Engagement in Social Media
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Engagement in Social Media



Presentation to Summer American Marketing Association Conference 2011 on Engagement in Social Media. Everyone agrees engagement is critical for success in social media. This presentation discusses ...

Presentation to Summer American Marketing Association Conference 2011 on Engagement in Social Media. Everyone agrees engagement is critical for success in social media. This presentation discusses how businesses can develop engagement with customers and presents a hierarchy of effects reflecting increasing engagement.



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  • George the CEO of Medtronics
  • Social networks are a different animal than anything we’ve experienced before in marketing. They are evolving and changing all the time. From a marketing perspective, social networks are like word of mouth on steriods – or a marketing pinball game where the message gets shared, amplified, transformed, garbled, and created through a vast number of uncontrolled utterances. Companies respond to the manipulation of their messages with their own “bumpers” designed to reinforce the original brand meaning, which sends a new message through new media “bumpers” in a whirl of ever-changing brand meaning. Social networks are also not like communities ie. Brand communities, because conversations don’t revolve around specific brands or even commercial interactions.
  • by overt presence of the firm and interweaving of commercial and non-commercial communication.
  • Social media allows firms to use principles of service marketing we’ve known to be so effective such as building relationships, affinity, community. Gives large service firms ability to form these relationships before people walk into the business or manage relationships across stores or franchises.Takes the relationship from the level of the individual in the service dyad to the firm level.
  • Engagement not just blasting advertising as in the old days. And, although engagement requires and understanding of various social platforms and how ti implement various computer technologies, its way more than tech. Respect for non-commercial-ness of social networks
  • Even measuring numbers meaningless unless reflect engagement – most fans never return to page.
  • Responding to online complaints is a tax that companies pay because of the chronic mismatch between what consumers expect from brands and what they ultimately get. An individualized response might momentarily bridge the gap, but it won't fix it

Engagement in Social Media Engagement in Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Engagement in Social Networks
    Angela Hausman, PhD
    Associate Professor of Marketing
    Howard University
    American Marketing Association; August, 2011
  • Agenda
    Why Study Social Networks/ Social Media?
    What Are Social Networks?
    How Social Networks Differ From Social Media? Brand Communities?
    What is Engagement and Why Its Important?
    What are the Challenges of Engagement?
    Engagement Marketing Paradigm?
    Future Directions
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Why Study Social Networks ?
    Social networking is the most significant business development of 2010, topping the resurgence of the U.S. automobile industry. During the year social networking morphed from a personal communications tool for young people into a new vehicle that business leaders are using to transform communications with their employees and customers, as it shifts from one-way transmission of information to two-way interaction
    Bill George, CEO Medtronics
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Why Study Social Networks ?
    750 Million Facebook Users
    300 Million Twitters
    100 Million LinkedIn members (Branson, 2010)
    30 Million Google+ users in 3 weeks (Mashable, 2011)
    Consumers are happier with Facebook pages than company websites (Freed, 2010)
    Declining effectiveness of traditional media (Maddox, 2008)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Why Social Networks (cont)
    Positive results (Stelzner, 2010)
    Brand awareness
    Website traffic
    Reduced costs
    Enact roles
    Share information
    Answer questions
    Cheerleaders for brand
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • What are social networks?
    Social Networks involve a pinball game where “companies serve up a ‘‘marketing ball’’ (brands and brand-building messages) into a cacophonous environment, which is then diverted and often accelerated by new media ‘‘bumpers,’’ which change the offering’s course in chaotic ways.” (Hennig-Thoreau, 2010)
    Firms don’t control the message (Hoffman and Fodor, 2010)
    Two way interactions looking like Friendships
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • How Social Networks Differ from Social Media
    Consumers use social networks to create value
    Connection, community
    Social networks differ from virtual or brand communities
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Research Questions
    What is engagement in social spaces?
    How can firms manage engagement in social spaces?
    Tensions between commercial and non-commercial elements in social spaces?
    Dangers of Social Media?
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Method
    Netnography of Social Media Blogs
    Google Alerts < 100k Alexa
    4 months 4760 posts
    Strategic rather than tactical focus
    1-3 hours
    Online interviews in open networks – G+
    Agencies, corporate bloggers
    Participant Observation
    1+ years -- 100+ visitors/day
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • What is Engagement?
    Allows non-service firms to build relationships with customers and prospects
    Heart of the relationship between consumers and brands
    Consumer to consumer interactions
    Amplify message beyond traditional word of mouth
    Authentic relationships (http://liminal.razorfish.com/?page_id=13)  
    Purchase behavior is a social process (Rosen, 2000)
    Engagement builds affinity and people buy from people they like (Odden, 2011)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Engagement Requires Different Communication Style
    Not just tools and technology
    Understand the art, the environment and how you can fit in.
    Build your own community, but also be able to successfully grab the attention of your audiences authentically and via relationships.http://socialmediatoday.com/pammoore/258004/2011-predictions-top-12-reasons-businesses-will-fail-social-media?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Social+Media+Today+(all+posts)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Engagement and its Benefits
    Write blog entries, provide quality content, analyze Google analytics, update Twitter and Facebook accounts
    More unique visitors
    More time on site
    More leads
    More positive comments on search engines
    Increase in Google indexing
    Augmented online branding (Mike, Community Manager)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Social Network Hierarchy of Effects
  • Engagement Drives Hierarchy of Effects
    Engaged Fans/Followers enact roles
    Engagement drives consumers down the hierarchy
    Having a website not enough
    Organize social graph
    Make messages attractive, valuable, and easy to share
    Go where your target market lives online
    Processes driving hierarchy:
    SEO, SMM create awareness
    Engagement encourages trust and relationship
    Engaged fans share, create, promote – more engaged fans
    Increasing recognition – loyalty and evangelism
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Increasing Engagement
    4 Elements (Nambisan and Baron, 2009)
    Cognitive/ learning
    Transform commercial messages into social messages (Kozinets, et al. 2010)
    Reciprocity (Arnould and Price, 1999)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Tension Between Commercial and Relational Aspects of Relationships
    Engagement must create value for consumers
    Through user-generated content (Henning-Thoreau, 2010)
    Objective, credible information (Brown and Reingen, 1987)
    Engagement creates company value (Henning-Thoreau, 2010)
    Create and watch YouTube videos
    Post and comment on blogs
    Tweet about the brand and RT brand messages
    Discuss the brand on Facebook
    Engagement must influence purchase behavior
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Engagement is A Two-Edged Sword
    Using social media as a channel to spread commercial messages can damage the brand (Kozinets, et al. 2010)
    Using social media takes time and skill
    Customer empowerment highlights the nightmare reality of the broken relationships between consumers and brands.. http://adage.com/cmostrategy/article?article_id=145996
    Other aspects of marketing must be optimized first (http://businessinsider.com/ hot-to-make-money-with-facebook).
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Gift Economy
    The point is to regularly put up new, fresh engagement features that are easy and fun for users to interact with, that they will want to post to their wall and share with their friends. Then users will interact with your brand just like they interact with their friends on Facebook! http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_most_facebook_marketing_doesnt_workp2.php
    people share content, expertise, and experience with everyone – without cost. It is a form of information commerce, with creation and curation of content. They also launched a mobile app to bring that experience to anyone anywhere. Their idea is to earn social capital by making a contribution to the wider community of small business owners (Solis, 2010)
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Decommodification
    Imagine this. Stefano posts to his Facebook that he just had the most delicious cookie he’s ever eaten. His friends comment and say, really, where can we get them? Stefano is probably going to answer them, but you come in as a representative of the brand and say here’s a link to our website where you can find out all about our cookies, they’re great, here’s a coupon, yum, yum. Now, there’s a good chance that the conversation is over because your response looks like spam and it feels a little like you were spying on their private chat. (Even though Facebook is far from private.) Using the Watkins method, you could email Stefano and offer him a free box of cookies for him and five friends. Now Stefano himself is going to mention your generosity and ask who wants free cookies? Me! Me! Me! That conversation is going to continue and when everyone gets the free cookies, they’re going to talk about it on their Facebook pageshttp://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2011/03/turning-social-media-followers-into-brand-evangelists.html
    DC Marketing Colloquium; April, 2011
  • Conclusion and Future Research
    Strategic shift from traditional view of online community
    Inherent recognition of the person-ness of network users
    Not a conduit for commercial messages and commerce
    Requires different language and behaviors
    Rights of users to self-organize and control their environment
    Non-transactional behaviors create value
    Acceptance of the gift economy
    Rejects commodification of social networks
    American Marketing Association, August, 2011
  • Check out my blogs for more information –
    Hausman Marketing Letter – blogging on the intersection of marketing and social media
    Let’s Blog for Money – training for small businesses who need a web presence or want to enhance it
    My Wacky Life After 40 – not a business blog
    Connect with me to stay up to date:
    Circle Me on Google+