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.

Social Report

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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