LOVEsculpture We talk a lot about creating engagement between brands and consumers. And that’s because social platforms are an engagement tool, not a broadcast tool.

But after awhile, it can start to sound like we’re trying to arrange marriages. Perhaps it’s the fact that several of my coworkers were recently married or are preparing to walk down the aisle. Either way, we can over complicate consumer engagement as much as we can over simplify it.

Too Complicated?
When we ask consumers to vote, generate content, watch a video or otherwise, we need to ask if we’re merely creating a transaction to generate a metric. And if the answer is not clear, well, it probably is clear.

Social efforts like voting campaigns can do a lot over the long term. They can also do nothing more than preserve one-way communication between a brand and a consumer. We tend to over think this to achieve an easily-generated quantitative metric. This example from TED shows a simple, powerful way to engage consumers and achieve qualitative metrics.

Before-i-die3And while this New Orleans-based example might be considered a bit esoteric, it is from TED after all, there are just as many examples online from brands including Starbucks and P&G.

Empower MediaMarketing, my employer, has detailed more than a few simple ways to engage with consumers. There are any number of ways to bring online efforts into the age of participation. and still be able to measure the end result.

Too Simple?
In preparing for an upcoming conference focused on blogging, a fellow blogger remarked that she’s “tired of brands puking swag all over bloggers and expecting them to clean it up.” She means she’s tired of brands taking a one-size fits all approach — pushing products and logo-laden tchotkes at bloggers and expecting a glowing post in response.

Per usual, whether it’s the customer, a blogger or a member of the media, it takes an approach customized to the individual. 

Cross-posted to my work blog. 

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