Social engagement is a key part of your social media marketing strategy.
You’ve got your social profiles set up and optimized, and you post regularly, but there’s still something missing. Unfortunately, regardless of how incredible your profile is or how likable your posts are, there’s no substitute for social engagement.
Social media has revolutionized the way that businesses communicate with their audience. What used to be a one-way conversation has now become a two-way conversation, and measuring social media engagement can give you insight into how well you’re doing when it comes to creating interactions with your audience.
Learning how to generate more engagement from your audience, as well as making sure that you engage with them in return, are essential, but before we get into the how of social engagement, it’s important to understand the why.
5 Reasons Social Engagement Matters
#1. It gives you a better idea of your social performance.
A lot of businesses don’t quite understand what social engagement is and how to measure it, so they measure their success on Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites by looking at like alone.
Although the number of likes you have is certainly an aspect of engagement, it’s not the whole story. It’s important to realize that engagement goes far beyond mere likes and also involves shares and comments.
Just because someone likes your business page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re interested in what you have to say or even what you have to offer. Sometimes, people like pages because their friends did it, or because of one specific post. But, by measuring engagement, you’ll gain a much clearer understanding of how effective your content is and how your audience views it.
#2. Increase your visibility on social channels.
Facebook made an update to its algorithm a couple of years ago that made the content that appears in users’ newsfeeds more personal to them. That means that there’s less real estate on timeliness for businesses than there used it be, and it gives business owners a compelling reason to make engagement a premier focus of their social media marketing strategy. This has made it difficult to get your posts to show organically in your followers’ feeds, but the way around it is through engagement.
Facebook’s algorithm update was intended to spark more meaningful connections and encourage more discourse online, which means that you should be creating content that people will engage with. The more likes, comments, and shares generating by your content, the more visible it will be in your followers’ newsfeed.
#3. Maximize your marketing reach.
The whole point of posting on social media is to get your name out in front of as many people as possible, but if your posts don’t get any engagement, its mileage potential is severely limited. As I mentioned in the last point, there’s not even a guarantee that your followers will see your posts, so if you’re posting to let the world know who you are and what you have to offer, you need to start publishing engaging posts.
When someone encounters a post that speaks to them or connects with them, they’ll like it, comment on it and share it with their friends. The more people like, share, and comment on your posts, the farther your posts will go in terms of marketing reach. More engagement means more people see your posts, which means that you’ll have more chances to promote your business and earn customers or clients.
#4. Earn more social proof.
The term “social proof” was originally coined in the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, written by Robert Cialdini, and it’s used to describe the phenomenon where people copy what other people do in certain situations. In other words, when human beings are in situations where we’re not quite sure what to do, we assume that others around us have more knowledge than we do, so we copy them. Here’s how Robert put it:
“We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it…”
The principle is easy to understand: the more people see their friends, family, and other users liking, commenting, and sharing your posts, the more they will be willing to give you a chance and do the same. When your brand gets lots of engagement, it tells others that your followers truly care about your brand, which will make it easier for them to put trust in your brand. The opposite is also true; if your posts get little-to-no engagement, it makes your brand hard to trust and can even make it look shady.
#5. Get more bang for your social media marketing buck.
Unless you own the rare small business that has an endless budget, chances are, you need to figure out how to make every social media marketing dollar you spend count. There are a lot of things you can do to make your posts more visible that involve spending more money, but there’s only one free way to make your posts go farther — and that’s through engagement.
Every time someone likes, shares, or comments on your post, more and more people will see it. That saves you from having to pay to boost your posts, and it helps you generate a lot more publicity for your business and views for your posts without the need for spending more.
Just one share from the right person could mean that hundreds or possibly even thousands of people will see it — all at virtually no cost to you. That’s one of the reasons why social media marketing is special, and why engagement should be your main priority on social.
Now that you know why social engagement is important, it’s time to learn how to generate more engagement in your posts. Check back for my next blog to learn how to boost social engagement on your posts, and check out our site to learn how our experienced social media management team can help.