Our current beliefs about engagement are insane.
Here’s a common one:
The more engagement you get, the more value you generate.
This is a really fun myth to pick apart.
Alas the company just laid off 7% of their workforce after sales tanked.
The Engagement = Value Myth
The unquestioned ‘engagement = value’ myth is very convenient.
It means we don’t have to do the hard engagement work which actually drives value.
It directly leads to the killer Engagement-Value Gap (EV-GAP) shown below:
You can (and usually will) get a huge amount of engagement without seeing any value.
That’s because most engagement has no value, it’s superficial entertainment.
That’s great if you’re selling advertising, not so great if you’re selling anything else.
The Hard Work Of Deep Engagement
Any engagement work that doesn’t drive valuable behavior change over the long-term is a waste of your precious time.
That value might be greater knowledge sharing, more sales, better customer retention, social support, advocacy etc….
If you want any of these outcomes, you need to change behavior (or they would be doing it already!)
Behavior is the output of the interplay between our personal values, social and cultural influences, the immediate environment, and learned responses to previous actions.
This is a complex system. Changes to one factor has tricky-to-predict consequences to others.
You might think you’re a nice person…until your tribe conflicts with another and the environment puts you in competition for a scarce resource. Suddenly, you’re spending most of your time being far less nice to everyone around you.
What’s The Hard Part Of Valuable Engagement?
Valuable engagement occurs when you do any of the following:
- Changed someone’s values, attitudes, beliefs, or opinions.
- Connected a group of people whom share a common trait to positively influence one another.
- Shaped the environment to be more conducive to the behavior you want people to take.
- Shifted the perceived reward of the behavior and conscious motivation for taking it.
This is exactly the kind of work I’d love to see you and your team doing all day long.
This is where you can see how different activities should function. Content should change opinions, communities can influence social norms, technology can be optimised to nudge behavior, rewards and motivations can be shifted to create habits.
This is such amazing, powerful, valuable work to spend your time doing.
For our profession and our careers, it’s so, so, so important we understand this.
Everything you do as an engagement practitioner, from answering a customer question to posting your next update, should affect change in 1 of the 4 factors that drives behavior.
This is how we create value.
Getting Good At Affecting
An advanced engagement method is laser-focused to affect change at one or more of the 4 levels that determine behavior.
For example, if you want to change someone’s beliefs, you need to know how to communicate persuasively (both in content and in your personal interactions).
There is a deep, deep, well of strategy and advice here. It means knowing how to understand what members want, deploy credibility cues, determine message strategy, use the right medium, structure messages persuasively, deploy the right metaphors and contrasts etc…
But we spend almost NO time talking about any of this. We’re too busy looking for the next quick tip to get any form of engagement.
Please stop doing this. It’s not only killing our profession and your career, it’s killing innocent puppies too (probably).
Our goal with Advanced Engagement Methods is to bridge this gap. We want to take you and your team to a level where we no longer think about quick-engagement tips, but focus on driving meaningful value through real behavioral change.
We opened 20 registration places last week. We have 13 remaining.
You can learn more below: