Social media has become an everyday part of many people’s lives. There are approximately 223 million users of social media in the USA alone.
Businesses and individuals alike use these platforms to interact with their followers and see what content others are putting out there. For businesses, it can be a great way to keep an eye on what your competitors are up to.
Social media platforms are a great tool for small businesses as they are free and easy to use with the possibility of reaching huge audiences they are not usually able to.
Posting content online is easy, but how do you know it’s working? Is the content creating a buzz for the target audience?
As with any part of a business, it’s important to track and measure all aspects from sales to expenses, what you do on social media is no different. Here we will be looking at how to measure engagement and why that is important for your business.
What Is Engagement?
Engagement is an umbrella term for metrics you can track on social media. The basic engagement metrics are shares, likes, reactions and comments on a business’s social media profile.
This is a common way to evaluate the performance of campaigns and social media efforts, enabling the company to assess whether the content they are producing is of value to other users.
Let’s look at this in a little more detail:
These metrics depend on which platform you are looking at. Each platform has different terms or functions for engagement purposes. For example, ‘liking’ a post online is a pretty universal function found on all social media platforms.
Whereas ‘retweeting’ is only found on Twitter and means to repost someone else’s tweet to your profile.
Post Engagement Rate
This is the ratio of interactions with your post to the number of followers your profile has. The higher the post engagement, the more your followers engaged with your content.
When you type the ‘@’ symbol on social media, you can mention a specific account to either get their attention, show off that you’re using their product, or reply to their post.
If people are automatically tagging your social media handle without a paid promotion or prompt to do so, it demonstrates you have good brand awareness amongst your followers.
Other Engagement Metrics
Other engagement metrics include link clicks, profile visits, replies, quote tweets, regrams, direct messages, saves, reactions and so on. Basically, any way someone interacts with your post or account is considered to be engagement.
Do You Need To Track Engagement?
Measuring and tracking your engagement across social media platforms is really important as it can give you a better understanding of what content is working and what isn’t.
After all, if your audience isn’t engaged with your content, then what’s the point in using your time and resources to create it?
If you receive really high engagement rates when you post pictures of your customers using your products compared to using stock images, you can determine which is more successful and replicate it in the future.
Posts that receive high engagement have a better chance of turning followers into customers or advocates of your brand. If users really enjoy seeing your posts, they are more likely to share, retweet or repost your content making it seen by a wider audience.
How Is Engagement Measured?
Many online tools automatically measure and track various metrics across multiple platforms such as engagement rates for you. If it isn’t in your budget to use these tools, you can easily calculate it yourself – there is an easy formula to follow.
Engagement Rate = Total Engagement / Total # Followers x 100%.
Total engagement refers to the sum of all the interactions. For example, if you’re measuring your engagement on a Facebook post you’d total the number of likes, shares and comments.
What Should My Engagement Rate Be?
Opinions differ among marketing experts however, most tend to agree that a good engagement rate lies between 1% to 5%. This is dependent on the number of followers you have.
Similar to other areas of business, we see different numbers depending on the industry and platform.
A company that sells skincare products is likely to have a number of followers that are interested in hearing more about the company and skincare in general.
Therefore, you’d expect them to have a higher engagement rate and number of followers compared to a lawyer’s practice.
The median engagement rate across all industries for Facebook is 0.08% compared to a median of 0.98% across all industries for Instagram. Industry-specific data can easily be found online so you can gauge an idea of what you should be aiming for.
What Should I Do With The Data?
Once you have worked out your engagement rate across your social media platforms you can use the data to report on which campaigns are doing well and which aren’t.
When something isn’t doing as well as you thought, you can quickly identify and adjust this to ensure you’re always producing content your audience wants to see.
To determine if social media campaigns are successful you need something to compare them against.
This could be against your previous campaigns, against competitors or even how well certain posts do across platforms enabling you to cut out anything that isn’t working.
Comparing your performance to your competitors and key players in your industry, you may be able to improve upon what they are doing or find gaps in the market to put your business at the forefront. The clues are all in the data.
Reporting on your data can allow you to make small adjustments to your social media plans that can create a huge impact ultimately generating more success and hopefully more customers for your business.