When you set yourself up on social media, it's tempting to start posting about anything and everything. The more messages you put out, the more people will see, and the faster your account will grow, right? Well, not always... Just because your followers have seen your posts, it doesn't necessarily mean that they've engaged with them.
What is Engagement?
When something is“engaging”, it could mean that it is interesting or entertaining. However when discussing social media, “engagement” is measured by the amount of clicks, likes, comments, retweets, reblogs etc. content receives.
Engagement takes into account all the tangible actions that have taken place as a result of your post.
This gives us a way of tracking how successful certain types of content are, and also shows which followers or fans are responding to your posts – allowing you to post more of the same! Many people use social media as a type of news feed; they will follow accounts for news and updates without ever engaging. So in that respect it’s great to have lots of followers, however if your main goal with social media is to direct people to your website, you need to post the type of content that will get people to click the links (while staying on brand and keeping it relevant). Having followers is one thing, having followers that care about your output is another.
Sharing is Caring
Believe it or not, it takes a lot of effort for someone to click the “like” or “retweet” button. If somebody retweets or shares your posts, they are effectively allowing you or your brand onto their own personal feed. It’s for this reason that more salesy or self-promotional content gets the least amount of engagement; it doesn't fit in with your followers’ personal brand.
When a person creates an account, they have set up their own brand. How they choose to present themselves online may directly impact them as a person. This is worth remembering when putting out content for your followers. Ask yourself, does your content fit in with your followers’ personal brand? If the answer is “no”, then the likelihood of them engaging with your post is minimal. Think about your followers’ likes and dislikes, their interests, what they will find amusing and what they will enjoy, then tailor your content to them. If you want them to share your post with their friends, it has to be something that they feel represents them.
Less is More
Follower numbers aren't everything. We always tell our clients that it’s more valuable to have fewer followers with higher engagement, than lots of followers with little to no engagement. Just because more people are seeing your posts does not mean that they will do anything about it (whether this is click through to a link to an article, or be convinced into buying a product or service). Don’t assume that the more you post, the more likely it is that something will stick either. Just posting things in the hope of getting one or two engagements per post doesn't work. We looked into this a little more and found that the top 10 most frequent Tweeters tweeted every 6 to 20 minutes, yet none of them made the most engaged list! Spend time on creating one high quality post, rather than wasting time on frequent posts of little merit.
Things to remember:
- Use engagement statistics to find out when your content performs best. The time of the day which you post your content can impact on how much attention it gets. For example if you run a night club, posting special offers won’t get much attention at 9am in the morning…
- Show, don’t tell. Posts with images or video receive 3 to 4 times more engagement than those without. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and you only get 140 characters on Twitter…
- Getting the frequency of your posts right takes time. Find out what works best for your followers and adapt when you need to…
- If you aren't getting as many followers as you’d hoped, don’t worry. “Quality over quantity” is something of a cliché, but it’s better to have high impact on a low follower base than receive zero engagement from thousands!