Social Engagement is referred to by many as the single most important social media metric. At Lucé Media we believe that and preach it from every mountain top we can. However, let’s make clear everyone knows what defines Engagement and how it should be measured. In this blog, we will discuss how engagement is measured; through applause, conversation, and amplification and the three reasons it is important.
Social engagement is any action people take once exposed to your online content and the way they interact with it. Engagement is not necessarily one unified metric, but instead, it is based on a lot of different actions (for example, clicks, shares or comments) and different levels of interaction. These levels of interaction depend on how much effort your readers/viewers put into their interactions with you and the net impact of their actions on your brand.
At Luce’ Media, we like to divide engagement into three main groups of actions:
Each of these categories incorporates different types of metrics and represent varying levels of interaction.
Applause is typically low effort – low impact actions. They may include actions like likes on Facebook, favorites on Twitter and plus ones on Google+. Again, these should be considered a simple, low level of engagement in the sense that they require a small effort on the part of your audience, but also have a relatively low impact on your brand.
Applause actions indicate that your post was appreciated and well received by your audience, but it did not necessarily trigger enough emotion or impact on the part of the consumer to take a deeper or more meaningful activities such as a click, a share, or a comment.
Conversations are types of actions such as mentions on Twitter and comments on Instagram. Consider the actions a medium level of engagement. These actions take more effort than just a click of a button. After all, if someone is moved enough to think about the post and actually write a comment or response of some sort, then they are certainly at a higher level of engagement than those in the Applause category. Their comments could potentially have a medium to large impact on your brand, given that they could trigger other discussions by other consumers.
Amplification is BOLD ACTION. These are actions like shares on Facebook, Retweets on Twitter, or Sharing on YouTube. It is NIRVANA – the highest level of social engagement. Even though a retweet or a share do not necessarily require much effort as they are just a matter of a click, they are meant as social actions. It is your consumer saying – this is interesting or important enough to me that I want to share it with my friends, families, and others.
Sharing is all about the content going VIRAL. People see sharing content on social media as a way to appear useful to others and at the same time they feel that sharing certain content helps them define their personality and profile, online. In fact, 70% of people share content on social media so that they can bring attention to issues they find important.
Therefore, retweets and shares in a way define the individuals who perform these actions and communicates the fact that they indirectly endorse it or in a certain sense, align with it. Amplification is a significant metric for your brand as it contributes to brand awareness and boosts your visibility, allowing you to extend your reach to new audiences.
“Amplification is the most meaningful form of Social Media engagement.”
Why measuring engagement still matters
- It gives you an overview of how your community-building is going.
Social media is all about community building. This means that measuring the level of engagement on the social media platforms you are active on, provides you with an overview of how responsive your online community is.
“Measuring Social Media engagement gives you an overview of how well your content is performing with the community you are trying to build.”
- It helps you gain perspective on your marketing goals
In most cases, Social Media are critical platforms that directly connect with your marketing strategy and goals. I had a good friend once said to me, “if you are not in digital and social today, you are NOT in business.” Therefore, measuring your social engagement is a key factor in evaluating your overall marketing efforts.
“Measuring Social Engagement helps you gain perspective on your overall marketing goals.”
- Engagement is the entry point of your sales funnel
It all begins with customers becoming familiar with your brand and products. This increases your “brand awareness.” Social media can be a great tool for creating awareness around your brand as well as generating traffic and referrals. Once you achieve a good level of success in brand awareness, you will quickly see potential customers falling into your sales funnel. Engagement metrics should give your company a clear indication of how many people enter the funnel and ultimately become customers. When social media users become frequently engaged with a brand in social media, they also become Brand Ambassadors for your brand.
Ok, well that may be a little overstated. Still, measuring social media engagement will help you reflect on your existence and performance on different social media platforms. The fact of the matter is that not all platforms are for everyone. Given that the audience growth does not tell the whole story, how else would you be able to reevaluate your presence on an individual social media platform if not by tracking engagement?
For a look at specific types of social engagement metrics to track, check out The Six Most Important Social Engagement Metrics.
We would love to hear your thoughts surrounding social engagement. What are the best examples of engagement you have witnessed? Please share them here with the community.