To kick off the new year, we are going to be shedding some light on what some of the terms mean that we use a lot. If you run a brand and work with a social media manager you might hear them say words and phrases like ‘engagement’ ‘good growth’ ‘profile visits increased’ or ‘algorithm’ and wonder … what are they talking about? Are they just using these weird words to confuse me or so that I don’t realise if the social media is doing well? Well, over the next few months we are going to be breaking down what exactly all these words and phrases mean and why you should care about them!
Starting with Engagement – part one.
What is Engagement?
On social media platforms, engagement refers to any time a consumer is interacting directly with your brand. There are many many different ways that this happen, but here’s a little breakdown:
What’s the difference?
All of these forms of engagement represent moments where a consumer chose to interact with your brand. But, there is a reason why you social media manager may chose to single out growth in particular kinds of engagements – and there is a reason why.
Interactions like likes and reactions (Facebook) are easier to achieve than other kinds of engagement because they are easy to do – double tap on an Instagram photo and you move on, scrolling down past other posts.
Shares, comments, and retweets are slightly less common, as it usually takes a little more effort to do. Writing a comment on a post might seem easy, but when consider the amount of posts out there, it takes a really good connection to a brand for a consumer to take a moment to comment. Sharing and retweeting posts also take a little more time, so they are not the easiest thing to get. However, they are more important long term than a simple like, as they open up the chance for new people to see (and hopefully follow) your page.
Direct messaging is an important engagement as well, as once again it shows that someone took the time to send you a personal message. This is why replying to messages and having consistent brand voice is important – if a consumer feels as though they can interact with you personally, they are more likely to hold your brand in a higher regard.
Profile/Page interactions are harder to get, but the rewards are great! When people click onto your page they should find everything they need to know about your brand and want to see more (this is also why setting up your pages is so important). Clicks on your call-to-action buttons (e.g. email, phone, address, shop now etc.) are a sign that a consumer likes what they see and wants more. These clicks can also translate quickly into click-throughs to your website or brand home, and from there into sales and more in depth interaction with the brand.
Why Is It Important?
Engagement on social media is the only way that you can see if your consumers like your brand. Their likes and comments are the equivalent of someone walking into your physical store and staying to look around, or buying something, instead of just turning around and walking away.
Engagement also shows if your consumers are interested in what you are doing! It is all very well having 1000s of followers and appearing as though you have a large interested consumer base, but if you are only getting 1o likes on every post then you don’t have an audience of a 1000+, you have an audience of 10. Improving engagement is far more important than focussing on getting huge follower gains. With follower growth, you want to see a similar growth in engagement or you are not retaining the interest of those followers.
If you are having hard times building engagement, do not fear – it is one of the hardest things to build organically, but it is worth taking the time to do it! In the next post we will be talking about how you can improve your brand’s engagement on social media, but in the mean time if you want to read more, we have a great post explaining further why you should care about engagement (and why the algorithm hates you, and everyone else) that you can read here.