We’ve noticed something in all of our recent reading of information and advice-based articles regarding the development of social media engagement. In articles such as the recent from Entrepreneur.com, terms like “interactive” have an oddly diminished meaning.
The web is replete with examples of how an online business or a local social media company can increase consumer engagement with the brand. But there is very little discussion of how the brand or the local social media company can increase engagement with the consumer. Web marketing advice columnists seem keen to think of interactivity as a one-directional relationship, but of course this isn’t the case.
Now, you might say that the creation of relevant content is in itself a way for a local social media company to engage with its clients’ prospective customers. While this is certainly true, the content alone is not of much value if it isn’t being shared in an effective way, via a truly interactive network.
Obviously, if you’re listening to someone else talk, you want to know that you can get a word in edgewise from time to time. You can expect that consumers feel much the same way on social media as you do in private conversations. After all, in an era when local social media companies are of ever-increasing importance, interactions with a brand are taking on more and more of the character of interactions with friends and colleagues.
It is the consequent expectation of some sort of bilateral engagement that does as much as anything to make social media management a full time job, and something better left to a than to untrained internal staff. Companies that are seeking social media exposure already have enough on their plate, without having to craft relevant content across multiple platforms and also identify the highest value consumers to like, follow, retweet, reply, and so on.