How often do you see an advert online prompting you to click through and receive a reward? Maybe it’s the offer of money off a purchase in exchange for a ‘like’ on facebook, or maybe you can win a holiday in exchange for following a brand.

So what have you really given, and how much has the brand reciprocated and what do they get in return? Do you feel more engaged? Are you now more likely to make a repeat purchase of their product?

Transactions like this are generating loyalty that is paid-for. It may give you a large number of followers, but many of them are not advocates and may not have any emotional attachment to your brand, making it very difficult to measure how a customer feels. A company that buys customer attention in this way may have demographic information like age, gender, location and transactional information, but they can’t be sure how that translates into an emotional attachment to their brand because it’s not earned, or organic.

Interaction with customers through a social platform will strengthen engagement and boost advocacy, which will show through metrics like NPS ® and satisfaction. Measuring the level of engagement customers have, and how they feel about a company’s products and services at the point of interaction, is an excellent start. Current social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can easily enable the collection of initial sentiment and feedback data. In turn this can be filtered through a social CRM platform, where a brand can interact and engage with customers at a personal level.

Initial interaction platforms like BrandSmacker ( that provide Customer Experience Management (CXM) enable brands to convert engagement effort into actionable insight, which in turn improves and innovates products and services. It also enables a company to understand the value that a customer can provide through their active engagement, creating a solid foundation based on an authentic relationship and true loyalty.