Tracking your progress is a critical component in reaching any goal. So how do you measure engagement? In this digital day and age, it’s tempting to rely on likes and follows. However, when it comes to gauging how our audiences actually feel about our businesses, these “vanity metrics” don’t go far enough.
Understanding how people feel about your business is critical, because loyal fans not only buy more of your products – they’re much more apt to try new products or services and promote them with their friends and colleagues. A Gallup poll found that these most loyal customers represent an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to the average customer. In contrast, a disengaged customer represents a 13% discount in those same measures.
The more valuable metrics for tracking engagement are social sharing and net promoter scores. These stats indicate the depth of the relationship, based on how willing your audiences are to share your messages and refer you to others (which is important, as the #1 most common source of new leads is referrals, according to this 2017 HubSpot survey).
Who loves you?
When you’re trying to build your raving fan community, it’s helpful to know where your audiences currently are on the scale of engagement. I use a three-tiered system:
· Customers: They have done business with you, but they’re more or less neutral in their opinions and can, therefore, be easily swayed by another company.
· Enthusiasts: They like your products or services, but they’re not fully invested. They’ll consider you the next time they have a need and they might or might not share information about you with their friends and colleagues.
· Fanatics: They’ll stick with you through thick and thin. The most loyal become evangelists who tell everyone they know about your brand and why they should use you, too.
Once you know where your audiences stand, you can start using the elements of engagement we will explore further to move individuals up the scale to transform customers into enthusiasts and enthusiasts into fanatics.