Engagement is everywhere. And with it comes extraordinary potential.
It’s probably fair to say that most businesses are started with the goal of creating long term sustainability. That much feels obvious. Entrepreneurs will toil endlessly over every aspect of their burgeoning business, meticulously dissecting each decision towards building a foundation for something that will (hopefully) flourish with the proper care and attention.
But success in the traditional sense of the word is not achieved alone in a silo.
As a business develops and starts to sprout, an entire ecosystem will be built up around it.
Customers, first and foremost, are the lifeblood of any business.
Depending on the type of business, the ecosystem can expand to include all sorts of relationships.
Partners. Vendors. Service providers. Stakeholders. Suppliers. Distributors. Employees. Competitors. And on and on. Do you see where this is going?
So it goes without saying that a quintessential part of any business is developing and nurturing the ecosystem that will play a major part in creating sustainability. The most successful of these relationships will be mutually beneficial and take some fostering and energy.
Or simply put: You need to create engagement.
In the business sense, the word engagement is foremost associated with a buying audience. Knowing your audience is the first step in all of this, which you can read all about here.
From there, there are endless ways to engage with an audience which is both super exciting and potentially, super challenging. Identifying and executing strategies to engage an audience is an exercise as old as business itself.
The key thing to remember is this: engagement is a two-way street. Whatever you’re putting out to the audience needs to come back to you. Otherwise, you’re just yelling at the clouds and praying for rain.
So what does that look like? Sticking with a buying audience for now; engagement can be measured through your own determination of what success looks like and what you’re hoping to achieve as an outcome.
Let’s say you’re running a digital campaign over social media that is sales-focused. A few of the KPI’s (key performance indicators) could look like this:
- Views: Who is seeing your posts and how often
- Comments: A great piece to encourage; commenting takes that extra step which is valuable to know in your assessments
- Likes: A true vanity metric but certainly with value
- Website traffic: Are the posts doing enough to push a customer off of social and into a buying environment?
- Conversion: How many people are purchasing once they get into a buying environment?
This is just one scenario out of countless specific to a buying audience.
When you consider all of the pieces that make up your ecosystem and get a true understanding of how to facilitate all of those relationships, you’ll quickly get a sense of how important engagement is to the growth and sustainability of your business.
All of this can feel a bit overwhelming. Creating true engagement with your business is not something that will happen overnight and should be treated as an on-going, living, breathing, piece of your business development that will take time and requires a plan, like anything else.