Not all engagement is good engagement

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When thinking about the nature of engagement; I think that it is important to differentiate between bad and good engagement. One of the key issues is that engagement metrics currently don’t distinguish between bad and good engagement. Not all engagement is good engagement.

In terms of a case in point about good engagement, let’s look at the brand Burberry. It’s hard to understand how far the Burberry brand has some over the past decade. So the brand has fallen hard from the overall decline of luxury sales in China, but just ten years ago it ran the risk of losing its luxury status completely. The brand first faced seeing its product becoming terrace wear as football casual firms dressed in Burberry prior to their violent clashes. Then chavs took to wearing the iconic Burberrycheck.

I remember seeing a Japanese lady at SymbianWorld around this time dressed in a well tailored Burberry check suit as part of her business attire and finding it completely at odds with my perception of the brand.

So it makes sense that ‘bad neighbourhoods’ offline would have similar effects to online. There is now research to back this up. The bad neighbourhood identified is people who brag in social posts. Scopelliti, Lowenstein and Vosgerau have done quantified the adverse effect that bragging has on relationships.

The second thing in the research is that those doing the bragging are so utterly unaware of its effects on their audience.

More information
The two faces of Burberry | The Guardian
Burberry versus The Chavs – BBC
Scopelliti I., Loewenstein G., & Vosgerau J. (2015) “You Call It ‘Self-Exuberance,’ I Call It ‘Bragging.’ Miscalibrated Predictions of Emotional Responses to Self-Promotion,” Psychological Science, 26(6), 903-914.

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