Businesses Shift Social Media Strategy Towards Improved Engagement

Improved Engagement - Social Media Strategy

Businesses are realizing that to get the most out of social media, they must improve how they engage with their existing audience.

Social media as we currently know it has been around for close to 10 years (I consider MySpace as the start of the mainstream revolution). In that time, it has grown from being primarily a personal communications device to a powerful business tool for promotion, engagement and the sharing of information.

Previously, I’ve discussed how important it is for businesses to utilize the most appropriate social media. While wasting time and effort via the wrong social media channels with no real plan has been a common mistake by many businesses, another false purpose has been to attract as many likes, followers or connections as possible. The idea that anyone who voluntarily connects to an organization’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page will become an active interceptor of whatever message the business distributes is a sheer myth.

A Wall Street Journal piece on failed social media expectations references a Gallup poll that illustrates how purchasing decisions are rarely influenced by an organization’s social media. Of course, to many businesses, this isn’t breaking news. In 2012, General Motors made headlines after pulling all advertising from Facebook while also declaring that such ads don’t pay off (GM did later resume advertising on Facebook, only after Facebook introduced a more traditional advertising model). Nevertheless, this realization is forcing businesses to re-examine how to better communicate their message to the existing social media followers they already have. The focus is now quality over quantity.

While the original intent for companies to utilize Facebook or Twitter may have been promotion, such social media services are becoming key areas for customer service. It is especially important for businesses with a large social media following to actively engage their audience. That also means responding with the up-most sincerity to legitimate concerns, complaints and even compliments.

If I’m on the fence with a specific contractor who I would hire to do work inside my home, and I see that they are reasonably active to comments on their Facebook page, that might help them gain my confidence. It’s the simple things that can go along way.

View the full WSJ piece here — includes real-world examples of how improved monitoring of feedback and engagement is important information for businesses.