Engagement is the ‘social’ element in ‘social media’ that relates directly to the level of interaction of an individual with other people, companies and brands. It is an essential element of a business’s digital marketing strategy as it connects a brand, product or service directly with its target audience. 

Positive engagement is one of the most effective ways of building trust and credibility between a brand and its customers, which over time can lead to brand loyalty and even championing. It also provides a measurement as to how effectively a company is creating interactions with its customers in the social stream. It can be measured in many ways such as likes, mentions, shares, views, comments, subscriptions, etc. – and correlates with the number of people who are forming a relationship with the brand.

Forrester Consulting provides perhaps one of the best definitions; “Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy and influence an individual has with a brand over time.”

Source: Forrester Consulting

According to the Global Digital 2019 report compiled by We Are Social and Hootsuite, 45% of the world’s population are now social media users which equates to a whopping 3.5 billion people! Within the UK 67% of the population are active social media users and this has increased by 2.3% over the last 12 months. British people spend on average 5 hours 46 minutes on the internet each day and 1 hour 50 minutes of that time is spent on social media. So if your business is not capturing at least some of their attention, that means that they could very well be engaging with someone else’s brand or business instead of yours.  And this is the fundamental reason why social media engagement is so important for your business.

If you want to build awareness of your business through social media, then it is of vital importance to fully comprehend and understand what social media engagement is all about and how and why it could benefit your business as a core part of your marketing strategy.

Social media engagement and the right type of interaction

At the heart of any social media engagement is the way in which you interact with your target audience. The better the quality and the higher the frequency of these interactions, the better the relationship will be between your brand/business and your audience, and the higher your visibility in search engine results. This is why high quality of content is so critical to the success of your social media marketing campaign, as this is where interaction and social media engagement with your targeted audiences takes place.

The key factor here is that social media engagement is interaction, and this signifies a two-way communication. Your website is basically the hub of your online presence, but it can’t exist on its own. It will simply not generate revenues for your business unless traffic is directed to it and this is where social media engagement can come in. Much like when you meet new people at a networking event for example. The more you engage in a healthy interaction with these new prospects, the more they become interested in your company and brand, and this interaction will eventually lead them to your website, and more importantly, to your sales pages.

How social media engagement can have a positive effect on your business

  • Boost brand awareness

Targeted audiences whom you’ve interacted with through your social media platforms can potentially become avid followers, i.e. brand fans. This is providing that your initial engagements grab their attention, and they become interested enough to be part of your brand awareness campaign. At this point they will be willing to know more about your products or services and receive updates about special offers, promotions and other news about your brand. But the key is to keep the “fire” of their interest burning and this can only be done by maintaining healthy social media relationships on a regular basis.  Giving your target audience the value and importance that they expect through social media engagement can foster loyalty and brand championing – and in the process you can keep them as fans or audiences while they share and invite others from their own networks into the fold.

  • Engagement and search engines

Signals from social media sites most definitely have relevance and influence to search engines. Every social action online users make through your company’s social media platforms such as the “like” and “share” on Facebook, a social signal is generated and will be associated with your linked website. The more social signals that come your way, the better your chances of getting prioritised by a search engine as the site with the most social votes, and therefore the site that will present a greater influence among online users.

  • Social media engagement offers social proof of your business

Social media engagement isn’t simply the number of Twitter followers that your business has or the number of “Likes” you’ve accumulated on your Facebook business page, although those things do make a difference when it comes to how your business is perceived by a prospective customer. If someone visits your business page and they see that you’ve got a large number of followers/friends, that offers the same kind of social proof as a testimonial from a happy customer or endorsement by a celebrity. They will perceive this as a recommendation of your ability to provide them with the product or service they are looking for, meaning that they are much more likely to purchase from you.

  • Social media engagement is more cost effective than traditional advertising

Social media engagement campaigns can potentially produce a lot of shares which can generate a lot more views and publicity for your business than a flyer ever could – all for a one-time cost. A single person sharing or re-tweeting a message from your company could reach hundreds or even thousands of people for virtually no cost! Businesses that miss out on this with social media strategies that don’t generate engagement are losing a major opportunity.

In summary

Social media engagement is more than just the accumulation of followers across social platforms. It’s also a measurement of how many people are paying attention to, and interacting with, your brand on a daily basis. Focussing on building your social media engagement can bring the benefits of better marketing reach and ROI, and a greater brand awareness that makes it easier to attract new prospects and retain existing customers. Search engines may also be paying attention to social signals and hashtags, even using them as inputs to determine search rankings for your website.  Social engagement can be boosted by delivering quality content, engaging with and servicing your customers, and offering exclusive promotions and services such as chat bots or automated online appointment booking through your social channels.

Here at ExtraMile we have a dedicated team of experts who can advise on and implement social media strategies, public relations, and search engine marketing campaigns to drive your business forward. Simply get in touch: https://www.extramilecommunications.com/contact-us.