No matter where in your social strategy you are, if you talk to anyone about it, they are going to tell you that you need to build your engagement. While this is true, most people might not even know why. Engagement is one of those buzzwords. But it's a buzzword that has staying power.
In the early days of Social Media, (we are still in the pioneering phase) the only thing that marketers or more often our clients cared about was how many followers they have. Whether this was on your blog, Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, numbers were important. While those numbers are still important, it isn't the only thing you should be looking at when it comes to measuring a campaign.
Engagement shows a truer metric because it shows that people are interacting with your message. And it also shows that you have their attention.
WHY A FOLLOWER NUMBER IS ONLY A NUMBER
The number of followers you have isn't as important as the amount of interaction you get out of them. For example a brand with 10,000 fans that only engages a few hundred of them is worse off than a brand with 2,000 fans with 1,000 of them interacting with the brand. Another reason that this number isn't quite as important as one might think is because in our extremely niche and segmented online world, you are going to be more successful if you can connect with those who are your direct audience, rather than gathering a large number of fans just to brag about how many fans you have. When thinking about how many fans you want, think about how a realistic number of people who will buy your products/service, or those who can influence others to do so.
WHAT IS ENGAGEMENT?
Engagement in very simple terms is the things your fans and followers do to interact and engage with the brand. This can be commenting on a Facebook status update to posting a picture on your wall. It could be checking into your location on Facebook or Foursquare. It can be entering a contest or sending a tweet. There are a lot of different things that brands can be doing to engage their audience. I will go into depth later in upcoming blog posts.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Not only is engagement is a key component of building a loyal fan base, it is also a crucial part of your viral success. When I say viral, I don't mean it in the sense where a Youtube video has gone viral, gathering millions of views (but that would also be nice). Rather, in my mind, viral means the word of mouth and ripple effect of your brand. Very simply, how it spreads.
For example, when someone engages with your brand on Facebook, it will show up on their newsfeed. This is what we want as social media marketers. The more news feeds your brand makes its way to, the more likeliness you have to gain fans. These fans are important because they are friends of friends. And friends influence friends.
Over the next few days I will go into different ways to engage on different social networks. And we'll talk about my favorite thing, contests.
So, tell me, how do you engage with your customers on social media? What struggles and challenges do you face?
Follow Up Posts:
HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT ON FACEBOOK (Part 1)
Author: Stephanie Frasco
Stephanie Frasco, VP Social Media Marketing, started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!