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Customer engagement

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Engage customers

Social media has really upped the ante when it comes to customer engagement because, through these channels, customers can not only connect with the brands they like, but also with other people who like the brands as well.  What is new now is that customer engagement is not just a brand's connection with the customer; it is also the customers' engagement with one another in the horizontal and viral aspects. It is these horizontal and viral aspects that can be so important to getting out the marketing word.

Tactically, businesses should also be writing and publishing content with embedded links to other content, pictures, and videos to meet the expectations of its online audience. This encourages engagement and facilitates sharing. Conversely, a lack of engagement limits brand leadership effectiveness and ultimately defeats the purpose of the medium. 

A smart combination of listening to the online conversation already taking place, learning what people want, and then providing what they are open to receive from the brand constitutes the winning ticket. Whether the engagement is through video, online polls, games, photo sharing, e-mail, blogging, PowerPoint presentations, or podcasting, engagement strategies present an opportunity for brands to align content creation for social media with a company's priorities and involve cross-functional interaction and collaboration. Social media engagement can also be used for front-end campaigns and appearances to help guide the conversation and generate buzz.

To engage customers and potential customers, businesses should set up blogs that allow customers a place to comment on their experience with the company. This helps a business stay connected with its customers. An environment that keeps the dialogue open and honest should be fostered; even criticism should be welcomed and the blog should be uncensored, except for comments that are out-of-bounds or indecent.

The mobile phone has added a new element to the world of blogging as well. Moblogging, m-blogging or phone blogging are blogs created or updated from a mobile phone, a tablet or a phablet. With moblogging, text updates can be sent via SMS or email from a mobile phone, while photographs and/or video files can be uploaded using the mobile device’s camera feature.