How Important is Consumer Engagement in Social Media?

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Can You Hear Me Now?

How important is consumer engagement in social media?

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Many brands that we have worked with over the years have expressed their views on social engagement and how much time and effort they think social media should take.  While there isn’t a single right answer, there is more involvement than most initially believe.

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Social engagement is more than just jumping on one of those convenient social media management sites such as Hootsuite or Buffer and scheduling your social posts for months in advance.  Although these sites are great tools, you can’t lose sight of real time engagement with your followers.

One of our favorite examples of this real time engagement is Oreo.  Even if your company doesn’t have the funds to hire a 24/7 social media team, you can take a page from their successful playbook.

Oreo’s Touchdown  During the 2013 Superbowl, about two hours into the game, most of the lights in the Superdome went out halting the event for 34 minutes.      Before the lights came back on, Oreo had already posted the following graphic on its Facebook site.

The company took a real time event and turned it into marketing gold with a simple graphic that most beginning Photoshop users could produce.  Think about this, what were millions of viewers doing during this 34 minutes? Eating? Drinking? Well yes… but they were also on the internet trying to find out why the lights were out, talking to their friends on Facebook and Twitter about the Superdome not paying their light bill and then, BAM! Up pops Oreo.  Hmmm, I think I should run to the store and buy some Oreos…

There is absolutely no reason that your company can’t do this.  Think about your demographics.  Who do you market to? Women with children between the ages of 25 – 35? If so, what are those women viewing, reading and doing on a regular basis? Do they have similar interests you can capitalize on? Your company should take an interest in what interests your demographic and be on top of the trends and current when it comes to those interests.

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A popular event that we have always had success with is Nascar.  The amount of people who love this sport is staggering and the demographics are vast.  For one season, we hosted a contest which simply asked viewers to enter who they thought would win that days race.  We received thousands of responses and each week viewers would come to our site with the sole intention of picking their favorite driver.

During one particular event, one of the favorites (there were usually a handful that got nearly all the votes) was in a race ending wreck that was caused by another driver.  Our team jumped online and found a picture of the on track mayhem that we could copy and paste into Facebook with the caption “Jr’s out – whose fault is it?” The response was overwhelming.  Race fans wanted to be heard and we gave them a platform to voice their opinion. Sometimes it truly is just that simple.

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Many companies overlook another important element in their social media engagements – responsiveness to their customer.  Businesses shouldn’t be posting to their customers, but engaging with them, responding to their questions, comments and concerns.  At The Social Experiment, several of our team members have all of our clients social media set to show up on their phones, so no matter where they’re at, one of them can see what is going on and respond immediately.  When viewers respond to posts or ask questions, they get a timely response back.  In a changing world where viewers want to be heard, you need to make them feel that you are listening.

Engaging with your customers in a one on one basis will increase your customer’s loyalty and in many cases bring new customers to your business.