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Designing Social Media Engagement Programs

A disengaged customer is not really a customer, or at least not a good customer. Unfortunately, few companies have implemented effective systems to gauge the level of their customers on social media. Understanding engagement measures…

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“An organization’s best customers…are not just “satisfied” or “loyal,” they are emotionally attached to the organization’s brands or services. They are engaged” (Gallup, 2009).

A disengaged customer is not really a customer, or at least not a good customer. Unfortunately, few companies have implemented effective systems to gauge the level of their customers on social media. Understanding engagement measures is important because they can give a company a more accurate and complete picture of their customers. For example, there are millions of daily web surfers. Most surfers breeze through websites and articles, maybe spending a few seconds on any given page. These brief visits will increase a company’s number of visitors and impressions, but it does not give the company an accurate accounting of how many of visitors are interested in their ideas, products, or services. This is why engagement measures are an important part of the mix.

Engagement measures aim to quantify how interested and committed customers are to a business. Although it is good for businesses to get as much exposure to their sites as possible, it is better yet to focus on getting the attention of customers whose visits will most likely translate into business.

Engaged customers generate the most business because they are more likely to generate higher conversion rates, be more loyal, and have higher retention rates. Another benefit of having engaged customers is increased customer satisfaction.

In order to relate business goals to social media outcomes it is important to tie the anticipated results to the goals. Once you define your engagement goals, only then can you design the programs and processes to support the goals and be able to measure them in context.

Here are some examples to illustrate my point…

Increased customer loyalty = Ratio of the number of visitors to number of repeat visitors (to measure how successfully the site captures viewers

Improved customer experience = Ratio of the number of registered users to the number of active users, Frequency of mentions about the company, brand or thought leadership, Number of customer issues resolved or addressed through the social channel

Increased customer referrals = Number and nature of online reference, results of online peer referral program

Increased awareness = New areas of site explored as result of social media driven campaign

So before you go opening that Facebook for business page or creating a Twitter account on a whim, it is best to figure out what your company or department intends to do with it and what impact it should make upon the bottom line when done properly. If you want to control the outcome, you need to control the process.

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