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Scaling Engagement

When I was following fewer people on Twitter, when I had fewer Facebook friends, when I had fewer RSS feeds in my subscription list, when I had fewer people to call and catch up with, keeping up engagement levels was fairly easy. It was a pleasure. It was genuine. But, soon I began to realize that engagement doesn't scale.

Today, it is simply impossible for me to read every tweet published by the ones I follow, read every post that populates my reader application, or reply to every e-mail that I receive. If this is the case for me, I can only imagine the problem a popular brand will face. Be it a business blogger, a fiction writer, a consumer product or anyone/anything else that has a following and has initiated engagement at one point or another. It is impossible to scale the engagement that was seen at the beginning.

So how does a popular brand scale its engagement?

Hiring people to do it is, although a very popular practice, simply inauthentic. It is good enough for many brands, but not something that I would advocate. Engagement through blogs, through social media accounts are different from traditional advertising and will only show different results when treated that way.

Seth Godin is one of the most popular business bloggers, and an advocate of engagement. So it will come as a surprise when you notice that he doesn't have a comments section on his blog. Surprising as it may seem, it makes perfect sense. He simply cannot engage with everyone that comes in with a comment. Instead, he recently started accepting questions through e-mail, which he answers through blog posts now and then.

Of course, this is not a model of engagement that every brand can follow effectively. But, that's the point. Each brand has to identify how its followers would like to engage with it. And then identify a way to make that happen.

Engagement is the hardest to scale. But getting hard things done is the only sure way to success. 

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