The role that community engagement can play in marketing is bigger than ever before. Humans are wired for connectedness—and today we have the opportunity to engage in person and on a variety of online platforms. Engagement, however, goes way beyond an occasional post to your Twitter account, or a Facebook “Like” campaign.
“Community Engagement” has a broad definition: it’s about communities moving towards change, with an emphasis on building relationships—not solely for revenue. True community engagement is an on-going, emotional, two-way exchange between real people.
Have you ever wondered, “How do I get people more engaged with my company to achieve my business goals?” Here are 3 ideas on where to make an impact.
Step 1: Reframe the question.
If you want to “engage your community,” reframe the question by digging deeper:
You’ve got to be OK shifting from “What’s in it for me?” to “What’s in it for we?”
Step 2: Don’t assume you already know what your community knows.
Start fresh. Interact with your community, and better yet, get one-on-one. Ask. Listen. Learn. Then act on your findings. Create opportunities to do this in person and online.
Digital tools like Periscope, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, just to name a few, are great opportunities to engage in places where people are giving their attention. (Keep in mind, social platforms continue to change over time, and you have to stay current with what your “we” is interested in.)
Step 3: Respond and interact.
Once you’ve identified where to engage, you may feel tempted to simply “push out” information. Instead, foster these environments for conversation, collaboration and connection. Opportunities are everywhere to be more present. With digital marketing in mind, let’s assume you’re already on (or thinking about being on) some of these platforms. Here are a few ideas to immediately engage:
Beyond these ideas, here’s a big picture checklist on the American Marketing Association website for making community engagement a more formal part of your marketing strategy.
This is a short-term action plan. I recommend that while beginning to take more action, you also keep these future steps in mind: