Companies love to share their successes with social media. How it’s allowing them to “engage with fans and customers”, and how they’re “being part of the conversation”.

Like it’s something new and wild and golly gee, aren’t we great?

Well, yes, it’s great that you’re doing something you should have been doing all along – talking with customers, and not just because of social media – and it’s great that you’re now part of the conversations around your brand.

But are you really engaging, or just being engaged? Because there’s quite the difference between the two.

Check out these two Facebook Pages as an example.

Arment Dietrich  Inc.

The first page is for Social Report, “a social network analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your social space and marketing effectiveness.” It’s a lively page – if lively equals automated updates every thirty minutes about what their service features are. Their Twitter stream is pretty much the same.

The second is for Arment Dietrich (a little disclosure – Gini Dietrich, the CEO of Arment Dietrich, is a friend, but this doesn’t bias my post). Their wall is a mix of company updates, social media and communication industry news, helping the environment, questions from “fans” and fun Facebook tips. And they have a lot of their connections sharing stuff on their wall too – always a great sign of full engagement.

If you were someone looking to hire a company – or see how a business understands – social media, which one would you choose (going by these two Facebook Pages)? One where it’s just update after update with no real depth, or one that shares a mix of useful advice and tips, and allows their customers (fans) to do the same?

So. Are you engaging with social media, or are you just engaged?

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163 comments
ambreen11
ambreen11

Great post on difference between engaged and engaging. I really appreciated your efforts to put in this article.

Jason Chandler
Jason Chandler

Great points and tips. I am new to social media and am learning more everyday.

Danny
Danny

Hi there Jason,

Welcome aboard - and make sure you have fun! ;-)

Jason Chandler
Jason Chandler

Great points and tips. I am new to social media and am learning more everyday.

Danny
Danny

Hi there Jason, Welcome aboard - and make sure you have fun! ;-)

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

So, I think the question should really be, after this long, why doesn't everyone get it by now?

How many times do we have to explain the humanization of business is taking place, all around us?

Well, paradigm shifts take a while, especially when you're in the middle of them and you're dealing with the most resistant thing on the planet to change, humans.

But.. all of us, who get it, can continue to spread the good message. Thanks Danny, I'm right here with you.

Danny
Danny

It's like the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, mate. Like you say, it takes a while to create a revolution - but we know they happen.

We just need to make sure we're leading the charge and showing why it's such a core move that needs to happen.

Cheers, mate!

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

So, I think the question should really be, after this long, why doesn't everyone get it by now?

How many times do we have to explain the humanization of business is taking place, all around us?

Well, paradigm shifts take a while, especially when you're in the middle of them and you're dealing with the most resistant thing on the planet to change, humans.

But.. all of us, who get it, can continue to spread the good message. Thanks Danny, I'm right here with you.

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

So, I think the question should really be, after this long, why doesn't everyone get it by now? How many times do we have to explain the humanization of business is taking place, all around us? Well, paradigm shifts take a while, especially when you're in the middle of them and you're dealing with the most resistant thing on the planet to change, humans. But.. all of us, who get it, can continue to spread the good message. Thanks Danny, I'm right here with you.

Danny
Danny

It's like the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, mate. Like you say, it takes a while to create a revolution - but we know they happen. We just need to make sure we're leading the charge and showing why it's such a core move that needs to happen. Cheers, mate!

Jamie Fairbairn
Jamie Fairbairn

Hi Danny, it's a very important distinction you've made. I've written a post (link below) which is kinda related.

Many businesses just think "oh we have to be using social media because everyone else is" and forget about the purpose behind it - to engage with people, not to have another channel to broadcast to them.

Danny
Danny

So true, Jamie (and I'll be sure to check your post) - it's all well and good doing it. But at least make sure you know WHY!!! ;-)

Jamie Fairbairn
Jamie Fairbairn

Hi Danny, it's a very important distinction you've made. I've written a post (link below) which is kinda related. Many businesses just think "oh we have to be using social media because everyone else is" and forget about the purpose behind it - to engage with people, not to have another channel to broadcast to them.

Danny
Danny

So true, Jamie (and I'll be sure to check your post) - it's all well and good doing it. But at least make sure you know WHY!!! ;-)

Niall Harbison
Niall Harbison

The funny thing that most people don't know about is edgerank which dictates what appears in your Facebook news feed. Those guys posting every 30 minutes are probably luck if 1 of those posts even appear on a wall of one of their likes!

Danny
Danny

Hey there mate,

Definitely, and a key decision in why so many people dislike your page too. Another great selling point of that company's services... ;-)

Niall Harbison
Niall Harbison

The funny thing that most people don't know about is edgerank which dictates what appears in your Facebook news feed. Those guys posting every 30 minutes are probably luck if 1 of those posts even appear on a wall of one of their likes!

Danny
Danny

Hey there mate, Definitely, and a key decision in why so many people dislike your page too. Another great selling point of that company's services... ;-)

Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne
Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne

Hi, Danny.

You have really drawn the line between engaging and engaged here. Gini and her team are really cool people and I admire them for what they have done. Now, if they can't be called engaging, I don't know what can be. :)

I may have a Facebook page, but I admit, I haven't done it the way Gini and her team has...I now know my mistake. Silly me. Now, to find time to do add updating my Facebook page to everything I am doing right now.

Hmmm...Will my clients forgive me if I work on my Facebook page first before their logos or websites? I guess they'd hit the roof with that one, mate. :) So, I'll just leave the online "engaging" for now and focus on being engaging offline. :) I guess being the tortoise that I am, I will get there soon, eh?

Hope your weekend's treating you well. ;)

Danny
Danny

Ha, that's a great point you make amidst all the smileys, mate. ;-)

It's true - concentrate on the clients first and the rest second. Although an engaged page (or any other outpost) can definitely help draw clients in, it means nothing without them.

Cheers, sir, hope you had a great weekend with you and yours. :)

Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne
Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne

Pardon the overzealous sprinkling of the smileys, mate. Don't know what got into me. Must be the kids. Their sunny nature is infectious. :)

Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne
Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne

Hi, Danny.

You have really drawn the line between engaging and engaged here. Gini and her team are really cool people and I admire them for what they have done. Now, if they can't be called engaging, I don't know what can be. :)

I may have a Facebook page, but I admit, I haven't done it the way Gini and her team has...I now know my mistake. Silly me. Now, to find time to do add updating my Facebook page to everything I am doing right now.

Hmmm...Will my clients forgive me if I work on my Facebook page first before their logos or websites? I guess they'd hit the roof with that one, mate. :) So, I'll just leave the online "engaging" for now and focus on being engaging offline. :) I guess being the tortoise that I am, I will get there soon, eh?

Hope your weekend's treating you well. ;)

Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne
Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne

Hi, Danny. You have really drawn the line between engaging and engaged here. Gini and her team are really cool people and I admire them for what they have done. Now, if they can't be called engaging, I don't know what can be. :) I may have a Facebook page, but I admit, I haven't done it the way Gini and her team has...I now know my mistake. Silly me. Now, to find time to do add updating my Facebook page to everything I am doing right now. Hmmm...Will my clients forgive me if I work on my Facebook page first before their logos or websites? I guess they'd hit the roof with that one, mate. :) So, I'll just leave the online "engaging" for now and focus on being engaging offline. :) I guess being the tortoise that I am, I will get there soon, eh? Hope your weekend's treating you well. ;)

Danny
Danny

Ha, that's a great point you make amidst all the smileys, mate. ;-) It's true - concentrate on the clients first and the rest second. Although an engaged page (or any other outpost) can definitely help draw clients in, it means nothing without them. Cheers, sir, hope you had a great weekend with you and yours. :)

Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne
Wes Towers@GraphicDesignMelbourne

Pardon the overzealous sprinkling of the smileys, mate. Don't know what got into me. Must be the kids. Their sunny nature is infectious. :)

Stuart
Stuart

The difference between being engaged and engaging - that's like the difference between owning a power drill, and actually using it.

Just because someone actually has a tool, they then think that people will come to them based on the fact they possess a tool. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. The procedure here is as follows:

1) Own/Buy/Possess a tool.

2) Figure out how to use that tool to its best effects.

3) Use that tool based on what you've discovered.

This applies to everything, from social media outlets to power tools to playing any kind of sports to learning how to handle a wok. It's a three step plan, and really, it makes sense because it's how we get good at stuff.

Now, to use these two Pages, Social Report have accomplished Step 1, but gone no further. Arment Dietrich have accomplished Steps 1, 2, and 3, and will continue to grow by repeatedly implementing Steps 2 and 3. The same applies to the difference between Tiger Woods and a once-a-month golfer.

In fact, it applies to a lot of things. It's a fact of life ;-)

Danny
Danny

Trust a Brit to talk DIY... ;-)

That's a great analogy, mate, and love how you drilled down AD's success (yes, I made that cruddy joke!) :)

And like you say, these lessons don't just stop on Facebook, or in business...

Stuart
Stuart

The difference between being engaged and engaging - that's like the difference between owning a power drill, and actually using it.

Just because someone actually has a tool, they then think that people will come to them based on the fact they possess a tool. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. The procedure here is as follows:

1) Own/Buy/Possess a tool.

2) Figure out how to use that tool to its best effects.

3) Use that tool based on what you've discovered.

This applies to everything, from social media outlets to power tools to playing any kind of sports to learning how to handle a wok. It's a three step plan, and really, it makes sense because it's how we get good at stuff.

Now, to use these two Pages, Social Report have accomplished Step 1, but gone no further. Arment Dietrich have accomplished Steps 1, 2, and 3, and will continue to grow by repeatedly implementing Steps 2 and 3. The same applies to the difference between Tiger Woods and a once-a-month golfer.

In fact, it applies to a lot of things. It's a fact of life ;-)

Stuart
Stuart

The difference between being engaged and engaging - that's like the difference between owning a power drill, and actually using it. Just because someone actually has a tool, they then think that people will come to them based on the fact they possess a tool. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. The procedure here is as follows: 1) Own/Buy/Possess a tool. 2) Figure out how to use that tool to its best effects. 3) Use that tool based on what you've discovered. This applies to everything, from social media outlets to power tools to playing any kind of sports to learning how to handle a wok. It's a three step plan, and really, it makes sense because it's how we get good at stuff. Now, to use these two Pages, Social Report have accomplished Step 1, but gone no further. Arment Dietrich have accomplished Steps 1, 2, and 3, and will continue to grow by repeatedly implementing Steps 2 and 3. The same applies to the difference between Tiger Woods and a once-a-month golfer. In fact, it applies to a lot of things. It's a fact of life ;-)

Danny
Danny

Trust a Brit to talk DIY... ;-) That's a great analogy, mate, and love how you drilled down AD's success (yes, I made that cruddy joke!) :) And like you say, these lessons don't just stop on Facebook, or in business...

Ingrid Abboud
Ingrid Abboud

Huh! Funny - I always thought that engaged meant someone who's about to get married so they're not talking or making the effort with anyone else and engaging meant that they're sociable and willing to give people the time of day and at least get to know them a little.

But hey, what do I know ;) lol.

Excellent example DB.

A.D. is the perfect example of what a Facebook page should look like and be like!

Hat tip to Gini and the fab team over at Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Cheers

Danny
Danny

Ah, you girls and your diamond rings, Ingrid... ;-)

What I like about the AD page is that it's clearly a team effort - so it's a great testament to both Gini's goals for AD, and the culture within.

Something more companies could do to emulate. Especially those in the "comms" industry... ;-)

Ingrid Abboud
Ingrid Abboud

Huh! Funny - I always thought that engaged meant someone who's about to get married so they're not talking or making the effort with anyone else and engaging meant that they're sociable and willing to give people the time of day and at least get to know them a little.

But hey, what do I know ;) lol.

Excellent example DB.

A.D. is the perfect example of what a Facebook page should look like and be like!

Hat tip to Gini and the fab team over at Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Cheers

Ingrid Abboud
Ingrid Abboud

Huh! Funny - I always thought that engaged meant someone who's about to get married so they're not talking or making the effort with anyone else and engaging meant that they're sociable and willing to give people the time of day and at least get to know them a little. But hey, what do I know ;) lol. Excellent example DB. A.D. is the perfect example of what a Facebook page should look like and be like! Hat tip to Gini and the fab team over at Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks! Hope you're enjoying your weekend. Cheers

Danny
Danny

Ah, you girls and your diamond rings, Ingrid... ;-) What I like about the AD page is that it's clearly a team effort - so it's a great testament to both Gini's goals for AD, and the culture within. Something more companies could do to emulate. Especially those in the "comms" industry... ;-)

Justice Wordlaw IV
Justice Wordlaw IV

I feel its just time for companies to stop trying to build numbers and concentrate on building a community for their company. If they concentrate on that then everything else will just follow.

Danny
Danny

For sure, Justice.

We've walked away from companies before because all they see is the build, and not the process. And you can't usually help these companies... ;-)

Justice Wordlaw IV
Justice Wordlaw IV

I feel its just time for companies to stop trying to build numbers and concentrate on building a community for their company. If they concentrate on that then everything else will just follow.

Danny
Danny

For sure, Justice. We've walked away from companies before because all they see is the build, and not the process. And you can't usually help these companies... ;-)

Jackie
Jackie

Facebook seems to be the black sheep that gets the least of my time.
As a result of this post I'm now disturbed by the frequency of MY avatar in the feed.
It seems I have inadvertently become part of that "me me me" crowd. :(
Duly noted...changes in the pipeline

Danny
Danny

Hey there Jackie,

Glad the post resonated, and I'll look to stop by and see your "new" approach. Let us know how it goes. :)

Jackie
Jackie

Facebook seems to be the black sheep that gets the least of my time.
As a result of this post I'm now disturbed by the frequency of MY avatar in the feed.
It seems I have inadvertently become part of that "me me me" crowd. :(
Duly noted...changes in the pipeline

Jackie
Jackie

Facebook seems to be the black sheep that gets the least of my time. As a result of this post I'm now disturbed by the frequency of MY avatar in the feed. It seems I have inadvertently become part of that "me me me" crowd. :( Duly noted...changes in the pipeline

Danny
Danny

Hey there Jackie, Glad the post resonated, and I'll look to stop by and see your "new" approach. Let us know how it goes. :)

Lark Miller
Lark Miller

I do engage with social media (twitter + facebook) and I try to post open ended questions as my status or Tweets in order to get a variety of feedback. Although engaging takes more effort than just being engaged, both are necessary to build your following and brand.
Thanks for the great post!

- Lark Miller

Danny
Danny

Hi there Lark (awesome first name, by the way!),

For sure - it takes time and commitment (and that's something a lot of "experts" don't tell you about).

But it's like any good relationship - if you want it to work and be a success, you need to put the time and commitment in.

Every time. ;-)

Lark Miller
Lark Miller

I do engage with social media (twitter + facebook) and I try to post open ended questions as my status or Tweets in order to get a variety of feedback. Although engaging takes more effort than just being engaged, both are necessary to build your following and brand.
Thanks for the great post!

- Lark Miller

Danny
Danny

Hi there Lark (awesome first name, by the way!),

For sure - it takes time and commitment (and that's something a lot of "experts" don't tell you about).

But it's like any good relationship - if you want it to work and be a success, you need to put the time and commitment in.

Every time. ;-)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Difference Between Engaged and Engaging – This is a great post from Danny Brown, short, sweet and to the point. I only wish that other folks who write about engagement could do it in so many words. [...]

  2. [...] my engagement series, this post by Danny Brown caught my attention – the difference between engaging and being engaged. Are you out there just talking? That’s *ok*, but that’s not engagement. Read [...]

  3. [...] Drive to learn: This is about curiosity, and wanting to know how things work, and what happens next. A couple of examples of posts targeting this drive are Things You Can Learn about Marketing while Sunbathing and The Difference Between Engaged and Engaging. [...]

  4. [...] Drive to learn: This is about curiosity, and wanting to know how things work, and what happens next. A couple of examples of posts targeting this drive are Things You Can Learn about Marketing while Sunbathing and The Difference Between Engaged and Engaging. [...]