Why Social is NOT an Engagement Strategy

I’ve read four or five blog posts over the last few days that seem to be making the claim that social media campaigns are, first and foremost, engagement strategies.

This isn’t correct.

Social is primarily a traffic strategy.

Here’s why:

Ask yourself this: Where do you want your future customers hanging out? If you are using social as an engagement strategy, then by definition you’re goal is to keep customers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The problem with this is a question of focus. You are competing with literally hundreds of millions of others— people, brands, celebrities, basketball playing dogs—attempting to distract your customers toward something else. Polar bears somehow not eating their owners, 60 second fajita chicken casserole prep tutorials, zombie apocalypse practical jokes…Try as you might, even with the best content on the internet, you aren’t going to win that fight for attention.

Using social for engagement is like trying to hold a conversation with someone from across a crowded room. Every physical law in the universe is putting its full weight against your efforts being successful.

Instead, social should be seen as a traffic strategy.

Again, ask yourself that question from earlier: Where do you want your present and future customers hanging out?

The answer: You want them hanging out with YOU, back at your owned asset (website, landing page, etc.). You want to get them out of that crowded room and back at your place, where you have their undivided attention.

The key to social, then, is to produce great content, produce a lot of it, put it out in a consistent way with some calls to action in strategic places, and then drive them back to where you can get them to do what you want them to do (email capture, make a purchase, pixel them for retargeting, etc.).

And if you do that well, you create a win-win for both you and your customer.

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