Why Engagement Matters on Social Media
Posted by Lacey Clifton, MSEd
Engagement, not Fans, is the most important metric on social media today. Your social media engagement score is what gets your content in front of the most people. Many business owners struggle with this concept. They want to reach thousands (if not millions) of people with their content, so it seems only logical that they need thousands of fans/followers, right?
If you have taken a social media workshop with me, then you have probably heard this story, but it is worth reading again. I had a client who wanted to dominate her competition on social media. But her services were only available if you walked into her place of business. Online sales were not possible. When I started with her, she had 3,000+ fans on Facebook™ but no one was engaging (likes, comments, shares) or taking advantage of her Facebook-exclusive offers. Facebook was also not referring people to her website, which is a good metric to watch. She told me she wanted more fans. Upon reviewing her Facebook business page, it was immediately obvious what was wrong… 3,000 of her fans were in Sri Lanka. She was in California and only about 30 of her followers were within 25 miles of her front door. Her last social media marketing agency had been buying junk followers. For a business that can only provide services in person, this was detrimental. Why? Because Facebook uses your engagement score to organically distribute your content.
Facebook’s goal is to keep people on Facebook. That will only happen if they are engaging with content.
Here’s how it works:
First Scenario – I write a post to a business page on Facebook with 3,000 followers. Over the past 7 days, no one has liked, commented, or shared a post, so Facebook immediately sees this content as invaluable; people don’t like it. The engagement score from the last 7 days is virtually zero. The post might go to 10 people in an attempt to get a like, which no one does, so this cycle will continue.
Second Scenario – I write a post to a business page on Facebook with 300 followers. Over the past 7 days, I’ve had 150 engagements (likes, comments, and/or shares). The engagement score for this page is 50% which is much, much higher than the average; people love the content from this page. As a result of the high engagement score, Facebook will organically place this new post in front of more people which can be even more people than your number of followers. The post might go to 450 people right out of the gate – and that’s keeping in mind that not all of your 300 followers are even logging into Facebook that day. These non-followers who are seeing your content will easily convert into new followers.
This second scenario demonstrates why engagement matters on social media: if your content is making the users of the social media platform happy and gets them engaging with likes, comments, and shares, then they will continue to spend more time on the platform, which enables them to see more ads and generates revenue for the social media platform. So get out there and engage with your followers!