I just did a Google search for “Social Media Engagement” and there were 2.1 Million results. This has become one of the hot topics for social media trainers and professionals everywhere and it seems to be a thorn in the side of all the entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out exactly how to engage their social media audience.
Well I can promise you this is going to ruffle a few feathers because I am going to share with you why I think social media engagement is really B.S. or at least it isn’t as big a deal as everyone seems to think it is.
OK before you start disagreeing with me, let’s agree that engagement might help in S.E.O. and it helps in how often you show up in the Facebook newsfeed but I want to talk about engagement and relationship marketing.
Can you build a relationship with your ideal client with minimal to no engagement?
I have had multiple experiences lately that are leading me to believe this to be true. 1st let’s look at the definition of engage, which means to occupy the attention of someone. I would take it a step further for social media because when social media professionals are talking about engagement they are talking about how do you get people to comment, share, retweet etc.
Don’t get me wrong – I think those things are great and important (I have written many blog posts to that effect). What I want you to think about is how people might be moving themselves through the relationship marketing model without ever actually engaging (commenting, sharing, retweeting) with you.
I was recently at a large event. I had several people walk up to me and start talking to me like they knew me. Like really knew me! You have probably experienced this where you start trying to figure out where you met them. But in these cases they had been on my mailing list and they are watching me through social media and they felt like they knew me. One of them went so far as to tell me that when she saw I was sponsoring the event she decided to come so she could meet me. I had never had a conversation with any of these women but through the fact that I blog, post regularly on social media and send out a weekly newsletter they had moved themselves through the like and trust stages of relationship marketing and were ready to buy from me. (By the way, one of them just scheduled an appointment to talk to me about my coaching program.)
I am not saying give up on engagement completely (you do need to pay some attention to what your ideal client wants to learn about) - I am just saying quit spending all your time trying to figure out the secret formula. It isn’t all it is cracked up to be. What if you looked at social media more as your reality show. Think about how you fall in love with TV actors. We mourn when they pass because we feel like they are part of our family. I can tell you from my own experience that I love, love, love the Golden Girls. I have watched the Golden Girls every single day for 25 years. When Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur passed away it was like my grandmother had passed.
I think it is time you stepped up and were the star of your own online reality show. Blog, share your thoughts, engage when it happens naturally but most of all be consistent, build an audience, share great content and they will move themselves through the stages of relationship marketing and start to hand you money!