27 January 2019

Is Any Social Media Engagement Good Engagement?

Social Media Engagement

In the world of social media, not all engagement is created equal. Consider who you reach, who your target audience is, and who your competition engages.


Author: Joe Carrozza


The more the merrier? Less is more? Or quality over quantity? Which approach is best when assessing the engagement and reach of your social media presence?


In the world of social media analytics, it’s easy to place too much importance on numbers alone. This can be a problematic path to follow, as ultimately, you want to engage the audience you’re targeting. You shouldn’t be creating content for everyone.


Knowing your exact target audience, which platforms are they use the most, and even looking at your competitors’ social media engagement analytics can help you assess not only the numerical reach of your content, but also the quality of the engagement. And with more than half of consumers (56%) thinking brands could better align their online engagement efforts, this is data you cannot afford to overlook. Covering these three bases is essential, so you’re not left pushing out content that’s falling on deaf ears.


Who are you reaching?

First off, it’s crucial that you get an in-depth knowledge of how your content is performing with your intended audience. Start off by conducting an audience analysis, which can be done by putting out different types of media and evaluating what performs better with different demographic and psychographic groups. This will help you group your engagers into segments, and understand what they like to engage with. And remember — not all engagement is created equal. A share on Facebook or a retweet should be seen as more valuable than a ‘like’ or a favorite, which are more passive. Sharing your content means users are willing to showcase your message to their own audiences, and you should be taking note of this.


For example, posting ephemeral content like stories or snaps is guaranteed to instill FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in Generation Z audiences, with approximately 72% of Americans aged 12-24 having Snapchat on their phone. Gen Z favors influencer marketing, whereas millennials place importance on a direct brand-to-consumer approach. And with video streaming representing a whopping 74% of all internet traffic, it’s important to find out the level of engagement it receives. It could be that video is your best bet for gaining reach and maintaining interest, and that you’re missing the boat by putting out photos or blog posts instead.


Evaluating different types of media and the results they receive on different platforms can also be helpful for understanding things like which day of the week or what time of day is the best to post for different audiences. It also allows you to compare current performance to past performance, and see which strategy works best.


Analyzing your social media engagement also provides a great provides a great insight into the audiences that are interested in you that you might not expect to be. By looking in-depth at the kind of people that are engaging in your content, you may uncover different segments that you didn’t know you had captured, or initially see as a priority. You can use this information to reevaluate your strategy based on who is most engaged in your content.


But be careful — it’s entirely possible to receive fake engagement from bots if you’re regularly using specific hashtags and keywords. And of course, this does not translate into converting users to your product or service.


Make sure to also monitor comments and messages on your Facebook page, as this is one of best ways to gauge customer sentiment and get direct feedback on your brand. You could even go further and create a Facebook community for your customers and followers, and regularly interact with them by posting updates and responding to comments and messages.


Where is your desired audience?

In addition to analyzing where your currently engaged audience spends time on your social media channels, and which content is grabbing their attention, it also pays to look at where your desired audience are doing the same.
Say your target audience primarily consists of Generation Z or millennial consumers, you’re likely to find that they are more active on Instagram than their older counterparts, who tend to prefer Facebook. And if you’re targeting people with an urban lifestyle or college graduates, they’re more likely to be spending their time on Twitter than high school graduates living in rural areas.


Observing these platforms to find out where your target audience is most active is a great way to further adapt your content and get the most bang for your buck whilst marketing on social media. Monitoring not only which platform these audience members are using the most, but also the kind of content they’re engaging with the most can enhance this strategy further. For example, professional audiences are more likely to be interested in learning new things, in the form of advice, case studies, and references from reputable sources. However, consumers that are browsing passively will often engage better with visual content, like photos or videos.


Who is engaging with your competitors’ content?

Lastly, in order to really ensure you’re producing the right content for your intended audience, and subsequently receiving the most valuable engagement possible, it’s definitely worth looking at who is interacting with your competitors’ brands, and what type of content is performing the best for them.


Comparing their social media engagement with your own can deepen your understanding of the kind of content your audience wants to see. Make sure to take note of how many likes, shares, and comments they’re getting on their posts – and by who. Then, looking at their direct interaction with their audience and the kind of reaction this generates can give an indication of how on track your own customer relationship strategy is.


Every audience is limited, so taking note of what your competitor is doing to catch the attention of your desired audience, and making sure to do it better than them, can really pay off.


Now, it should be clear how crucial it is to look deeply into the performance of the content you put out on social media, who is engaging with it, and in what way. This goes a lot further than just analyzing the number of likes and the amount of people reached. Getting to know your audience, and understanding the preferences of your intended audience can help you streamline your social media strategy with the eventual aim of enhancing brand image, loyalty, and conversions to your product. After all, generalized marketing campaigns often fall on deaf ears, with 42% of consumers finding irrelevant content the most annoying aspect of brand marketing strategies.


Joe Carrozza is co-founder Bidpin.