When it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about prioritization. With a world of data at your finger tips, it’s important to drill down to the meat of what you want to measure.
Likes and favorites are certainly great forms of engagement. They show that your audience is interested and appreciates whatever it is that you’re sharing. However, liking a post is very different than clicking a link. Certainly, the more likes you get, the more likely it is that people will consume your content, become fans and hopefully customers. However, ultimately, the “like” is a weak form of engagement. So you’re probably wondering, “Then, what is a strong form of engagement?” Here are our 3 favorite types of meaningful engagement:
Clicks are one-step above likes. Not only has this person gone to your page, read the headline, possibly even liked the post, but they then elect to continue reading and click. No longer is this person scanning your Twitter feed or Facebook page, they’re signing up for more. If your clicks are up, your audience has decided that your content has potential value and they’re choosing to view it. A like or favorite could be a result of them simply liking the picture or the idea, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re consuming your content. Compare your click-rate over time. If you see it starting to trend upwards, you know you’re audience is interested in what you’re writing.
Another powerful demonstration of engagement is sharing. Facebook shares, retweets, re-blogs, etc., are all very high forms of social media flattery. When someone chooses to share your content, this demonstrates two things. One: Congratulations! The reader has found enough value in your content to recommend it to the people he or she knows. Two: Now more people are likely to read your post. After all, at the end of the day, people would rather take recommendations from their friends, than from a brand. By sharing your content, your audience is taking their engagement to the next level, giving it their own stamp of approval. Once you see your shares sky-rocketing, you’ll know you’re doing something right.
As a community manager, this is when you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Above likes, clicks and shares come conversations. Once discussion begins to hatch around your content, give yourself a pat on the back. Connecting members to each other is a crucial, and difficult, part of growing a community. Whether their comment is directed towards your brand or a community member, the willingness to initiate a conversation based on a piece of your content is the ultimate validation for social media marketers. Foster and monitor these conversations because it is this type of interconnectivity that will pay off in the long run.
You’ve heard ours, now let’s hear yours. Which types of engagement are the strongest for your brand?