This week truly shocked me. I was talking with a large advertising agency in the Los Angeles area and they wanted me to help them strategize new social ideas for their clients! As we're taking a look at their first client, a huge player in the auto insurance world with an active Facebook/Twitter/ Pinterest in the millions, I realize this client could be going viral daily. Instead, the content I found was literally their advertisements re-purposed, and it reminded me of a boring TV ad, that you skip right over!
My first question to the social media/digital director was "Where is the engagement"? Faster than I had ended my question I hear, we don't need to engage!! It was such a bold statement, that I had to repeat it once just for it to set in. I replied, "You're managing social media for your client, and engagement is not a priority obviously. So are you ready to lose this client?" The three folks at the agency were literally floored with my question, that someone would dare test them! I could tell that obviously, no one has been honest about this crappy social campaign with them, and it was time for that to change.
I finalized the meeting by telling them, that I had 2 Big Ideas, which would instantly change their social from a one-way street, to a two-way conversation! I could tell that they were hesitant to listen, but I challenged them to try these right now and we will see instantly the results of an engagement approach.
First....I suggested that we all go around the room, and get 10 questions that we'd like to have honest feedback about, and would allow their team to understand their customers & social community. This is a tactic that too many folks are afraid to approach, but it pays off tenfold with interactions and valuable community criticism and feedback. We came up with an abundance of questions, and then narrowed them down to our Top 10. I suggest every social marketer do this weekly, with your communities!
Second... I suggested that we come up with 10 more questions... but these questions would be for fun! Asking something silly, funny, or just because with no real purpose but for the community to have fun! I've found that if all your questions are too serious, then it's just like social posts that are advertising too much, people tune it out, hide your posts, or leave your community. When you're planning to have fun with your questions, the community will rally with their responses, and it will be a fun exercise that the community will love!!
Before I left the phone call... I asked, "So which one are we going to try right now? I challenge you..." They were hesitant to respond, so I said I have the perfect question to ask your community. If you want I would love for you to try this question with your community to see if it works.
- What device are you reading this post on? (This question is both informative, fun, and it works )
About an hour later, I get a follow-up email with a big THANK YOU as the subject header.... The team was ecstatic, the post that we suggested had already received over 5,000 comments in an hour, and the community was finally engaging! This is an example of social engagement, and I would say that it's the most important thing for anyone in social marketing to do for your clients, or your campaign! I truly believe that after a person has engaged once, they're more like to do business with you, just like as if you shook hands face to face! The power of engagement can take your brand to the social stratosphere, but you have to be willing to ENGAGE!!
Photo Credit: Social Business News