Social media campaigns succeed in making huge number of people to click on the Like button or to become Fans. But do they like the brand, or the candy they got in the campaign? And how loyal are they to the brand? How permanent is their engagement?
Engagement is the new metrics method in social media campaigns. Apparently, I already engage with a brand when I hit the Like button or when I post or become a fan or retweet or forward an ad or page or campaign. Combine the engagement figures with reach, and there we have the new ratios that measure the social media success.
Generating numbers is easy in social media campaigns, true brand engagement not. Don’t measure the input (the clicks, the likes), measure the outcome (the sales).
Yet, we know that ratios are a clumsy and often misleading way of measuring. Conversion – as in Sales – is a measure of success, not a percentage, as I mentioned before with reference to Jared Spool.
As in so many other campaigns that aim to make people leave their address or identity for later ‘conversation’, advertisers throw small candies to the online customer. Grab the candy – the little reward – and connect to us. This is not new at all: direct mailings, online newsletters, games, sweepstakes, whatever, and now social media – they all throw candies. They go for the quick reward, for the immediate gratification.
Then the advertisers call it permission marketing. The customer has given the brand permission to converse. Hardly ever I see a technique aimed at permanent permission marketing, that avoids irritation and aims at the real reasons (the tasks) why the customer connects to the brand and keeps coming back. Permanent permission marketing is about service to the customer, self-service by the customer, discarding the marketing bla-bla, going straight to the usefulness of the product or the service.
More difficult to measure online, but no worry. Don’t measure the input (the Likes), measure the outcome (the sales, the customer satisfaction, the decline in calls to the help desk, etc.)
Brian Solis puts marketing people back with their feet on the ground, saying as much that the value of the campaign will determine the value of the engagement with the brand. Generating numbers is easy, true engagement more difficult.