Ever get stuck in a cocktail party talking to the guy spouting inane small talk? It's exhausting. You're doing your best to laugh at the right places, but at some point you're done. You're giving the ear tug sign to your wife to come save you. We've all done it. And so have consumers of many brands through social media. Except, instead of an ear tug they hit the "hide" button.
The problem is "engagement" in its current form often equates to small talk. A little bit of small talk isn't a bad thing, but at some point, if we want to actually build a relationship with the person we're talking with (not to) we need to graduate to a conversation that adds value.
For brands it starts with understanding the behaviors of people on social and a realization that, in it's purest form, social media wasn't created for brands. That said, brands can thrive in that environment — they just have to do so the right way.
I recently spoke at the IPRC conference on this subject and shared this presentation below. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.