Ah, engagement. The big “E” word. The thing all social media marketers strive for. But, why? And what does it even mean? It’s time to set the record straight.
At the most basic level, engagement is a measure of the interactions users have with your social media posts and accounts. It’s conversations, reactions, shares, and ultimately, close connections.
In its definition alone, you should understand why marketers strive for it. Is your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn post’s engagement high? That means your content is compelling and conjures real interaction. If it’s low, that means it’s falling into the neglected void. No likes, no shares, nothing. In the end, a failure.
This is where we see the big differentiation between quality over quantity. No matter how often you post, if the content isn’t compelling, then you’re wasting your time. Of course, social media algorithms still demand a fast pace of content to keep up, but make sure that you don’t sacrifice quality just to post something.
Remember that your number of followers is not everything. While it can be a good metric for account growth, it doesn’t tell you the full story. Many large accounts have tens of thousands of followers and very little engagement. While it’s nice to have that number high, it’s pointless if people aren’t digesting your content. THAT is what matters in social media, and is what makes it so unique.
Traditional forms of advertising like television commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and radio ads don’t have the luxury of this level of engagement. Instead, marketers can study ROI and profit numbers long after the fact. With social media, real-time analytics are immediately available. We can examine just how many people clicked, liked, and shared a particular post.
So, the big “E” has some value to it after all. Without it, you might as well call up your local news station and ask for their rates. Social media is where the people are, and understanding it is key to connecting with your audience.