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3 Ways to Boost Customer Engagement

Today, brands want customer engagement. They need customer engagement. But they don’t know how to promote engagement. Before we go too far, it’s important to define what we mean by “engagement.”  It isn’t “likes,” “follows” or even “sales.” It’s the phenomenon of people caring enough to talk to you, with you and about you with their friends and larger networks. It’s the X factor that allows you to build a brand that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. Over the past few years, it has become clear that engagement is critical to any brand’s success. But how does one effectively encourage engagement?

Build trust through a value exchange: Everyone loves free things, especially free valuable things. Many brands offer free, useful content to their customers, which is great for driving traffic to their sites, but it doesn’t always translate to engagement. People place contextual value on the things they receive, and when they get something free, they happily accept it because there’s no risk involved. However, people become more engaged when they have to give up something in return for value. The investment doesn’t have to be monetary. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Providing something as simple as an email address creates an opportunity to build trust and foster engagement. By providing his or her email address, your customer is taking a chance on you. Respond responsibly. Give them something they want (and not something they don’t, like spam) and you will forge stronger bonds with your customers.

Be honest: Honesty. It sounds cliché, but it’s something that is missing from many relationships between brands and consumers. You should strive to make your product or service the best it can be, but it doesn’t have to be perfect for people to love it. Be ambitious and don’t sell yourself short. If you communicate openly, honestly and clearly to your stakeholders, they are likely to respond in kind.

Have a point of view: No one wants to talk to you if you’re boring, so don’t be. If your communications and actions are always neutral, diplomatic and devoid of personality, you won’t promote engagement. This doesn’t mean you have to be radical, irreverent or disrespectful. It means that if you say something, you should add value to the conversation, and that’s pretty hard to do if you don’t have a point of view.

There are plenty of other ways to build engagement among your customers, but if you’re looking for a few easy ways to boost your customers’ engagement, consider the above recommendations. Trust, honesty and opinion are all great ways to not only spark a conversation, but also to spread those conversations across a variety of platforms, both online and off.

How have you boosted engagement in the past? Have you run into challenges? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please leave a comment!

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