One of the most recognised ways to measure success on social media is by post engagement. Engagement on social media is essentially measured by the number of people interacting with a post.

Each social channel measures engagement slightly differently, due to the different ways users interact with content:

  • Facebook: Likes, comments, shares and clicks
  • Twitter: The number of clicks anywhere on a tweet (replying, quoting, retweeting, clicking imagery, hashtags etc)
  • Instagram: Likes, comments, sharing and saving to collections, there can also be specific ways to measure engagement within stories
  • LinkedIn Business Page: Likes and comments
  • Pinterest: Re-pins, closeups and clicks
  • Youtube: Viewer interactions

Engagement rates are of course relative to industry, brands and channels – but there is always room for improvement, and striving for better engagement on social media is usually a number one priority for brands and businesses. So how is it best achieved?

Social media engagement can be increased by using either organic or paid ad strategies.

Organic Engagement Strategies

The key to higher engagement is knowing your target audience inside out. Understanding what makes them tick, and delivering content to them in a way that will encourage them to interact with you. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and try delivering your brand values, stories and products to your audience in a way they have never seen before. Remember, you are not just in competition for screen time with your competitors, you are also in competition with your audiences friends, families, hobbies and interests. Knowing how your content is going to resolve a problem your audience has, or how it is going to make them feel is vital to success and increasing engagement.

Improving organic engagement takes more work and time now than ever before. Organic reach is dropping on channels like Facebook & Instagram, which is affecting engagement. But, all is not lost! The drops in engagement can be accredited to how the audience is choosing to use the channels. For example, a drop in engagement stats on Instagram may be due simply to timing. Users are spending less time browsing grids, than they are viewing stories, meaning a lower number of engagements in this instance may have nothing to do with the quality of your content. But, that doesn’t mean you should quit striving to produce better content.

It’s advisable to do all you can to improve your organic campaign performance before moving onto a paid ad strategy.

Paid Ad Campaigns

Paid ad campaigns can go some way to increase engagement on your social channels by attracting more members of your target market to follow your accounts and interact with your organic content.

Again, understanding who you are communicating with is incredibly important – not just for targeting reasons but to help you tailor ads that they will connect with and add value for your audience.

Paid ads may be a better solution for new product launches, brand awareness campaigns and growing the number of people following your account.

The takeaway

Engagement with social channels has to be driven by a combination of acquisition and retention techniques. Ensuring that your content and therefore a brand is best positioned to be in front of your target demographics. Use of post time, share-ability and targeting the ads through paid means is an excellent way to introduce a new product or concept to a group you have as of yet been unable to reach.

Once this threshold has been broken and they are familiar with your posts, the strategy changes slightly to focus more on prolonged engagement. A strong content strategy for social is key to this as the posts you create have to not only be engaging in their own right but also form part of a larger narrative. That’s narrative has the long term goal of driving repeat traffic that can eventually convert to your own KPI’s.