My memory is a little hazy, but I'm pretty sure that for the last few weeks I've been talking about social media and engagement strategies in Atlanta, San Francisco, Charlotte, Philadelphia -- and before that Minneapolis, Raleigh-Durham and a couple more I might be leaving out, all the while handling a cross-town move. Pretty soon I'm going to start selling ad space on my luggage.
One phrase that keeps falling out of my mouth is this: Engagement is really about efficacy. Of course, it goes to all the research that shows that people are coming to expect more two-way communications with brands -- but when it comes to the web, my participation better mean something. We know that if we can put something in the hands of a evangelist, they can spread the word far faster and far more effectively than we can -- but how do you find those evangelists? You have to turn the experience into a personal one -- and you have to commit to personal levels of metrics. You can turn some regular customers into fans -- but evangelists seem to be born that way. Make your presence malleable, roll it like play-doh, like a "do-touch" museum, and give people something to get interested in.
I typed in your address, I clicked on that link, I have email sitting in my inbox, a bubbling over to-do list and boxes to unpack sitting in my living room -- make my time worth it and reward me for my attention.
On a "what's he up to?" note -- I'm looking for others like myself, those who are interested in the conversation between brands and customers, evangelists and non-affiliates, to start a new online publication. Details to follow.