What is engagement?
In the context of social media marketing, engagement refers to the level of activity and involvement between a brand and its audience. This includes interactions such as likes, comments, shares, clicks, mentions, or other ways of showing interest and participation with a brand’s online content.
Customers with a high level of engagement with a brand are more likely to make repeat purchases, recommend the brand to others, and become advocates for the business. This is what makes engagement a key metric to follow when it comes to social media analytics and measuring the success of your marketing strategy.
What are key components of high engagement?
In order to trigger a high engagement rate, a brand’s online content should focus on the following key elements:
Engaging content should encourage customers to interact with your brand directly, either through a call-to-action, an invitation to give feedback, or a request. An online poll is a great example of how businesses can engage with customers.
Your brand’s content should always be relevant to the audience's interests and needs in order to improve engagement. It should also be relevant to the social media platform it’s displayed on.
The most engaging posts should evoke an emotional response from the audience, such as excitement or happiness.
One example of online social media content includes your YouTube channel banner.
Benefits of high engagement on online content
The short-term and long-term benefits of building high engagement across social media platforms include:
Increased brand awareness and recognition
Improved customer loyalty and retention
Higher conversion rates and sales
More valuable customer insights and feedback
Stronger relationships with customers (who can ultimately become advocates for the brand)
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Examples of engagement strategies
Some examples of engagement strategies that have proved successful include:
A social media campaign that encourages customers to share user-generated content using a branded hashtag. This typically comes with an incentive for audiences, such as the chance to win a product or service in exchange for the share.
An email marketing campaign that offers highly personalized product recommendations based on a customer's purchase history.
Creating a website or landing page that provides interactive tools or quizzes to engage visitors and encourage them to spend more time on the site.
Best practices for improving engagement
Ready to improve social media engagement from both potential and current customers? Keep in mind the following tips:
Understand your audience's needs and interests: This is the first step towards increasing engagement, since it will help you pin down and create the most relevant content.
Use social media platforms to engage with customers directly: Whether it’s answering a question or responding to their comments, direct engagement helps build relationships and will encourage new customers to interact with future content.
Offer personalized experiences: Offering customized product recommendations or exclusive discounts is a great way to show customers that you’re tapping into their needs. In the long run, these efforts make audiences feel valued and can improve trust and engagement.
Encourage user-generated content: User-generated content is one of the best ways to simultaneously engage with loyal customers and spread the word to new audiences. By running contests, featuring customer stories or providing users incentives for sharing about your brand, you can encourage followers to spread the word about your brand and use the expanse of your social network to increase engagement.
Challenges of increasing engagement
Raising engagement can have big, long-term benefits for businesses of any size, but it’s a process that definitely has its challenges. Here are some of the most common difficulties to anticipate when building this marketing metric for your brand:
Measuring the impact of engagement: It’s difficult to show the direct impact increasing engagement has on business results, especially short-term. This makes it harder to encourage investing more resources for engagement, but it shouldn’t stop you.
The need for consistency: Engagement, unlike other marketing strategies, is not the result of a one-off campaign. It requires consistent effort and resources to increase and maintain over time.
Risking negative feedback: Of course, the more people talk with your brand, the more negativity or criticism you're likely to receive from customers on social media platforms. While it’s a challenge to manage these interactions properly, this can also be an opportunity to learn where your brand can improve.