Engagement Archives - CRAFT Media | Digital

ICYMI: Instagram unleashed its newest update yesterday — Instagram Stories — and it looks just like Snapchat. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The social media jury is still out.

Our take on this… at the end of the day, platforms are simply formats. It all comes down to well-crafted, timely content.

Just like hashtags, feeds, @usernames — stories are the next evolution of the platform’s features. The move by Instagram to emulate the stories feature on Snapchat is more about the next generation of media consumption than anything else.

Imitation is also about validation. This move by Instagram validates the idea of “lifecasting.” Sharing as many moments as possible from one’s day is not just for Gen Zer’s on Snapchat, it’s mainstream behavior.

Snapchat users record 8 billion videos per day with users spending an average of 30 minutes inside the application, and these numbers are only continuing to grow. The number of brands and adults on the platform would astound you!

We crave quick bursts of immediate entertainment and the ability to share unpolished, genuine experiences. Real-time stories reflect our changing consumption habits in this brave new mobile-first world.

So what does all this mean for you?

Give us a raw unfiltered look at the behind the scenes. Do you want your employees to understand what your Government Relations team does in Washington? Why not create a story of your lobbyists’ meetings on the Hill? Encourage your advocates to send you a snap of their reaction to the debates. Show an unfiltered moment of your CEO working on a key initiative.

People expect authenticity from brands, and the platforms are adapting to cater to in-the-moment content. Our client, Balance Gym, was an early-adopter of Instagram, and today they’re selling gym memberships through the platform with unfiltered content that features real members working out. In the trade association space, the National Restaurant Association experiences their highest levels of social engagement when they showcase authentic restaurateurs and industry employees.

Every day the bar is being raised by brands that are delivering compelling, genuine content. If your brand — whether you’re a company, trade association, Member of Congress or political organization — doesn’t adapt, you won’t be relevant on social.

Do you believe in ghosts now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Vanity = lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness.

Vanity Metrics = See above.

Unfortunately, Vanity Metrics—Likes, Opens, and Follows—are exactly what associations, campaigns and companies use to determine success with regard to social and email campaigns.

Make no mistake, building these communities is incredibly important, but that is only the beginning of the process. You must make sure you are reaching these audiences and they are engaging with your content. This is becoming increasingly difficult as recent changes to Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail have the potential to marginalize a Like, Follow, or Open, at least with regard to messaging and direct response campaigns.

The changing landscape began with Facebook adjusting their algorithm that reduced organic reach from 15% to 1% or less. Now simply producing and sharing content does not ensure you will reach even a minimal amount of your supporters.

Next, Gmail announced it would cache images—including pixels used to track opens—making it harder to accurately track the total amount of opens for each of your emails. Even before this change, the value of an opened email was already artificially inflated. Emails are a delivery platform, not a destination. Opening an email is valuable, only if the user is then compelled to click-through to your site to learn more and take a specific action.

Finally, Twitter announced the addition of a “mute” button to its platform. Now users can elect to follow a brand/campaign, but can mute their tweets, which means the brand/campaign has a new follower, but one who does not receive any tweets and therefore unable to help spread your message.

These changes reinforce the need for email and social media managers to shift their focus to stats that measure actual engagement such as shares, email click-throughs, and retweets when determining the success of campaigns.

CRAFT always has put a premium on engagement, and we’ve refocused our clients’ efforts on shares, retweets and email click-throughs in anticipation of these changes by Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.  We work with clients to target qualified audiences with digital advertising to build online communities, with success determined by engaging these communities.

Our clients are building large online communities with engaged audiences where message drives actions such as purchase, donation, retweet, or share.

Focus your efforts on driving up engagement rates and you will know for sure if your communities can hear you.