Authentic amplification or echo chamber? Generating brand engagement via social media

Anne Rayner

Introduction

Much media planning and evaluation tends to focus on the 'number of eyeballs' reached. Talk is about GRPs, visibility, and reach. In the digital space these tend to translate more to easily measurable proxies for reach such as impressions. In social media we talk about likes, views and shares. Much social media analysis focuses on these types of 'counting' metrics. Because likes and views are measurable, they are often what is managed. Brands aim to maximise likes and shares. In other words, they aim to go viral.

With so much stimulus competing for our attention in both online and offline worlds, simply being visible is not enough to have impact. Reaching eyeballs and attracting attention does not equate to changing the memory structures associated with a brand in a way that is likely to influence purchase decision-making, which is after all what advertising is trying to do. The issue is that it is not an attention economy we live in; it is an engagement economy. We live in a world where going viral is not enough.