The terms “customer engagement” and “social media engagement” have been hackneyed by software vendors, thought-leaders and consultants over the past five years to the degree that it’s become confusing for those evaluating software to understand who provides what.
Once defined by most as simply likes, retweets and shares, the meaning of social media engagement has split into two directions: outbound, marketing social media engagement and inbound, social customer service engagement.
Outbound/marketing social media engagement:
What it is: How many people engaged with content published by a brand on a given social channel (or multiple channels)
Goal: Increase awareness and improve brand reputation through attractive content; specifics vary from increasing
How it’s measured: likes/favorites, shares/retweets, “reach”, proprietary “influence” scores, clicks
How to be the best at it:
––Marketing engagement software that allows analysis of best posting time, shows influencers who engaged
––Well-allocated spend for amplification (e.g. sponsored stories, promoted Tweets, etc)
Inbound/social customer service engagement:
What it is: How well a brand responds to customer enquiries, comments or questions
Goal: Provide the best service experience possible in the shortest amount of time and with the fewest resources necessary to do so
How it’s measured: % responded to; response time; first response time, handling time & average handling time
How to be the best at it:
––Dedicated social customer service software that enables tracking of SLAs, and key customer service metrics like FRT and AHT
––Team trained in social customer service best practices
Both are no doubt important for brands who want to take advantage of social media. Yet, as you can see, the two really couldn’t be more different. Optimizing outbound marketing engagement is a nice-to-have that can greatly increase brand awareness and ultimately drive conversions. Inbound customer service over social media, however, is now essential for brands; if your customers are requesting service over channels such as Facebook and Twitter, you have an obligation to respond in a way that provides a great experience.
Additionally, the act of preventing a negative customer issue from spinning out of control, or providing a great experience that the customer wants to tell everyone they know about, can provide even greater ROI in the long run than trying to ensure customers engage with content broadcasted by marketing. Research from Bain & Company shows that when companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. If that wasn’t enough, the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer found that 42% of people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social, while 53% will talk about a bad one.
For the enterprise, there is no one-size-fits all solution that provides both types of engagement––each requires different training, different software with fundamentally different workflows and specific features, and different ways to measure success.
When it comes to outbound marketing and social media engagement there are many great tools out there for businesses of all shapes and sizes. At Conversocial we’ve created the best platform to provide efficient and secure customer service over social media at a large scale.
Read more: Engagement Marketing – What Is It And a Great Example
Great post–crazy how confused language becomes in a crowded market
Thank you! Very much agreed.
I understand that both are different, but I don’t know if I buy the argument that you need different solutions for each–there are awesome tools out there (engager for one) that are awesome at both
Hi Maruice! Thanks for the comment. There are many tools out there, but when you really get down to it, the two types of engagement are both pretty different from one another. They’re definitely not two sides of the same coin. As a result, a solution that says it does both is really specializing in one and satisfying basic requirements for the other (or else there’d be in essence two totally separate products).
This is true…but did it really have to be said? Would hope it’s common sense
Unfortunately, some that I’ve spoken to mix both types of engagement into the same thought (though luckily more and more rarely the same buying decision).
Don’t like that it makes it look like marketing and customer service are against each other. they should work together!
Hi Natale! Valid point––if you’re referring to the image, the idea conveyed was meant to be that both types of engagement are very different (and are coming from separate teams). Both types of engagement are important depending on your business objectives (though I’m certainly biased toward service.) Marketing and customer service teams should work together to provide the best possible customer journey––from initial contact through advocacy. Still, the two types of engagement fight within the buzzword of “social media engagement”, leading to confusion for some (but hopefully not too many!)