Online engagement is commonly defined as the interaction between people across a range of social networks.
However this isn’t to say that the term ‘engagement’ is straightforward; each social network will define engagement slightly differently based on the features and functionality of their platform.
Facebook defines engagement as likes, comments and shares.
Twitter defines engagement as replies, retweets and mentions
LinkedIn defines engagement as interactions on posts and followers acquired
Google+ defines engagement as interactions on posts and +1’s¸which are similar to ‘likes’ on Facebook.
Without knowing exactly how to interpret online engagement, you’ll never be able to understand the true value of what social media can bring to your company. Most importantly, how will you ever be able to measure your impact as a construction business online and your worth against competitors in the same field?
Engagement as a two-way conversation
We believe that engagement should be defined as a two way conversation; online communication should be powerful enough to grab your audience’s attention. In order for consumers to maintain trust and develop a relationship with your brand, business or store, a humanistic approach is needed to ensure them that your company is approachable, friendly and helpful.
It’s no good simply ‘liking’ a post on Facebook, or ‘retweeting’ a follower on Twitter; if this is the most you’re willing to put into your online presence, then you’ll be wasting your own valuable time whilst quickly losing potential online leads. Regardless of the platform, make use their individual features to ensure your voice gets heard and conversation starts flowing.
Amey Plc have a great level of engagement across Twitter; they’re quick to answer customer queries and have even commented upon other companies’ designs and ideas. They’ve also posted generic tweets non-related to their brand and replied to customer feedback rather than simply retweeting. They have a personable approach to their tweets that help to give personality to their company.
Meanwhile Carillion on Facebook post regularly and use high quality photography to attract their audience. Not only this but they’re replying to a customer complaint who has then gone onto compliment them about their aftercare. They’ve actively turned a negative comment into a positive outcome through simply conversing with their customers.
In comparison social media should not simply be used as a broadcasting tool; a ‘me me me’ approach does not lend itself well as an effective social strategy and will actually hinder your audience from approaching you.
Despite the mix of video and imagery, Mace are focused primarily on self-promotion:
However a great sign of engagement is Mace’s competition on the construction industry; this is strongly encouraging discussion and engagement over Twitter; they just need to follow this up with more generic conversations with their customers.
Another point to make is that finding retweet after retweet is not an ideal form of communication; this behavior may demonstrate to others that your marketing strategy is fairly lazy and in fact, you don’t actually want to engage that much at all.
Visit our recent post to find out how construction companies are currently using social media in 2015.
Return on engagement
It’s important to note that engagement takes time and requires the build-up of trust; as well as remaining patient, you also need to make sure that you’re not wasting valuable resource and time.
We tend to call it ‘REO’: return on engagement.
Are you getting anything in return for your online conversations?
Does your engagement lead to business prospects?
If the answer is yes, then continue with the same tactics across the various platforms appropriate for your company, but continue to assess your activity on regular intervals so that every 6 months you can reflect upon your social strategy and refine it accordingly.
If the answer is no, try to discuss ways of being more creative, engaging, and relevant to your specific target audience. It may be that you aren’t posting the right type of content, such as blog articles, case studies, technical FAQ’s, snippets of E-book downloads and whitepapers. It may be that you aren’t opening up conversations on trending topics in the industry, or within the news generally.
Without having relevant and enticing topics to start with, you’ll immediately limit your scope for interaction within your target audience.
Remember to always do more of what’s making an impact and less of what isn’t.
If a particular topic or case study has driven high levels of engagement, think of ways to sustain these conversations by creating similar content and discussions on the platforms that work best.
And remember that visual content such as good quality photography and video uploads always tend to capture attention.
Engagement to drive campaigns and promote growth
With a better understanding not only of what social media engagement is but how to actually apply it to your construction company, you can create content and social campaigns to help you achieve realistic goals and grow your business.
And if you take anything away from this, simply conversing with your audience is really what counts towards building a successful reputation.
For more information on how to improve your social strategy, give us a call on 01908 671707 or download our social media E-book.