We really like this blog post from our friend and business colleague, Michele Soregaroli of Transformation Catalyst, she makes some excellent points! If you’d like to see the original post, click here.
In a previous blog post, I talked about the 3 pillars of business – Visibility, Connection, Delivery.
But where does engagement fit? Aren’t connection and engagement the same thing? I get this question a lot…and it’s absolutely critical to your business that you not only understand the distinction between them, but that you also develop your strategies and actions with these distinctions in mind.
If you haven’t got a good sense of the basic 3 Pillars of Business, I would suggest that you start your reading there, and then come back here for more learning. Today’s post is dealing only with Connection and Engagement.
I’m going to use Facebook Pages as the example in this post, but keep in mind that these principles apply to all strains of your business where you are communicating with your target market, prospects and existing clients.
Let’s assume that you have a Facebook Page set up. If you don’t have one, you’ve probably ‘Liked’ one, or have seen some that you can refer to here. A Facebook Page is essentially another platform to create Visibility…people know that you are in business and that your doors are open. But it’s much more than that!
If you’re like most business owners, your main focus for your Facebook Page has been to generate LIKES…lots of Followers who are willing to read your posts and are interested in what you have to say. Sometimes they will ‘Like’ your posts. In that case, they have established a CONNECTION with you.
However, this is where it gets interesting!! Business Pages gathering ‘Likes’ believe that they have now established permission to ask for the business from their audience. If you have ‘Likes’, you have a connection, and the next step is to sign the deal and start delivering your service, right?
Not right…not even a little. I’m guessing that those ‘Likes’ on your Page are not converting to Leads. If you see yourself here, you’re probably wondering the value of social media at all. Here’s why it’s not working – you haven’t actually ‘engaged’ your followers!
A Connection is established when someone indicates, in the moment, that they are in agreement with you and identify that you share something in common. But only in that moment. They aren’t all in, by any stretch. They just think that whatever happened in that moment was worth ‘Liking’. Then they move on…NO engagement.
Engagement is only established when someone expresses an interest in continuing the conversation to get more information, more depth, more understanding…they are curious, you have a connection and they are ready to take your relationship to the next level. This is no longer about the moment. Engagement is about the future. Someone who engages you is interested in establishing a relationship into the future! If you do a good job of engagement, you are well on your way to success…because engagement is the source of your fans.
Never confuse Followers with Fans.
On a Facebook Page, followers click ‘Like’. On the other hand, fans add a comment…and they expect a response. They want to establish a 2-way relationship…they have invited you to engage.
Comments are your opportunity to establish more depth in your relationship and really step up. Comments are your chance to be remarkable. Without engagement, you have limited opportunity to create a relationship of any substance.
If you have only established connections, your relationships are 1-way, they are fickle and vulnerable. Your followers can disconnect anytime they want…and they won’t even tell you why. They just quietly disappear.
If you have successfully engaged your fans, they are vested, interested, opinionated and eager to support your success. If they are happy, you know. If they aren’t happy, you will also know. And isn’t that what all successful businesses have – an opportunity to show their fans how committed they are to being remarkable and building even greater loyalty.
So the next time you design a communication initiative, identify your desired result. Connection is the precursor to Engagement. Engagement is the precursor to the lasting success of your business and your ultimate success is dependent on the strength and enthusiasm of your fans.
What are your thoughts around this?