Social Media Engagement and Long Term Relationship Building!


I am always trying to understand new ways of how social media, having an online presence, and one to one relationships can benefit an organization and contribute to the bottom line (yes, we're talking ROI). In his recent book, The Thank You Economy, Gary V describes the value of creating engagements that last as opposed to engagements that spike once and then die off.

A Missed Opportunity

He references the Old Spice Isiah Mustafa body wash campaign where the brand engaged over a million potential consumers through the campaign alone. Gary V explains that where Old Spice missed the opportunity was in keeping these customers engaged… The week after the last youtube video the old spice twitter account had sent out only 4 tweets and from there the engagement died…

While old spice had the opportunity to continually engage these consumers through social media platforms (which would have created an increase in fans through social sharing) they did not leverage the great presence they had built via their campaign and social media.

Your Opportunity to Engage! 

Where I see a great advantage for any organization in social media is this opportunity to know exactly who the people intracting with your brand are, and create an opportunity to engage endlessly. The best and most common example that I use to describe what this means is through a businesses website traffic. There is a wonderful (free) tool called Google Analytics which allows you to track literally everything that goes on in terms of traffic to your website . From how many unique visitors, to geographic area, and landing and exit pages we can learn a great deal about what is going on in our website (I highly recommend @Kikolani's Measuring Social Media's ROI and Goal Conversion with Google Analytics 5 to dig in deeper!) … We can't however see who each individual visitor is, nor can we reach out and make their experience more valuable, personable, and memorable… This is where social media comes in!
Your business website is an incredible hub, full of resources and useful information- but it is static, and the visitor's experience and engagement is relatively one way. If, however, you understand who your audience is and what they are looking for and build these features into your social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, than you create an opportunity to pull the visitor into a deeper level of commitment and relationship. For example, if you own a designer clothing retail store and on your website you let your visitors know that every day you post simple but very useful fashion tips and advice on your Facebook page, you have given that reader a reason and incentive to deepen the relationship (you can even use applications that allow a user to follow you or like your page right from your site so they don't even have to leave).

A "Like", A "Follow" – What Does it Really Mean?

Now, the implications of this "like" or "follow" are huge- this visitor has done several things:
  1. They have visited your website through some other channel (direct, google, social media) expressing interest in your brand.
  2. Based on the content and value of your website (and possibly a referral or previous experience) you have earned enough trust and credibility that they are willing to associate with your brand on other social networks (Facebook/twitter)
  3. By liking or following you, they have given a public endorsement of that trust and credibility to their entire communities.
But these aren't even the most important implication… This otherwise unidentifiable visitor to your webiste has let you know exactly who they are (you now have the opportunity to learn more about them and how you may be able to provide even more value), and they have also given you the opportunity to engage and build a relationship!
If you don't have a social media presence than this would have just been another "unique visitor" on your Google Analytics report that came and went. In other words, you haven't provided any incentive or opportunity for the visitor to engage in a two way relationship or endorse your brand via social channels.

It's All About Relationships

Of course the real value is in the opportunity to build a relationship with this new fan, and that will take time- but consider the alternative, you would have never known this individuals was even interested in your brand, products, or services…
Like I have mentioned in many of my previous posts, take the necessary time to develop a comprehensive strategy of how this interaction is facilitated on your website so that you are getting the highest level of appeal. I recommend you think about a few things before jumping in:
  1. Who is your target consumer? There are a lot of people that likely visit your site, but only a percentage of them will be potential consumers- know who these people are!
  2. What is this group looking for?
    1. NOTE– notice I am not saying what product or service they are looking for, but instead what value are they looking for? What google search did they put in to land on your page? You are not trying to sell to these visitors, instead think about what you can offer them in terms of content and real value to deepen the relationship.
  3. How can you create an environment via social media that caters to this group and answers their questions with truly valuable content?
  4. Now you want to start thinking about how to link these two together, the website and your social media presence. This will be an evolutionary process and the great opportunity lies in that you now have real connections and feedback from your target audience!
Once you create an engagement and turn the faceless visitor into a fan or follower the opportunities for continued engagement and relationships building are endless- now it is up to use your creativity and authentic brand voice to continue to foster and grow these relationships.

Your Turn!


What do you think? Is this strategy worth the time and effort? Do you have any stories (positive or negative) about a social media engagement experience? 

You are the reason why I write and your comments and feedback keep me motivated and inspired, your engagement is greatly appreciated! 



  1. MrRyanConnors September 8, 2011 Reply

    I agree with everything you’ve said Tyrell. Old Spice hit a home run with their ads in terms of exposure, but they stumbled in the follow through engagement. From the article it seems like they eventually had a “duh!” moment and realized the mistakes you pointed out. Perhaps they were just too caught up in the viral success of the campaign that they neglected to see how it could be leveraged for even more benefits.

    Personally I’m a huge advocate of SMM and the ROI can be huge if done properly. The first few weeks of utilizing SM at the company I’m currently at, we saw a major boost in website visitors without investing any money in promotions or ads. Larger companies that can afford to do major work creating and engaging audiences will likely see even more impressive results. Thanks for the read!

  2. TyrellMara September 9, 2011 Reply

    @MrRyanConnors Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and leave a comment Mr.Connors! I greatly appreciate it!

    I can see how old spice could get caught up in all of the hype of the viral success that they had. However, it seems to me that perhaps they hadn’t planned for “what if” scenarios… What if the campaign goes viral, how do we continue to innovate and build on our success and engagement. I am in no position to make any speculations, from the very beginning they were in a position of innovation and learning in terms of how they were leveraging social media, so I assume that the next big campaign that comes along will learn from their mistakes (I hope!).

    Engaging in social media is about building relationships and therefore it is not something that generates sales or revenue overnight, just like a face to face relationship takes time to grow and earn mutual trust. But done right, with the right motives and intentions and with a strategy that integrates into the bigger picture of the organization, big results can be seen!

    I am glad that you are seeing success, I look forward to keeping in touch!



  3. adamsok September 12, 2011 Reply

    Hey Tyrell, What you’ve spelled out here is definitely worth the time and effort. Since serving is the new selling, you’ve got to be provide content on your website that answers your prospects questions. Sites that are static do a very limited job of this, typically only offering to be contacted. Sites that are dynamic, continually offering answers to questions are much more likely to be revisited and turn visitors into leads.

    I like your idea of using social media to further engage and deepen relationships, which will ultimately bring the prospect down the sales funnel towards the sale!

    Nicely done! -Adam

  4. TyrellMara October 9, 2011 Reply

    @adamsok Thank you very much for your comment, Adam!

    I have appreciated all of the value that you offer on your site (a prime example of providing me incentive to constantly re-visit!) and also appreciate you taking the time to visit here and share your thoughts!

    Always value added! :)

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