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ESSENCE OF ENGAGEMENT IN DIGITAL SPACE


Once again, I’m not a social media marketing expert and I don't pretend to be one. My social media marketing knowledge is limited to the things I learn everyday by observation. Many of you have already gone through my previous blog namely, ‘Marketing in a Digital Space’. Those who didn’t get the chance to go through; don’t sweat. You may read it from the link below:

That article was about the principles of promotion when you are in digital space. It mostly tells you about “going digital and acting normal”. At the final paragraph, I mentioned that we should put more and more WOW elements in social media to be successful. There were other points as well. But this is the toughest and most important of all.

Very recently I have conducted an experiment. Let me give you the background first. I have almost 700+ friends and 1K+ followers on my Facebook. My posts are usually pretty boring and hence very few friends eventually interact to my posts by putting comments. I said ‘comments’ by the way. Most people usually put like/love/thankful/smile on those posts. I hardly find people commenting on my posts (people are very busy these days). I don’t blame them; they have better things to do. LOL! Jokes apart, but this is how most people interact in social media these days.

So, that day I created a flat post. The post was pretty much like this: ‘What is your favorite #colour other than #Black?’ It was a flat post as I mentioned. There was no image or color effects to make the post more attractive or appealing; only the texts. I posted that on a weekend, probably between 10:15pm to 10:30pm; oddest possible time to get the attention of my friends and followers. However, within an hour or so, 17 people commented on that post. And within 12 hours, 38 people commented. It is not an usual scenario for me. Now just imagine, if my post was created at the right time with dazzling image and/or color effects, what would have been the outcome. Also note that if a post doesn’t get enough responses (5%-10% of the total base) within the first 12 hours, consider that a worthless post. It is again my personal observation. Anyway! There is another reason why I’m so excited about this post. There is a group of people who never interacts to my posts. Even they also commented on that post; sharing their favorite colors.

This simple experiment shows that open-ended posts (posts that invite others to contribute) can generate more attention than the close-ended ones. Trust me, it is applicable for commercial posts as well. We are living in the era where people don’t want to write diaries anymore, they don't want to read every single words of an email; instead they want to talk and share about their ideas, choices and preferences to the world; all they need is an avenue. Social media is one of the ways to do that. I think social media has shown us the true colors of the human race.

As a marketer, we need to focus on this part very carefully. Most of our commercial posts talks about how good the products are, how these can make life better, how these can solve problems, etc. Good! Now take a step back, look closely. What are the possible purposes of these posts/advertisements? Well, drawing attention, making people listen to you… right? As I said before in my earlier blog that good contents are important. But trust me, only contents are not always going to help you create attention these days. People want to interact, people want to share, people want to be seen/heard. Well, that’s the idea of having social media in the first place. In most cases, we tend to ignore this simple truth. Social media marketing is not about exploitation of technology; rather it’s about identifying the essence of social engagement. We try to do everything except for the engagements.

I think most successful marketers try to create discussions through their communication materials instead of only trying to convey specific message(s). Social media is neither a monologue nor a dialogue medium; it’s rather a M2M (Many-To-Many) environment. This not only creates a poll of audiences but also helps create ambassadors of your brands. Moreover, it also helps you to co-create.

Bottom-line: 
Doing great in social media or any other media sometimes takes a lot of gut feeling. You cannot always wait for the white paper to come out and tell you what to do. Like it or not, we are going through the biggest cultural shifts of our time; embrace that. Spend more time in social media, try to read the social trends and engage your target audience as much as possible. And also design your campaigns accordingly. All the best!

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