Not all levels of consumer engagement are created equal
When people use social media platforms, they are doing one of four things:
- sharing links to new content
- gathering information (connecting the dots)
- talking about personal thoughts and opinions
- sharing media.
All of these actions produce user-generated content in the form of blog posts, videos, or podcasts, which are then placed on social media sites. When a company launches a product or an agency launches an advertising campaign, that action creates buzz. Buzz means excitement, and excitement is contagious: people engage with new content, then talk about it, essentially creating free publicity. The more buzz, the more publicity!
If we break this excitement down, it’s clear that not all levels of consumer engagement are created equal. The Ghuneim Scale of Engagement divides online customer engagement into four distinct levels.
- The lowest (adoption) is when someone joins a group, tags a post, or bookmarks a page.
- Medium engagement (filtering) is when users rate, vote, comment, or endorse someone else’s content.
- With original content creation such as blogging, message-board chatting, video uploading, and podcasting, a higher level of engagement is achieved. Social engagement represents the highest level, occurring when individuals add friends, network, or create fan communities.
Customer satisfaction is great, but isn’t very exciting. In a world where 60-80% of customers describe their customer satisfaction as satisfied or very satisfied before going on to defect to other brands, customer satisfaction is no longer enough of a guarantee that consumers will stay loyal. If we as advertisers want the biggest return on a brand’s investment, what we need is excitement, buzz, and engagement. To do that, agencies must be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue with potential customers. Monitoring and creating online video, blogs, and podcasts both monitors buzz and creates it. This helps ensure customer satisfaction on one hand, while encouraging brand loyalty on the other.