Information About The Book!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In nibh sapien, aliquet tincidunt fringilla at, feugiat quis enim. Cras consequat, ipsum et posuere venenatis, nulla massa mattis eros, sed varius turpis quam sit amet purus. Vestibulum vehicula consectetur congue. Sed facilisis nisi in lectus convallis, porttitor hendrerit est consequat. Vivamus hendrerit, ante sed ornare molestie, tortor lorem suscipit tortor, id sodales mauris metus quis purus. Nulla egestas tellus eu enim consectetur, sit amet sagittis nisl eleifend. Mauris laoreet venenatis sem, lacinia mollis augue mollis ac. Nulla a neque a justo dignissim feugiat. Mauris rhoncus eros sit amet augue dictum fringilla. Nunc dictum lobortis convallis.


Aenean vulputate urna est, ac sollicitudin enim vulputate et. Vestibulum tempus lacinia consequat. Donec posuere enim mi, vel lobortis erat pulvinar nec. Duis felis purus, adipiscing sed dolor at, volutpat sagittis magna. Sed imperdiet scelerisque mauris, vulputate dictum augue egestas sit amet. Nullam sit amet eros non purus fermentum dapibus ac a mi. Curabitur id viverra nibh. Donec scelerisque vulputate nunc, non interdum orci. Morbi ut quam eleifend, placerat ipsum eget, iaculis arcu. Curabitur blandit consequat nulla. Praesent non pellentesque neque. Duis tortor purus, dignissim sit amet sagittis egestas, feugiat nec elit. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nullam pellentesque lectus nec arcu ullamcorper, a vulputate augue semper. Duis auctor velit in nisl scelerisque consectetur. Sed ornare quam diam, at placerat risus tristique at.


Vivamus vel facilisis ante, vel porttitor metus. Sed eu congue nibh. Fusce non diam ut enim pretium pellentesque. Vivamus quis euismod quam, non aliquet risus. Etiam ornare lorem sit amet gravida eleifend. Cras quis nibh pretium, pretium turpis consectetur, lobortis leo. Phasellus sed vestibulum metus, id vestibulum odio. Donec quis nisl ante. Fusce tristique sagittis erat ut bibendum.

How Do You Define Engagement?

Posted by on August 19, 2010

I’m at the Alterian “Engaging Times” conference in Chicago which is full of interesting conversations and people.  One of the things that struck me at the conference is that nobody defined or explained what “engagement” means.  If someone “likes” your facebook page is that engagement?  What if they leave a comment on your blog?  What if they tweet with your brand?  Are all of these things engagement?  Does one of the above make you more engaged than another?  Engagement also really needs to be put into context depending on what is being done; for example direct marketing vs social media marketing.  A direct marketer’s definition of engagement might be the open rate of emails whereas the social media marketing person might look at engagement in terms of facebook page comments.

Engagement is a pretty serious thing right?  Traditionally engagement has really been used in two very important historical contexts:

  1. A promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage – which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be affianced, betrothed, engaged to be married, or simply engaged.”
  2. When Captain Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek was about to blast off into warp speed he would always say, “engage!”

So have we really gone from marriage proposals and intergalactic battles for world peace to now simply clicking a button?

I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way here to define engagement but I think that this all comes back to defining the objectives and success metrics for a brand/company looking to get involved in social anything.  It’s meaningless for a brand to say it wants to be more engaged unless it defines engagement and says, “we want more comments, links, conversations, or whatever.”  Personally, I always viewed true engagement as a type of collaborative relationship where a conversation or flow of information takes place between a customer and a brand/company – something that hopefully turns into a long term relationship.  This means that instead of “liking” a facebook fan page that I would have some sort of conversation or interaction with the brand on the page.  Otherwise what we are talking about is participation aren’t we?

It really doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says about engagement, what matters it that your organization defines engagement so that it knows what it is trying to do and how it is trying to do it.  It’s also important to keep in mind that various departments and employees at your organization are going to define and understand engagement differently.  Understand this form the very beginning.

How do you define engagement?

  • I think of engagement as having built up enough of a relationship over repeated interactions that when something goes wrong, the instinct is to talk rather than walk.

    • I certainly like that approach, always great to hear from you chris

  • I think engagement from organizational perspective is directly tied to brand values. People “engage” when they have something that they believe in. Something to stand behind.

    DM Scott and Halligan seem to be moving this direction in the Grateful Dead book. The Dead built fan engagement that spanned generations. People branded themselves with tattoos because it was a symbol of more than just music. For Deadheads, there were artifacts, signs, sayings… all of this uniting a community behind an idea.

    I think organizations can learn a lot from bands and movements. The key, I think, lies in making it so employees can communicate with each other, without hassle and a fear of being reprimanded.

    • No sorry, you are completely wrong…kidding kidding!

      You actually make a very interesting point when you bring back engagement to brand values. If the brand doesn't give customers something to stand behind and believe in then it makes it very difficult to be engages. Your focus on people is great, that's what makes successful organizations with passionate ENGAGED consumers.

  • Hey, Jacob. At my previous company, we were the recipient of this big hairy award called the Missouri Quality Award, which is based on these big hairy principles by Malcom Baldrige (Performance excellence crtieria, etc.) In THAT process, the difference between customer loyalty and customer engagement (which was the preferred place) was that ENGAGED customers advocate for you and your products. This has really interesting implications in social spaces, right? Because of the ease of share-ability of content, we can see how customers choose to talk about us to their networks. So the idea is, when they talk WITH us and purchase/consume what we offer, they are loyal. When they talk ABOUT us with their peers – then they are actually engaged. Sort of an interesting perspective 🙂 Thanks for the post – as always!!

    • Interesting way to break things down. The semantics don't really matter i.e. diff between engaged and advocates but I definitely understand and agree with what you are saying. However, I can be very engaged with a brand in a NEGATIVE way and still not be an advocate for that brand. Congrats on the award, I want one too 🙂

  • Jacob, first great meeting you face to face at the Alterian conference. Very interesting topic and discussion you've got here. I agree with you that engagement is definitely collaborative, a virtual 2 way street of conversations. And there are several different phases of engagement, from the easy (I like or RT) all the way to the committed or conjoined as in your wedding example. From a brand perspective, hopefully as our relationships progress from the simple to the devoted, the rewards are deep and beneficial for both parties.

    • Likewise, it was great to get together in person. Thanks for the comment and I certainly hope to hear more from you in the future!

  • Jacob, first great meeting you face to face at the Alterian conference. Very interesting topic and discussion you've got here. I agree with you that engagement is definitely collaborative, a virtual 2 way street of conversations. And there are several different phases of engagement, from the easy (I like or RT) all the way to the committed or conjoined as in your wedding example. From a brand perspective, hopefully as our relationships progress from the simple to the devoted, the rewards are deep and beneficial for both parties.

  • Hi Jacob,
    It was great to meet you in person again at Alterian's summit this week!

    I felt the differences in perception of 'engagement' too.

    We know that it's widely agreed that engagement is difficult to define. I'm wrapping up a white paper that outlines examples of five different possibilities to measure. The biggest problem is that some people are lurkers, some share content, and others may contribute. And the most important are the advocates. All of the groups need to be fostered and that growth measured. I completely agree that in order to measure that it requires the organization defining what 'engagement' means. What is the desired behavior change? and then goals can be established in regard to the % increase or decrease.

    Thanks for an insightful post & extending the conversation!
    Connie Bensen
    Director of Community Strategy, Alterian

    • I agree, it was great seeing you again, I had a good time at the event. Engagement is certainly hard to define, as is pretty much anything. I'm not looking for a definition but for context around what engagement means. As I mentioned it really only matters how orgs define engagement for themselves. Always good to hear from you and thanks for stopping by!

  • I know I went on about not believing in relationships in consumer markets with regards to CRM before but I think @chrisyeh is right. When you have provided a human representation of the brand in order to generate conversations, consumers have an opportunity to “socialise” with you by commenting and sharing content and you know you've got it right when things go wrong, they stick around and continue that engagement to contribute to your policies instead of switching. The result of engagement is when people stand by your product and your values and advocate your brand perhaps not always until death do you apart (because of changes in consumer life cycles and tastes and preferences) but you know… in general.

    • Absolutely, the human relationship side of things is crucial otherwise you might as well be talking to a vacuum cleaner. Thanks again for your comment!

  • Natalie A.

    Engagement is simple. It is when your customer is involved in your brand and actively seeks more information or involvement in it (i.e. Twitter). This is opposite of more traditional methods where the information is forced upon the consumer.

    • Seeking information is one thing but engagement is something entirely different in my opinion. I seek for information on brands and services all the time but I'm far from engaged with any of them. I get what you are trying to say though and thanks for your comment.

  • No doubt “engagement” is overplayed as some Lady GaGa songs right now…

    At Alterian, the concept is analogous to traditional “1:1” or now what is more contemporarily being called “content” marketing. It's less about “what” engagement is, and more about “how” you bring it about. How do you repeatedly create impressions that inspire engagement.

    We espouse a 4 step process that is fundamentally based on data.

    Listen: We live in a socially connected, digital world. Nearly everything is trackable and attributable to an individual. There is no excuse to not have attribute and behavioral data.

    Learn: What can you extract from all the data you've collected. What are your customers signaling? What search terms are trending? Social buzz around a channel or brand? An asset driving higher conversion rates? There are numerous data points to help guide content creation.

    Understand (or Plan): Focuses on the generation of data driven creative. Where's your keyword list? And laying out a distribution plan that most efficiently generates the right level of awareness. Yes, social is huge, but the other channels are still relevant. The stamp lickers are alive and well. From a brand perspective you have to be multi-channel.

    Speak: Building on the multi-channel perspective, you need to be able to then distribute your content cross-channels. The etiquette and form varies by channel, but at the end there is a push of content.

    So…. that's the methodology. If you can repetitively do this you increase the likelihood of creating “engagement” on any given impression.

    btw, one last throw in. In response to Chris and Anika, I would suggest “talk rather than walk” is a definition of loyalty as opposed to engagement. Whereby engagement is a step, or multiple steps, on the path to loyalty.

    – Tewks

  • With the advent of real online identity, I think engagement in this era really is about creating genuine personal relationships. Unlike chat rooms and ICQ, where you were allowed to have a fake identity, that populated the web space a decade ago, social network profiles based on genuine and accurate information can create meaningful relationships because one can trust what the other one has to say on the other side of the world. Thus, I'd define engagement (in web 2.0 era) as cultivating meaningful and genuine personal relationships.

  • Wu Jianrong

    The actual sewers of London inside 1832 had been not even close to getting what they’re to-day. Bruneseau acquired because of the impulse, however the cholera has been necessary to result in the particular vast reconstruction that happened afterwards. ugg boots on sale
    It is shocking to say, as an example, in which in 1821, an element of the belt sewer line, called the Grand Canal, such as Venice, nonetheless was standing stagnating found for the heavens, inside the Repent plusieurs Gourdes. ugg boots clearance It had been only within 1821 how the capital of scotland- Paris found in its pants pocket both hundred or so as well as sixty-thousand eighty francs and six centimes necessary for covering this kind of bulk regarding dirt.
    The 3 absorbing wells, of the Combat, the actual Cunette, and Saint-Mande, making use of their discharging jaws, classic ugg boots their particular equipment, their particular cesspools, and their depuratory divisions, simply time from 1836. ugg boots sale uk
    The particular intestinal sewage of London has been manufactured over over, as well as, once we have got stated, it is often lengthy a lot more than significantly within the past one fourth of your century. ugg boots sale uk
    Three decades back, in the epoch of the insurrection of the Fifth and 6th associated with June, it had been nevertheless, in lots of localities, practically exactly the same ancient sewer line. An extremely large number of streets that are right now convex were after that sunken causeways.
    After a slope, cheap ugg boots sale where the tributaries of a avenue or perhaps cross-roads finished, there was frequently to appear huge, rectangular gratings with large bars, whose metal, finished by the actions from the throng, gleamed hazardous and also slick for autos, as well as caused race horses to drop.