For me this engagement is what makes me love a brand. It gives a brand a personality. I think who ever is in charge there really understands my need to connect with and respect the brands I invest my hard earned dollars in. It makes them approachable, and sets the tone for our relationship. Believe me when I say it is a relationship, I have been dealing with some brands longer than my 21 year marriage, and have invested a small fortune in them. Do we need a relationship counselor? Don't get me wrong I am in no way encouraging unprofessional, or inappropriate twitter exchanges, and I expect excellent quality, customer service, and issue resolution, but when a brand jokes, and engages sharing trivia or pictures, or has a really fun contest, it is the equivalent to someone saying hello and remembering my name at a store. If makes me feel special, and important. It makes me want to come back. It builds loyalty and a rapport ... a relationship.
If you have nothing other then promotion, marketing, and sales pitches for me then this is a one way conversation and not a relationship that interests me. Lets save time and leave that for TV or radio advertising, or send it to me in a newsletter. All of these are one way communication tools. If your response is you need to be on social media, then you also need to understand that social media is a two way conversation. I have watched a fun comment by a brand snowball into group participation and a collective "LOL", which my friend is meaningful interaction and engagement. Every person who reads or participated in that exchange will remember it, and for me if I haven't tried that brand there is a good chance I will. It definitely makes me want to share my positive experience with my friends and family, and as many of you know I am very good at sharing. You see they too want to feel special and like they are more than just a sale.
So brands don't reduce your interaction! Double it and engage in a meaningful way. In other words:
Talk to Me!
Now might be a good time to reread my post:
Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about brands and engagement.