Engagement is Bullshit – Here’s Why…

GoEdison-small-business-marketing

So, if engagement is bullshit, then why am I blogging? I asked first. It’s a fair question. Isn’t the purpose of a blog to engage? The short answer is yes. However, this blog isn’t about GoEdison, so we’re not hypocrites.

This blog is about you.

This blog is about you, your clients, and/or our clients.

It Comes Down to This

In the end, it comes down to this: Conversions. Sure, engagement, clicks, and “Likes” give us a little tingle in our shorts, but does anything really matter a week later if BigSassyPants123 “Liked” your blog, then did nothing else?

We don’t want to demean the importance of engagement, or its role, but we do want to focus on the only thing that keeps milk in our Cheerios: Revenue. No revenue ever came in from a “Like” or a click unless that “Like” or click was eventually followed-up with a transfer of funds. Engagement can play a role toward creating the perception of integrity, and – hopefully – this isn’t merely a perception, but real.

Real integrity? Sounds redundant or rhetorical, but it’s not these days. The blog creates integrity, but does it create a conversion?

Converting Bullshit into Conversions

This is a dangerous heading. One could compare this to a medieval slogan for an alchemist who’s “on the verge” of turning common stones into gold. We won’t patronize you. We don’t have a formula for converting bullshit into conversions. This header merely forces one to snap out of the mirage many have been living in, which is the idea that engagement, clicks, “Likes,” and – my personal favorite (not) – impressions, will take you to the promised land.

Engagement is an umbrella term for various metrics. Metrics specific to engagement measure our ability to get attention, which we hope to convert. Relying on engagement as a measure of success would be like a carpenter standing proudly over all his measurements laid out in the workshop, dialed-in to a thousandth of an inch, without a sliver of sawdust on the floor.

There must be ACTION.

Converting Engagement into Action

With all this being said, there must be something that converts the potential energy of engagement into the kinetic energy of conversions. Too many times, we’ve had clients who relied on us to get them all the attention in the world – only to watch those waiting, credit cards ready, pass by like Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber when they turned away the bus full of swimsuit models at the end of the movie. If you haven’t seen Dumb and Dumber, you have no idea what I’m talking about and you’re missing out!

It’s a painful thing to lead a horse to water and watch it die of thirst. However, when getting a client’s website thousands of hits (another engagement word I forgot above) and hundreds of contact forms that were filled-out by people wanting directions to buy a product at their store (burning hot leads) – only to be left without a response – isn’t this like the horse with endless water dying of thirst?

The above story is a real-life story of ours. We gave a client all the water in the world for months, then we were contacted by the client who was essentially asking, “Why am I dying of thirst?”

Don’t Stop Before the Finish Line

We can create all the engagement in the world, but it needs to be harnessed and utilized. Let your marketing dollars do what they want so badly to do for you! Follow-up with all engagement – no matter how trivial you think it may be. Of course, prioritize the low-hanging fruit – especially the big ones – from the little stubborn pieces high up in the tree (pipeline), but don’t predetermine who’ll convert and who won’t.

There have been so many instances at GoEdison when we thought for sure ABC, Inc. was going convert, while having very thin hope XYZ, Inc. was going to convert. Of course, we were proven wrong when ABC, Inc. vanished and XYZ, Inc. signed on for a year at a price-point that doubled the price we were “so sure” ABC, Inc. would agree to.

Why did this happen? This happened because we consistently followed-up with all of those who engaged – no matter how vocally engaged they were, how “big” or “small,” or how charismatic and jazzed they were at first. The lesson is to always follow-up, then follow-up again, then follow-up again, then – you guessed it – follow-up again. We’ve been very poor readers of the crystal ball known as the pipeline. You have to treat them all as conversions, because then they will be.

Engagement Needs to be Engaged

Engage your engagement. This is a clever way of saying, don’t wait for the miracle. You must make the miracle happen. If every conversion was treated as a small miracle, how many businesses would stay in business – not to mention exceed expectations?

I heard an allegory about a man awaiting an apocalyptic flood who believed God would save him. In the story, a massive flood was coming, and everyone was leaving town to evade death. First, one of the town’s leaders came to the man’s door strongly urging the devout man to join them as they fled the town. The man said, “God will save me.” The flood waters were rising, sending him to his roof. The last vehicle that could traverse the high waters – the town fire truck – came to the man with its ladder to save the man. The man said, “God will save me.” Finally, with water waist high on the roof, a helicopter arrives to save the man. The man said, “God will save me.” Of course, the man dies. When he dies, he meets God, and says, “God…why didn’t you save me?” God replies, “I tried. I sent you the town leader, a fire truck, and a helicopter.”

Don’t be the man waiting for your engagement to engage your business. Engage your engagement. Follow-up with those who want to hear from you! At GoEdison, we don’t just generate engagement, we engage afterward; it’s the old way that’s becoming new again. Talk to people. Listen. Convert.