Growing your Facebook likes and driving engagement are two very different things. Which is more important? It is easiest to think about this in relation to real world interactions. If you are in a small group of people you know and you are interacting (engaging) with each person in the group you have a 100% engagement rate, if you are at a national convention of some kind where there are 5,000 people and you had conversations with 50 of them, then you would have engaged with 1% of the audience you were a part of. If you were able to have some kind of interaction with 2500 of that group you would have had an engagement rate of 50%. Understanding these examples helps to identify the importance of engagement. It’s also easy to understand that as your audience increases, sometimes your engagement decreases. This can depend on the type of page you have. If you have a business page about an engineering company people are probably going to be less likely to engage that if your page was about saving dolphins.
So what drives engagement? This might come as a surprise to you but sharing content that others have created and distributed doesn’t drive engagement. In fact a recent study showed that Facebook actually penalizes non-original content. If your audience could find the content on their own from other sources the value of the content is lowered. Just like in the real world, people are attracted to personal interaction, personality, and common interests. This is a key reason why the largest organizations are mostly focused on relationship building rather than a stream of content. Thinking about what you would respond to can help you understand what others would respond to as well.
I’ve been holding off on some bad news. So here it is. Many social media management services are all about creating curated content from around the web and featuring it on your site. Sure they’re inexpensive but is it really worth it? Take a look at your engagement to see if it’s really working. (More on that later). Real engagement takes work, because your company or organization is unique. You have a unique personality, a unique product, a unique way of treating your customers and constituents. Figuring out how to extend that same experience to your online audience takes time, it takes effort, and most of all it takes your personal input and engagement. No shortcuts here.
So how do you measure engagement and where do you start? There are a few ways you can measure engagement of your page as well as others. You’ll notice in the image below that in the circle beside the 2 there are two statistics, the first is the number of likes and the second is the number of people talking about this page. This is usually based on the previous week. If you take the number of people talking about this (74) divided by the number of likes (1072) you can get a rough percentage of engagement (7%). There are much more accurate statistics in the dashboard which can be accessed by clicking on see insights in the circle beside the #1.
In the insights dashboard there are a lot of different statistics which are broken down by post, day, week, etc. If you scroll down there is an area where you can add pages of competitors or other pages you want to watch. Here you can see more accurate details of their likes and engagement. Additionally you can see trends and how many posts they have posted. You’ll notice that this list is ranked by total page likes. (I’ve grayed out the page name and favicon) The top page has 5,300 likes but an engagement of only 8. That is a percentage of 0.15%. That is not very good. The second example has 4100 page likes and an engagement of 164. That is a percentage of 4%. As an example, we have around 1,100 likes and an engagement of between 75 – 180 on average. That is an engagement of around 10%. Ideally we want to drive that to closer to 20%. Some causes pages can have an engagement rate of 50-100%, but that is pretty rare. If your page is in the 10-30% range, that’s good. One last word on engagement. If your audience growth is driven solely by ads then you may have a more difficult time engaging. Ad generated likes are ok if targeted properly and when they are mixed with organic growth, but organic growth is always better over the long term as it ensures that your audience is made of people who genuinely care about your subject.
We’ve been working with top social media experts for years and can give you the guidance you need to see your brand engagement grow to the next level. Stop paying for someone to spam your feed with content from around the web and start engaging your audience with your unique message and your unique personality.