Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get Engaged!

Dictionary.com defines engagement as “an appointment or arrangement; a pledge, obligation, or agreement”.  To engage someone means to “occupy [their] attentions or efforts”.  Before the days of internet, customer engagement could be as simple as saying hello to a customer in a store.  However, in cyberspace, engagement is vast and complex, making measurement slightly more difficult.  
Having a fan base is different than having an engaged fan base.  The Yankees have thousands of fans but not every fans is engaged and watching every game, or better yet, attending every game.   Doug Kessler at Content Media Institute says “the big goal [of engagement] isn’t just to get downloaded and read, it’s to get people to share content with others”.   An ideal Yankees fan attends the games and brings his friends.  Likewise, measuring customer engagement with your website helps you filter your best customers, understand their experience, and cater to their wants and needs.

So, how do you measure engagement?  The answer to this depends on the goals of your website.  The answer could also range from basic to complex.  Depending on the company, you may need to get a little creative with how you measure customer engagement.  A company who sells products through a distributor will use different metrics than a company who sells products directly to the customer.  For example, Proctor and Gamble may measure a customer’s intent to buy based on coupon downloads whereas Amazon would simply measure the number of purchases. 

When dealing with engagement, a focus on numbers is helpful, but many times, quality is better than quantity.  This is where social media can play a huge role.  There are numerous KPI’s that can be measured with social media such as comments, shares, and likes.  Chris Lake from Econsultancy shares a list of potential KPI’s that can be used with social media.  Measuring engagement is more than counting the number of followers you have on Twitter or the number of fans you have on Facebook; it is calculating rates of engagement.  SocialBakers came up with the following equations for measuring engagement through social media sites.  

Engagement is about getting customers excited about your brand; social media allows those customers to share their excitement.  

When setting up metrics for engagement, choose metrics centered around the objectives of your site.  Don’t be a Proctor and Gamble company trying to measure engagement the same way Amazon.com does.  Choose metrics that help you understand user experience as well as allow you to segregate users.  This allows you to better understand your targets and ways you can better market to each segregated target.  Finally, don’t forget to utilize social media!

3.    Linn, Michelle (2010). Content Marketing Institute. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2010/10/how-to-measure-engagement/
4.    Rawski, Nicole (2012). iMedia Connection. http://www.imediaconnection.com/article_full.aspx?id=32065

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