What came first the chicken or the egg? That is what comes to mind when hearing different perspectives of Engagement and Connection. Sometimes these terms are tossed around like they are interchangeable. Depending on the view you are subject to, you may have to do some digging to ascertain the direction of the message. We view Engagement and Connection as two very different stages within what ultimately enables a Cycle-of-Courtesy.
Many still question engagement as a good source for online and mobile lead generation, opting for intrusive messages via SMS, email, or newsletters. The problem may not be engagement, but within the idea that engagement is a standalone solution.
We view Engagement as the first step…the initial interaction. This leads, through a series of interfaces, to a Connection; with the ultimate goal leading to a truly Sustainable Connection. A brand’s Connection with people leads to the continuity and support of a Cycle-of-Courtesy, and with that…more occasions to develop engagement.
Our Life Stages of Engagement to Connection looks like this:
Engage- Brand communicates via social media. This is a message/content received through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or convergence of new media and mobile via QR codes/scan-able tags, immersive occasions and print ad, etc.
React- People react/respond to the Brand’s message. A comment, post, share, tweet or other response. This action must also be captured by the brand. [Hint: key to Cycle-of-Courtesy]
Learn- Brands learn from response and interaction. Prepare -based on the level of “social” interest, the path of the comments, sentiment and context. Brands are able to observe a trend or general feeling for the reception of the original message.
Respond- Brands respond to people. Brands make decisions, define how to best respond and interact with the people. Focus on building connections via non-intrusive interaction. [Hint: People will expect authenticity]
Adapt- Brands make changes based on interaction with people. Through observation, feedback and dialogues, brands are able to make decisions regarding their product, approach, message, platform, and many other vital factors. [Hint: People will be looking for signs of change]
Connection- Establish a process of Co-creation. Ongoing non-intrusive dialogues with the adoption of “original” content and ideas, positions people within the process. Once a truly sustainable connection is made; brands are continuously inspired, collectively defining their brand message and direction.
Then, to complete an effective Cycle-of-Courtesy, the process begins again!
Consider how lasting connections are established and where engagement begins. The Social graph defines strong connections through immersive content, interaction and levels of emotion.
The purpose of social connections is to understand how people perceive your offerings and the behavioral context defined within personal connections. Preparing a sustainable system of social content, information and data extraction is challenging, but certain to become the source for serious business decisions.