Engagement is Nonsense

Magic RabbitDon’t believe me? How much money does your company make from comments? How much money does your company make from those people who comment?

Probably none.

Engagement, as measured by comments or participation, is nonsense. Many Social Media Experts will tout these oddball metrics, stating that they will somehow lead to revenue, like pulling a rabbit from a hat. These are the same guys that advertised sock puppet commercials in Super Bowl advertisements.

Has anyone proven a correlation on any social media site or blog that proved a direct relationship between conversions and comments? Of the sites that I’ve seen, the comments were written by people who were probably never going to purchase… friends, colleagues, dissenters, and folks trying to build an online authority. Out of all of them, it’s doubtful that any of them would make a purchase.

Engagement should never be measured in comments. Comments should never be a metric of success for a business unless you can prove that they impact your conversion rates.

Do you want to be engaged with your customers? Yes! The question is: Are people who are engaged actually customers? Maybe not!

I’m not trying to show any disrespect nor take away from the appreciation I have for those of you who participate in my blog (which isn’t a business blog, it’s a marketing publication… so comments are a measure of engagement). I love comments! Comments are user-generated content that I believe also assists with keeping my pages alive in conversation and on search engines. That means $ for me since I can show a direct correlation between the number comments and the number of clicked advertisements.

You’re not running a publication, though. You’re running a business.

Engagement isn’t comments for most companies. Engagement is purchases. If your company is going to measure the effectiveness of your blog, you need to calculate true Return on Marketing Investment:

ROMI = (Conversions * Revenue) / (Total Cost of Manpower + Total Cost of Platform)

Let’s rid ourselves of this engagement hocus-pocus and start talking about the real metric of success… how much money is your company making through it’s online social media presence.

It’s really not that difficult. One example is Dell’s recent acknowledgment that they’ve been able to leverage Twitter for over $1,000,000 in revenue! (Wish I had thought of that!)

Measure what counts! If your company is engaged in social media strategies, that’s fantastic. Be honest, be transparent, open a path of communication to your prospects (usually searchers) and measure the impact of your hard work… in cash!

One comment

  1. 1

    It’s really hard for companies to measure engagement though. Since most of them hire someone to run their social campaigns (twitter, myspace, facebook, etc) they may not know what to measure. If the whiz bang consultant says it’s working, it has to be right? After all he keeps saying how great it’s going and that we should consider increasing our ad budget.

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