How Important Is Engagement To Social Media Marketers?

Yes, I admit it, I’m becoming a bit of a devil’s advocate these days when it comes to stuff online. In particular, people and activities that I am involved with and see during my online work.

A lot of questions or inconsistencies about the integrity of how some people conduct their work, practices, and systems have been coming up. If there’s one thing I can’t stand is phoney, false, spammy, or dishonest stuff. It drives me nuts.

A lot of people, myself included, work very hard to do things properly, not cheat, and be open, honest and caring in our business. I merely expect that everyone is held to the same standard.

I first started to talk about the integrity of social media marketing in my post, Are Influencers Really Influencing Anything? But today I want to quickly talk about engagement.

If you are involved in social media marketing at any level, you will be very aware of the copious amounts of data, advice, articles, and chatter saying that engagement is the cornerstone of successful social media marketing. In other words, everyone needs to connect and engage with their audience, followers, and customers.

This practice makes perfect sense. If you had a brick and mortar store you wouldn’t ignore the people who walked in, would you? Do you turn away as you pass your neighbour, or the guy or owns the business next door? No, of course not. It’s important to have good relationships with your community.

And this is where the problem or my questions start to arise.

Some people, social media marketers in particular, including so-called experts, have either become or have always been silent. I’ll even go so far as to say that they’re snobs.

They don’t offer a peep or grunt of appreciation no matter how much support you demonstrate. The support I’m talking about can include, following, liking and sharing content, special mentions, sending them polite or helpful messages and more.


A few of them used to be friendly, and gracious, but not anymore. Other marketers never were friendly or approachable.

Is this not a double standard and hypocritical? They’re telling everyone, engage, engage, engage, but they aren’t themselves.

It’s not because they’re too busy because I still enjoy excellent reciprocal relationships with other very busy social media marketing people.

I don’t have the answer. But admittedly, I’m sure, at least unconsciously, it will negatively affect my desire to continue to show support for some marketers and other people. That’s just the way life works, right?

What about you, have you noticed a change?


5 thoughts on “How Important Is Engagement To Social Media Marketers?

  1. That’s a very good question Amanda.

    I’m not actively working in social media marketing at the moment, but when I last did, it was an article of faith that I would respond as promptly and positively as I could likes and follows and especially comments and shares. I did notice though, that there was always a certain amount of “engagement” that wasn’t really engaging with our business so much as an attempt to promote their own. Self-promotion isn’t a problem — we are working in a web and connections are essential. But I did find that sometimes there wasn’t authentic engagement — just blatant advertising and coat-tailing of quite unrelated businesses. To use the bricks and mortar metaphor, it was more like someone coming into our art gallery and saying “hey, I sell chainsaws, wanna buy one?”

    Do you find you get much of that happening to you?

    1. First, please accept my deepest apologies for not “engaging” and taking so long to respond to your comment! I’m so embarrassed. I’ve been having problems with my account’s database and didn’t see it until now.
      Yes, I totally agree with you, and from my own perspective too there is an expectation or article of faith that I respond promptly, (again, my apologies) to any and all efforts to reach out or contact me.
      And yes, again, you’re absolutely right there’s a lot (too much) of self-promotional engagement going on (i.e. in Twitter’s direct messages). Sometimes the relentless self-promotional stuff drives me nuts probably in part because my background generally frowned on any such behaviour, plus I just don’t have the “balls” to do it myself, although it seems that to be competitive these days you have to.
      It gets tricky.

      1. Please don’t apologise Amanda. I don’t think a couple of days’ gap constitutes not responding.
        I hope you’ve got the database issue sorted out.
        I think I probably have a similar background, and find overt, over the top self-promotion difficult to deal with. Maybe I don’t have the balls either – or perhaps we both have too much respect for the people we want to engage with.

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