When it comes to online metrics, “engagement” has been one of the hottest in analytics circles for the last several years. Yes, it is potentially powerful measure of how enthusiastic consumers are about your brands and offerings and how likely they are to buy or recommend them. But, in terms of social media engagement, this report suggests a caveat for businesses:
Social media users are eager to share—and click on—news and entertainment stories, which account for nearly three-quarters of all social media referrals…Social media site users, by contrast, make up fewer referrals to content pages, and those who do click are less engaged.
But like a lot of buzzwords, engagement has also been one of the most nebulously defined, a point Forrester highlights here. Engagement has come to mean different things to different people. The leading measurement firms have developed their own unique definitions. Is engagement measured best by time spent on a given Web property or by unique visits? Forrester goes further:
the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.
Sounds fairly tricky to objectively quantify, doesn’t it? The bottom line is that organizations must be careful in defining all of their metrics, including engagement. Get them right and you’ll get a much clearer view of your current customer base and an edge in attracting more new customers. But if definitions of engagement vary across properties or the organizations, there is real risk in mis-allocating finite resources or making sub-optimal performance management decisions.