I found this very interesting article which argues that social media engagement is not itself a strategy but a tactic - and that institutions should focus on the long term with social media.
The article gives the example of the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO, which used social media as a digital CRM platform to maintain customer satisfaction. What peaked my interest was the firm's use of "pre-customer support" - truly being able to anticipate what customers need before the need has fully developed. This idea reminded me of the hit 2002 summer blockbuster Minority Report where a fictions enforcement agency arrested individuals before a crime was committed. in the movie, the Precrime department was able to predict individuals intentions and arrest individuals for future crimes. This is a very interesting idea that can be applied to social media.
No, not arresting people for a future crime based on a tweet. In the article's example, there was a special embedded section in customer management department that would scour social networks to find customer's having problems in order to provide them with trustworthy and accurate financial solutions. This idea of "pre-customer support" is extremely powerful in that you can address developing problems before they ever arise. In practice, individuals need not be customer's of ABN AMRO or have even mentioned the financial institutions they use - a powerful tool to poach customers. I think this would lead to a stronger conversion rate and higher retention rate of customers.