It’s one thing to have 100,000 or 1 million fans. But it’s an entirely different thing to report to management that you have 100,000 or 1 million engaged fans or followers. Having this level of understanding is important because it gives context to what your audience size means and how your programs are performing. It also enables you to see what actually gets your fans to engage. There is a lot of talk about engagement, but why is this metric becoming important? Let us provide some insight and help you understand!
Every marketing program has its key metrics. Email has open and click-through rates. Web sites have unique visitors and page views. Social media has engagement rate. By measuring and monitoring engagement rate you can benchmark against your goals, evaluate the effectiveness of social programs, and see how you stack up against your competition.
Looking at this airline example, it’s interesting to note that while all the airlines have similar total engagement levels, both @AmericanAir and @Delta are engaging with a much higher percentage of their followers. Empowered by this data both @JetBlue and @SouthwestAir can change their tactics to reach (or surpass!) the engagement levels set by the competition.
There is a lot of talk about ROI in the social media world – in many cases measuring engagement is at the core of how you measure social media success. In social media, engagement leads to more visibility, sharing, brand affinity, and direct relationships with your customers. It tells you if you’re reaching influencers, advocates, and your target demographic. High engagement also helps you create a bigger network, because the more engaged someone is, the more likely they are share. By engaging you create brand advocates that then spread positive messages about your brand.
Knowing if your fans are actively engaged or passively watching from the sidelines will indicate if your content is resonating. To evaluate where your fans are at, you can look at overall engagement and see if people care enough to do something with the social content you publish. It is also a great metric to continually check on as your audience size grows to ensure you continue to build deeper connections with fans. Remember, what keeps 100,000 early adopters engaged, might not work when you reach 1 million fans.
From here we can see that fans of the Four Seasons Hotels are engaged. On average the Four Seasons receives 232 likes per post and they engage with 5% of their total base. As they continue to grow, they will need to monitor this metric and make sure it does not decrease. They will also want to remember that it’s not just about quantity but the quality of engagement. Because when audience size and engagement grow in tandem, you can change a fundamental element of your brand’s persona online. As time goes on, evaluating how they perform against the competition and stack up in their industry will be beneficial as well.
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