What is social media engagement?
Social media engagement is all the interaction you have as a company or person with others on social media. That like on your new profile picture, sharing a story on Instagram, but also the complaint a customer posts in response to your LinkedIn post.
Social media is all about interaction. The social element is the added value of social media compared to more traditional one-way media such as television and radio. Just as with friends, for example, interaction is much more valuable than just hearing another person’s story without having a conversation. If you are a company on social media, then it is all about interaction instead of content without reactions.
Engagement goes a step further than reach. Where you might have the most followers on social media, it’s a lot more valuable if you also interact with some of them. Interaction can turn a follower into a customer or even ambassador of your brand.
On social media, you can interact in a variety of ways. Social media engagement can include share actions, reactions, likes, click-through-rates and referrals such as being tagged or mentioned in a hashtag.
Effects of social media engagement
Algorithms on social media rank content by popularity. Engagement ensures that the algorithm picks up your post faster and that it is seen by even more people. It is one of the most important factors that social media platforms use in ranking posts. Engagement is therefore crucial in your social media strategy. It can boost the entire online marketing.
Every individual or company you interact with is also a potential customer. When you handle that interaction properly, you increase your chances of gaining new customers. This creates a positive experience with your company and people save that. Two-thirds of 18- to 54-year-olds have a better perception of a company if it responds to customer questions on social media. However, they expect a response within 24 hours. Millennials in particular are asking customer service questions via social media and see social media as a suitable channel for this. With this target group, there is a lot to achieve through social media engagement.
Engagement on social media is not only visible, but also invisible such as in private messages. This also contributes to the engagement of potential customers and is therefore valuable.
Drive social media engagement
So it is beneficial to have engagement on social media. You actually want your content to invite people to respond to it and for them to do so. The question is therefore: how do you stimulate social media engagement?
First of all, it is important that you measure and evaluate engagement with your social media content. When sudden peaks or valleys appear, you can analyze what is causing this. Good elements can then be used more often and type of posts that score less can be omitted.
Differentiation by target group and platform
It is also important to keep an eye on how your target audience behaves on social media and what works for them. Make sure you stay up to date with their needs, so you can respond well on social media. Not every social media trend works for your target group and will therefore generate engagement. If you optimize your content for the target audience, you will also realize more interaction.
It is also important that you tailor your social media behaviour to the platform in question. Instagram is all about photos, while longer texts are more appropriate on LinkedIn. And on Facebook, posts with videos do many times better than posts with just text.
Adding a personal touch to your social media posts also encourages engagement. It brings out the human side of your organization, and people simply prefer to communicate with other people than with computers. For example, adding staff names or photos to content, or using humor, makes you appear more personal. A unique way of speaking and style of responding can also help.
Sharing and being shared
To encourage engagement, it also helps to share posts from others. Think of another company with a great initiative or an organization you work with. But also sharing posts from followers who share something about their customer experience. This makes the customer feel seen and maybe even tell others about that repost. This word-of-mouth advertising is worth its weight in gold. You can also create this type of engagement in collaboration with influencers.
You can also organize contests and competitions on social media. Followers then have the chance to earn something because of their share actions etc., and that makes them engage with your content and hopefully your company in the long run.
Relevant and up-to-date content
If you want engagement on social media, you will need to post content that is relevant and interesting to readers. So it won’t work as well when you start spamming about your product or service. Instead, it’s more effective to provide tips or information that potential customers value and that they can really use. Think for example of the latest trends in your field.
Responding to current affairs can also ensure a flow of reactions and thus engagement. If there is already a lot of talk about a particular event, people will view the post with interest, which in turn can create interaction.