Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Social jargon: how do you define 'engagement' and 'influence'?

As with all new industries, social media has developed its own unique jargon that can sound like a foreign language to ‘outsiders’.
We frequently use words like 'reach' and 'influence' with the assumption that we all understand them to mean the same thing, when in fact if you ask ten social media gurus or ninjas what they mean by ‘engagement’ you’ll likely get several different definitions.
This became apparent at a recent round table hosted by Yomego which aimed to begin the process of creating a common language and standards around measuring social marketing.
Each of the attendees could recount tales of misunderstandings with clients and colleagues caused by varying definitions of the same social buzzwords.
Facebook defines engagement as: “the number of unique people who have clicked on your posts. This number encompasses only the first 28 days after a post’s publication.”
But what if I click on a link because it promises me money off, realise it’s not what I thought it was and exit after a
couple of seconds. Does that mean I’m engaged with your brand?

Yomego MD Steve Richards said that while it is important to try and find standardised definitions of these meanings “the fact is that each campaign and each client will have different needs”.
You can agree on a common meaning for engagement, but still need a bespoke definition of what engagement or influence means in the context of your brand.
Once you have that, brands and their agencies can consider what actions they expect these to result in and the impact they should have.
But the problem of finding the common ground in the first place still exists.
The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) has come up with a glossary with the stated aim of aiding efficient communication by finding standard definitions that can be used consistently between different disciplines.
It uses the dictionary definition of engagement: “to occupy or attract someone’s interest or attention; involve someone in a conversation or discussion”.

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