Are you Engaging?
No matter the type of business you have, local, internet, offline, online – your success or failure depends upon your ability to engage prospects.
There’s a fine line between engaging and simply being noisy.
So what is the difference and where is the line?
Of course when we think about engaging prospects and clients we immediately think of social media because we use the word engage so much when trying to teach people how to use it. But social media isn’t the only way to engage. We engage with every communication we have with our potential customers either offline or online. It can be a mailed newsletter or a digital one, a Tweet or a Facebook post, or sharing on Google+. It can be how the phone is answered or how a new connection is made.
Everything we do verbal or non-verbal is a form of engagement.
What does it mean then, to engage?
- It means repetition but not so repetitive that you wear someone out.
- It means sharing but not so much that you scare folks off.
- It means responding but not pushing.
- It means reciprocation but not without authenticity.
- It means using different methods for different customers but not
cross-pollinating for ease.
- It means conversation not speaking at or to the customer.
- It means be helpful, answer questions but don’t require anything
Where’s the line?
When is sharing too much? When is responding pushy, etc.? The line falls before you hit the top of the bell curve; at the point where you
feel you might have done just a little bit too little. You know where the line is because we’ve all crossed it. Agreed someof us may not actually be aware that they’ve crossed the line and that’s a recipe for disaster.
But BRT readers understand the line.
I like to think of it as that point where you’ve still left a little mystery in the tank, where you’ve got people wanting more, waiting for the next installment. If they don’t feel that, you may have crossed the line.
In the blogging world, the A-Lister is the guy who has a huge following, he’s a blogging celebrity, he has “fans”. The problem with “fans” is that they tend to never see your flaws. No matter how many times they blog in one day or tweet; no matter how many Google+ updates and Facebook updates they do the fans set out to share and share and share. So it must all be good then, right? The A-Lister must be doing something right then, right?
Nope. In fact some A-Listers have become so noisy that no matter how relevant what they have to say is, it’s too much, too constant, too engaging. The reality is we are still business owners who need to run businesses, not sit on social media reading everything. The same applies to your customer who still has a life and may not want it filled with just you all day long.
I remember following a popular social media guru on Facebook who updated so often I couldn’t ever see what my friends, family and
collegues were up to. So I dropped her. And that’s what happens when you begin to create too much noise. “Too much” depends upon knowing your audience, understanding where they are coming from and what they need. But here are some rules:
- More than one mailed item a week might be too much.
- More than 6 tweets an hour might be too much.
- More than 2-3 emails a week might be too much.
- More than 4 tweets covering the same information might be too much.
- Sharing the same tweets and updates on all platforms… definitely
The Engagement Rules
The reality is… there are no hard and fast rules. How you engage, when you engage, the number of times you engage – it’s all up to your audience.
The important thing is to learn about what works for your audience, what doesn’t and to listen.
If all you are doing is speaking to or talking to your audience you won’t know when too much is, well, too much. Your customers/clients will tell you when you’ve become too noisy but by then it is usually too late resulting in lost clients. Pay attention, watch what others are doing, and evaluate to make sure it will work for you.
What are your best engagement tips? Please share them in the comments!
This is a guest post by Yolanda A. Facio of Red.Hot.Momentum. Yolanda helps small businesses find clarity and the momentum to start, grow and manage their companies. Sign up for the free Red.Hot.Motivator e-Newsletter and get Red.Hot!