight.nnn

  • karenpurves

    Interesting post!nnWhat if that is all I said?nnIt’s true and says that, but nothing more. It raises my visibility but not my credibility. And, I am not sure that people who make one line comments understand that. The blog owner is establishing visibility and credibility by writing the post. The reader of the post can do the same should they desire. But there is more, I suggest many people don’t write more because they fear appearing stupid or being ridiculed by others later on.nnSo let’s get on with the questions posed…nnFor me, engagement is about positioning rather than promotional pieces. And, this approach has proved very successful for me. I say that from testing both types of material. The promotional material got no additional airplay in the social media space. nnProspects arrived through email asking for a chat. That lead to a high conversion because I realized that had already purchased in their minds and were just completing sale. Of course, the problem is that you have no control over the volume nor the frequency of this. Sometimes it was a few a week then nothing for a few weeks. nnWhat I’ve also found is that engagement, although it is better to be frequent, doesn’t have to be. People will still listen and comment when you post if you have that positioning, that credibility in the market.nnHaving been through a major change in my own business, I have a couple of facebook pages that are still up but nothing happens. What has happened? People still pop by but they don’t do anything. Why? Well, I guess they see the “tumbleweed rolling across the page” and say to themselves that nothing much happening here and go away.nnThat’s OK providing these pages aren’t going to be important later… it’s a lot harder to recreate credibility than to create it.nnSo, if get into social media, do it with a plan of where you want to be and how you are going to measure it… otherwise you could find that you have been playing a game with high stakes – nYour Visibility and Your credibility nnOnce tarnished, much harder to recover. There are lots of examples!

    • Urs E. Gattiker

      Karen, very thoughtful feedback indeed. Thank you!nnI am smiling and wondering…. engagement is in part promotion but there are different ways to skin the cat. For instance I can try to:nn- Pay a person to walk up and down main street carrying a sandwich (movable) sign praising my product, or n- Writing blog posts and share content that potential clients value greatlynnIn both cases it is about selling but one uses different ways to promote the product and packaging.nnOf course, credibility or trust gained is hard to come by and I am not sure if the person walking down the street praising my product will do as well as valued content that I create or offering people to read something and then talk to me for free for 15 minutes as you Karen suggest above.nnSocial media or advertising can help to improve one’s positioning and credibility in the market, agreed. But ultimately it is all about getting people into the sales funnel…. one way or the other.nnOf course this can happen in various ways and people may be referred to your company via their friends that attended a webinar or saw you give a speech at a Rotary luncheon. nnWhat is ever more becoming clear to me is that it is a marathon and not a 100 m dash :-)nnKaren, thanks so much for sharing.

      • karenpurves

        I think what is changing is that is the need to integrate the social media activity with what’s happening offline.nnThere is a learning process… How does social media work and how can firms get it working for them. While also, how to pull in more people into, initially say, the company Facebook page.nnOnce that is liked, there’s an opportunity to have information into each “fan’s” live feed.nnAnd, don’t fear is your business is purely B2B, you can now like as your business page and that creates a network of interesting stuff being circulated… well that’s the plan in any case :)

        • Urs E. Gattiker

          Absolutely. But if your clients focus on connecting with family and friends on Facebook, it might not be the place to engage for B2BnnNevertheless, integrating offline with online efforts is critical and unless your blog’s subscribers include clients, why do it.nnFor instance, nothing nicer than have a client download an e-book or a checklist offered through a blog post and then pick up the phone or send an e-mail explaining to you why it was useful.nnI wish this would happen more often :-) nn

  • karen purves

    RT @ComMetrics: Is blog and Facebook engagement obsolete?

  • Alex Hall

    Is blog and Facebook engagement obsolete? –

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