by Lauren Littlefield
Engagement comes in many forms, like diamond rings or “@” replies, but it always indicates a person’s or an organization’s level of commitment. However you earn it, engagement can be the difference between a stranger, a qualified lead and a returning customer.
Think of engagement as a measurement of how committed a lead is to your brand. Are they responding to your emails, visiting your website, downloading collateral and interacting with you via social media? Engagement is not your activity with the prospect, but rather when they have “thrown the ball back to you” and accepted your offer to download an infographic, read a blog post or check in via Foursquare.
Most sales teams are evaluated on how many activities they complete on a daily basis. It shows what they’ve been spending their time on: face-to-face meetings, phone calls, emails, online meetings, etc. If you were to look at an organization’s sales team activity numbers, would you be able to determine who is the best representative? Of course not; just because you are busy sending emails and leaving voicemails doesn’t mean you are building relationships.
Engagement is more about listening and responding than batch-and-blast emails. When we listen to our customers and observe their behavior, we’re able to engage in more helpful and meaningful conversations. Social media has greatly impacted our ability to do this and to do it quickly.
Companies that engage with their customers via social media have more loyal customers. Better yet, customers who engage with brands online report spending 20 percent to 40 percent more with that brand, or on that company’s products.
In Gensler’s 2013 Brand Engagement Survey, they share:
“Purchases actually go up when there’s emotion behind them, and they’re more likely to be repeated too. ‘High-emotion’ customers—those who are truly engaged with their favorite brands—are just plain happier.”
How are you building engagement today? Are you listening to and responding to your customers or just talking over them?
Remember, engagement builds relationships, which in turn, drives revenue.