by Emily Gilbride
Social media is here to stay. Globally, 3.6 billion people use social media , with Facebook continuing to top the charts as the most used social media network . Over 80 million small businesses have Facebook pages . However, this does not mean that they are making the time and effort to cultivate a proper presence on social media networks. Social media engagement is an important metric to consider when building or promoting a business. It has been found that nearly 2 out of 3 people say they have become more engaged in a brand or business after seeing it on Instagram stories .
While most businesses want to increase the size of their followers and audience, it’s easy to forget the importance of increasing audience engagement. By devoting time to digital dialogues you can increase customer loyalty, ensure positive reviews, and grow your following.
What is social media engagement?
Social media engagement is the measurement of comments, likes, shares and views. As a business it is quality, not just quantity, you should be striving for. Of course increasing your followers is key, however, the greatest measure of social media success is having an engaged audience. When it comes to building a positive brand experience, active engagement is crucial in order to develop relationships and potential future customers.
To put it into perspective, imagine you had a party and lots of people turned up. However, they all sat there in silence with nothing to talk about. Perhaps having music, dancing and games would create a conversation starter. It’s all fair and well to invite people to a party but did they have fun? Was it a night to remember? That’s how you should view social media engagement.
How is social media engagement measured?
Social media engagement is measured by a range of metrics that could include the following:
- Shares or retweets
- Followers and audience growth
- Mentions (either tagged or untagged)
- Using branded hashtags
- Story views (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat)
Put simply, social media engagement increases anytime someone interacts with your account.
How can I make my social media engagement better?
The Three W’s
One thing to consider before choosing any of the following options is to analyse your following and your current engagement. Look on Facebook analytics (Likes, comments and shares), Instagram analytics (Likes, comments and story views) and Twitter analytics (Likes and retweets). Not only does social media provide you with key data on engagement but it allows you to see exactly who follows you and what your audience’s interests are.
Have a strategy-Why?
Secondly, select your strategy. Like most things, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every company has its own goals and varying social media strategies. Do you have a certain network you want to boost engagement on? Would you like to have a target for how many retweets you get after any exciting news about your company?
Take Papa John’s UK and Chanel for example. They are going to have very different motivations for their engagement, and that will be the motivation behind the content they put out there.
Papa John’s is trying to create a young, fun and weird brand voice, while Chanel aims to educate about its rich designs and luxury goods: their tweets are both engaging in their own ways.
Create and share valuable content-What?
Now that you know who is following you and why you want to reach them it’s now time for what you want to tell them. It is vital that your content is tailored to not only your goals as a company but toyour audience’s needs too. It’s no use if you just talk about how great your business is, or what you have to offer. Think ‘conversation’ not ‘broadcast’. This leads us onto some great ideas for content. Stay tuned for part two.
The Three W’s are extremely useful when considering how to improve your engagement. Treat social media like you are hosting an event, the more activity there is the higher the conversation in both quantity, but most importantly quality. Having a strategy will make it easier and more achievable to reach a number of your goals. Put your engagement strategy into action and put the “social” back in social media.