Is engagement a false priority?
Over the years we’ve been trained to recognise the importance of engagement as we craft marketing messages designed to trigger a like, comment or share. Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm forced engagement as a priority; not only will an engaging update perform better but you will also be penalised with lower reach opportunities should you fail to deliver interactions.
The passive voyeur has been shunned, demoted to an insignificant proportion of audience segmentation as we pander to the like-friendly, comment-happy “advocate”. There’s already a concern that in an attempt to maintain reach numbers for updates to existing fans, there will be an overwhelming sense of desperation in your Facebook news feed as brands beg for an interaction and we’ll begin to see engagement fatigue.
I was somewhat relieved to see this article – Facebook’s View Tags Show That Views Can Be More Valuable Than Clicks. Sales speak louder than actions. And surely if this is the case for the path to purchase, this should be reflected in our always-on communications.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denouncing the power of engagement – encouraging a fan to talk favourably about your brand and product so that it shows up in the news feeds of their network can be an extremely useful tactic. But the false priority of engagement for the sake of engagement (or “winning” Edgerank) is going to weaken social marketing. The significance is supposed to be in the social context, not the ability to get a reaction from a witty update.
~ by mandi bateson on November 22, 2012.