Written by Shandy Lam on December 17, 2012
in Strategic Marketing

Have you ever shared an email or tweeted about a website offering some amazing deal or promotion? Or liked a brand’s Facebook page so you can get your hands on some freebies?  What about going out of your way to contact customer relations when your favourite product or service is no longer available? My guess is you’ve probably answered yes to at least one of the above scenarios and it’s not uncommon for consumers to interact with a brand when their actions are rewarded. But if we subtract all the promotions, discounts and other value-exchanges, would consumers still be as engaged with a brand? Many marketers believe so; however, according to a recent report by Forbes Insights and Turn, “The New Rules of Engagement: Measuring the Power of Social Currency,” this may not be the case.

The report suggests that there’s a huge disconnect between consumers and brands when it comes to measuring engagement; in particular, consumers’ proactivity via social media is viewed as more engaging to marketers than by consumers. For example, while only 15% of consumers feel engaged with a brand when sharing an ad, 49% of marketers rate forwards or shares of online content or ads as a strong influence on their engagement measures. Similarly, 36% of marketers rate the number of Twitter followers as a measure of social engagement, but only 7% of consumers feel engaged with or invested in a brand when following it on Twitter.

Now the report doesn’t always compare apples to apples (“share an ad” is not the same thing as ”forwards or shares of ads or other content online”) but the report does highlight that as marketers, it’s important we understand how consumers value engagement tactics in order to better connect and build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with them. So it’s time for us to stop celebrating when the numbers of “likes”, “shares” or “followers” goes up and instead focus on the value-exchange. Because without it, consumers will quickly lose interest in your brand.


Spot the disconnect

Source: Forbes Insights and Turn, “The New Rules of Engagement: Measuring the Power of Social Currency”.

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