Turning customers into brand advocates means driving them to engage. More than that, it means making engagement not only enjoyable, but a value add. A great engagement marketing agency should combine influencers, experiential, and community marketing to turn consumers into subscribers, retweeters, and event attendees.
Social Listening and the Engagement Marketing Agency
Social listening is the marketing tool of our time. According to Sprout Social’s survey of over 1,000 professionals, it is the most sought after brand advantage of 2019. The reason for this is because it provides a peek into how people are naturally talking about your brand. This has never been possible before.
However, the key to social listening is data. A handful of comments on a brand’s Instagram post is not enough. Therefore, real social listening requires huge amounts of engagement to be valuable. Thus a brand’s urge to go viral is even higher than it has ever been before.
Good Engagement v. Bad Engagement
That does not mean, however, that brands are willing to do anything in order to drive engagement. The landscape is rife with the remains of failed engagement campaigns that left brands embarrassed. Start conversations, but not if it means everyone is going to hate you. Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Uber have all learned this the hard way.
Thus, the job of the engagement marketing agency in 2019 is not just to get people to engage. On the contrary, their job is to drive engagement in an expected, controlled way. As the saying goes, don’t ask any questions you don’t already know the answer to. In this context, don’t start social listening until you know what people are going to say.
Striking this careful balance is a unique challenge for each brand. But an engagement marketer worth its salt will understand how to combine influencers, experiential activations, and authentic community outreach to garner a careful and considered response. It’s really not just about going viral once and being remembered forever. That may be important to the agency, but that’s not the goal of the brand, and the two should not be confused.