Is online engagement a waste of time?

It is if you don’t tie it to business goals. Here’s how to make sure your time spent on social media isn’t for naught.

They made fun of measurement, strategy, objectives, and any hint of trying to monetize a social media effort. That sounds weird today, but it’s true. The mantra was, “Social media is not about your stupid company. It’s all about the conversation.”

We’ve come a long way, and even the purists have relented. Today, we mainline social media into the traditional marketing, PR and advertising initiatives, for better or worse.

But despite this progress, every now and then I catch a whiff of the old days. Such was the case on a recent blog post where commenters vigorously defended engagement as the true goal of social media.

I was sufficiently disturbed by this conversation, so I think it’s time for a reality check.

Engagement is not a strategy

A strategy is a direction that capitalizes on a unique value proposition that serves unmet or under-served customer wants and needs. In other words, are you creating something that would be difficult—or impossible—for your competitors to copy?

Is it possible to truly be strategic by engaging with customers in a unique way? It’s difficult.

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