Warning: this post exhibits signs of curmudgeoness and may contain statements like “get off my lawn” and “back in my day.”
Observation: As companies expand their social footprint and create more content designed for social, I’ve noticed a remarkable decrease in actual consumer engagement and conversation.
Today, many brands are focused on making sure they have a steady stream of content to feed into Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Creating all that content takes a lot of time and energy. Some of that content builds to engagement, but much of it merely generates Likes, which don’t have a lot of value.
With such a heavy focus on developing content, social media managers aren’t truly listening and engaging as much as they should. For listening they are relying on tools like Radian 6. These tools are very valuable, but they generate reports on listening as opposed to truly listening as if you were part of the conversation. At the same time the heavy content focus has turned engagement to be about putting something out there and seeing how people respond. To truly connect with customers, comp0anies need to also see what their customers are putting out there and then respond and engage with those customers.
Pushing content is a critical element of a successful social engagement strategy, but so is the old-fashioned listen and engage in conversation and make it personal approach.