What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media has become a tsunami of content updates, posts, image sharing and what not. With so much clutter on these platforms, a brand must understand what actually works on social media. Social media engagement comes to rescue here. Brands must evaluate what the page followers get attracted to most and try and push such content on a regular basis. If a brand posts an update and if there is no activity on that post then the engagement is zero. If the brand posts an update, and if that post invites response then the post has some engagement.
As we all know, there are umpteen numbers of tools to monitor and analyze social media management and engagement. The flip side is there is a rampage of these tools available in the market. Hence it is very difficult to understand which tool might work for our brand. Brands must understand which tools might work for them and which not. Depending too much on tools can even lead to a complete failure of the brand on social channels.
Contact us, if you are looking for professionals who will manage social media accounts for your brands.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is essentially a response of brand followers to a particular post update. This reaction can be in the form of Likes, comments and shares on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube. While on twitter, it can be measured in the form of likes and retweets. In layman’s term, Social Media engagement is the long term relationship that a brand has with its followers based on the response you get on your post update. The tool for social media analysis for engagement is called ‘Engagement Rate’. The best way to calculate engagement rate is to count the likes, comments, shares and divide it by the number of followers on your brand page. When forming social media strategies, brands should always aim for high engagement. There are multiple benefits of achieving a high engagement rate. We will be discussing the topic in-depth in this post.
Social Media Engagement on different channels
According to a study conducted by Ernst & Young, called social media marketing India trends 2016, it was found that Facebook was the highest rated platform in terms of engagement rate. It was followed by Twitter and third was YouTube taking the top three spots respectively. Although in the study it was found that Google+ and LinkedIn were ahead of Instagram, post the takeover by Facebook, Instagram fan following has grown multifold taking the top spot.
Brands usually believe that Facebook has the lowest engagement rate, however, when compared to other average brand fan followings of bigger companies, brands have a surprise lined in for them.
According to Invesp, Instagram has the highest engagement rate in 2017 with 4.21% followed by Facebook with 0.09% and Twitter at 0.03%
Although the best times to post on social media is quite known to us, below are some points to take in consideration for Engagement rates on multiple channels:
- Post engagement on Facebook is 75% at peak for the first 5 hours.
- Thursdays and Fridays saw 18% more engaged users than on other days.
- Engagement rates are higher on these days because people have more leisure times on these days.
- More than 85% companies in India want to gain business from Social Media platforms. It is predicted to grow to 95% by end of 2018.
- 70% of the marketers said that increasing audience engagement on social media was the important part of their social media strategy.
- 87% of the Facebook’s engagement happens on posts with pictures.
- Photo albums on Facebook receive 13 times more engagement than a single post photo.
- Facebook posts with less than 250 characters registered 60% audience engagement.
- If a brand tweets more than twice a day on twitter it decreases engagement.
- Tweets with photos receive more than 150% re-tweets.
- Tweets with 1-2 hashtags receive more than 20% audience engagement than those without any hashtags.
- Conversely, tweets with more than 3 hashtags receive 17% less audience engagement.
Below is the summary of social media channels and their post engagement rates based on the percentage of fans or followers:
Common engagement metrics across some social media channels
- Twitter: Organic impressions, links clicked, direct messages, mentions, retweets, replies and likes
- Instagram: Likes received, Direct messages, Story views, comments, engagement per media, most engaged hashtags, hashtag following
- Facebook: Organic Likes, Shares, Comments, Facebook Messenger, community groups, paid likes, paid reach, links clicked, reactions, post engagements, unlikes.
- LinkedIn: Impressions, Clicks, Likes, Comments and Shares.
Why is Social Media Engagement Important?
During the pre-social media era, if a customer has a query regarding a product, they had to wait for a minimum of 24 hours for their queries to be resolved. Gone are the days of waiting. With so many brands active on social media the turn around time (TAT) has come down to as low as 3-4 hours to completely solve a query. Social media engagement boosts audience interaction with the brands. Social platforms help brands create a long lasting and great customer experience. Customer engagement is not about single comment addressing the query. It opens up a chain of comment threads with customers. Having a great social experience can also lead to purchase consideration. If a follower gets a personalized message for their queries, they tend to become a long-term associate.
When a brand posts an update, the followers interact with the update in the form of shares or re-tweets. This, in turn, reaches the friends/followers of the person who has shared the update. The more the activity on the brand pages, the more possibilities of brand authenticity. Brand consideration can also happen over audience reviews on the fan pages. If the brand has an active audience engagement, followers tend to spread the positive word across social media. A lot of brands today request their users to rate them on social channels, as this increases their goodwill. This is most common practice for SME’s, freelancers and coordinators.
Boost Website Traffic
Studies have shown that the more active a brand is on social media, the more traffic increases on their websites. Audience engagement on social media is driven by good content. If a brand posts a quality blog post, users tend to visit their website more often. This increases the chances of a lead converting into a sale. More visitors also help in Search Engine Optimization by increasing ranks on search engines. Links/images/videos also act as Backlinks and help boost website rankings. It is important for brands to study Web Analytics in order to understand the increase in traffic through social referrals. This would prompt brands to post similar content and re-valuate their social media strategies.
Social buzz is an important factor when it comes to increasing social engagements. For example, when a company wants to launch a new product. They start creating curiosity around the product on all social channels. This helps the brand to generate interest amongst its users for the product. On Twitter, if the hashtag a brand is using starts to trend, naturally people will check the hashtag and visit the brand’s Twitter handle.
Brands can create buzz for product launches, an important event or a milestone. Buzz can be created through teaser posts, videos, behind the product development scenes etc. Also, one more way to maintain the buzz is to give gratifications. Gratifications help a lot in creating audience engagement. Gratification can be in the form of gifts, coupons, discounts, offers, chance to feature on ba rand page etc. Marketers should also keep a strategy in place to sustain the brand buzz. Sustaining a buzz can help in audience engagement for as good as 40%.
Social media landscape in India is changing dynamically. More and more brands are adapting to the changing social media environments. Taking advantages of the benefits of the social media will surely help brands in the long run. Having an active dialogue and participation on your brand social media page will definitely change the way your current and potential users perceive the brand. Although social media engagement has little to do with ROI, it surely helps brands to analyze and evaluate their strategies. With the ever-changing social media platforms and its reception by the brands to alter their strategies will be a delightful read in near future.