Just how important is engagement on Facebook? The answer can be confusing for brands. On one hand the advice is that social media engagements such as likes, shares or comments are the best way to judge the success or failure of a post. On the other hand, there are experienced social media marketers who say that it’s better not chase these vanity metrics and concentrate on moving the needle on true business objectives like sales and brand awareness instead.
This can seem like conflicting advice, but in reality it isn’t. The most important thing to remember is that getting likes and other engagements for the sake of it is pretty much worthless to your brand. However, engagement on content that has been created with a business goal in mind is what you should be aiming for. The primary goal of any company on social media should be a solid business goal such as increasing sales, reaching a new audience, increasing share of voice, strengthening your brand, or getting a campaign message out.
You could produce a big-budget video that goes viral on a global scale and gets millions of interactions, but if the people who interact with it don’t remember or even notice your brand, then you haven’t really achieved anything. Instead you could produce content that resonates with your specific target audience and features something that specifically relates to your brand. You might reach a much smaller audience, but it’s likely that the effect your campaign has on sales or brand awareness would be greater.
The key to ensuring that you are achieving your objectives is measurement. If you aren’t measuring results, then the only thing you have to judge the success of your posts on is engagement. You’ll have no idea if your efforts are actually making a difference to your business objectives. If you use a platform like Sether to measure your campaigns, then you can start to understand the true relationship between your content, engagement levels and achieving your business goals. With Sether, it’s really easy to link your Facebook account and start measuring your campaigns right away.
What counts as engagement?
On Facebook the most obvious engagements are the standard ones: sharing, commenting, or using one of the six reactions: like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry. But mentions, video views, subscriptions, click throughs or any other trackable action that somehow engages with your brand can be considered social media engagement.
Why is it important?
Social proof: If a potential customer visits your Facebook page and sees you have a poor following with zero engagement on your posts or even customers moaning about your services, it doesn’t look good. Conversely, if you have a large audience and a vibrant community who are constantly interacting with your brand, asking questions, praising products, sharing your content, it gives a very good impression. Consumer fear about trying a new brand can be instantly nullified if they know that you already have lots of happy customers.
Expanding reach and brand awareness: When someone engages with your brand on Facebook – especially when they share your content – potentially all of their friends can see it. Of course, this isn’t always the case on Facebook today with a packed news feed, but it’s still a very important part of Facebook marketing. Engagements expand the reach of your posts, bring in new audiences and make your marketing efforts more cost-effective. This is known as “earned” media because you earned those extra eyeballs on your content by getting the person to share it (rather than paying for those views in the form of an ad). Also, Facebook gives priority in the newsfeed to content from brands that get high engagement, so popular posts have a better chance of being seen in the newsfeed.
Building a relationship with your customers: The closer you are to your customers, the better chance you have of retaining them. Brands that just broadcast information on Facebook without ever interacting with their customers are missing a trick. People respond to brands that act like normal people – chatting, making jokes, quickly responding to messages and being generally personable. Social media is a huge opportunity for brands to get closer to their customers and find out how they really feel or what they really want, but many brands miss this completely. Posting to Facebook is just the start of a conversation, brands have to listen to responses and react in real-time to customers, just as a friend would.
Engagement improves your brand’s Google search ranking: Links to content on your website that you share on social media that get high engagement boosts that page’s ranking on Google.
How to improve engagement
Use Sether to track the results
The Sether platform allows you to compare the performance of all your social campaigns in one place. This gives you an overview of your entire campaign and helps you to see which channels are hitting your objectives. When you add a campaign to the Sether platform, you can easily choose between awareness and performance objectives and track anything from website traffic, application installs, conversions, brand awareness, reach, video views to engagement or followers.
Sether is also a useful tool for organising and planning your social activity. You can use it to monitor agency performance, brand sentiment, online reviews, and much more. Sign up for free and start monitoring your Facebook campaigns.