Social Content As Monologue or Dialogue

Increasing Consumer Engagement

In Web 2.0, our concern is with two way communications. We no longer want to simply inform our readers, but to engage them. In fact, the concept of engagement and the word itself are thrown around quite a bit in social media marketing.

As a result, brands may create marketing objectives centered upon increasing consumer engagement. EXAMPLE GOAL: By the end of the quarter, consumer engagement will increase on our Facebook page by 10% as evident by increased likes and comments.

But what does engagement look like across social media platforms? Or, more importantly, what does the brand need to do during the strategy creation phase to increase consumer engagement?

Monologue Vs. Dialogue

Recently, a student of mine in Riga made the observation that some social content is monologue, while other is dialogue. He made the distinction that status casts (tweets, etc.) might be classified as monologue, while conversations would fall into the dialogue category.

Often, on personal social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), users tend to follow this model rather closely. We’ve all heard people joke about the users whose status casts update the world on their latest trip to the refrigerator or breath of fresh air.

But brands are guilty, too! Social content that speaks as monologue from brands often looks a lot like this: Buy our product by clicking on this link!

Increasing Dialogue = Increasing Engagement

Let’s go back and try to answer our previously stated question: What does a brand need to do during the strategy creation phase to increase consumer engagement?

While status casts can be used in the monologue fashion we addressed above, they can also be used to create dialogue. During the strategy creation phase, the brand should do the following to increase consumer engagement:

1.  Look for brands in similar markets whose social pages get a lot of consumer engagement. Zappos is a great example on Twitter.

2.  Brainstorm a list of questions that might provoke the brand’s customer base to respond.

3.  Test, collect data, go back to the drawing board, and try again!

Our goal as social media marketers in Web 2.0 should be to move away from using monologue and toward provoking dialogue. What do you do to increase dialogue with your customers online?

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