‘Engagement’ is now a bullshit bingo word within the media industry. But irritation aside there must be a good reason why everyone appears to be ‘seeking engagement’, ‘measuring engagement’ and – some hope – producing ‘engaging content’. It’s because those things, even though we lack better phrases to describe them, are important.
The problem is that the word we’re using lacks a common definition.
Wikipedia lets us down for once: “An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry…” it begins. We knew that. That’s an existing, useful definition of engagement.
Good old Social Media Explorer comes in first on any Google search with a relevant result for What is engagement? (article no longer available). Good for them – they even call it a “bullshit term”. (The article is two and a half years old, so must be still striking a chord.) The writer goes on to make good points and struggles to find an answer. Funny that.