“Empty engagement is just engagement for engagement’s sake. And unfortunately, we have come to associate engagement with attention, and they are not the same thing. At least not when we’re building community. Just because you have someone’s eyeballs doesn’t mean you are meaningfully engaging them.”
– Carrie Melissa Jones, Author and Community Strategist
Welcome to OnBrand! In this episode, host Sarah Grace McCandless explores what it means to create communities around brands through meaningful customer engagement with Carrie Melissa Jones, a community strategist and co-author of the book Building Brand Communities: How Organizations Succeed by Creating Belonging.
Creating vibrant brand communities starts with engagement, but it’s not just about attracting eyeballs or meeting your marketing metrics — that’s “empty engagement” according to Carrie. To her, the key is making your engagement meaningful.
Carrie explains many of the ways that companies fall flat in their efforts to build community due to shallow gestures or empty promises. “So, what is meaningful engagement?” Carrie ponders briefly before answering. “Any way that we can bring people together to (1), knit relationships between members, and then (2), connect more deeply to the purpose of the entire organization or the entire community,” she says. “So, if it doesn’t serve one of those two purposes — people, or purpose — then what we’re doing is most likely creating this empty engagement, which, again, steals people’s attention but doesn’t necessarily add value to their lives.”
In addition to studying consumers and the complex online communities they create, Carrie founded the Gather Community Consulting firm and formerly served as a founding partner and chief operating officer for CMX Media. A graduate of UCLA, Carrie was named one of the three experts to follow in community management in 2016 by Salesforce.
Join us and learn what it takes begin promoting meaningful engagement and building communities around your brand in this episode of OnBrand!
In addition to her website, you can also find Carrie on Twitter and Instagram.