Why Social Media Engagement Is Important

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It's easy for a company or individual to focus on follower numbers when it comes to building their social media presence. However, follower count is only one metric that matters. Arguably a more important factor to focus on is engagement — how your audience is interacting with your channel. This metric includes things like likes, retweets, comments, shares, and other ways to participate with your social media platforms (e.g., posting user-generated content.) Here are six reasons why engagement is so important for your business.

Better Outreach

When you post content to your social media channels, there's a good chance your followers will see it. But what about other people in your target audience? If your followers engage with your content — such as by sharing it or commenting on it — there's a chance that people who don't follow your accounts will see your content. Social outreach like this can lead to more followers, as it gives your brand a greater chance at being seen.

More Data to Support Your Success

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Image via Flickr by Free For Commercial Use (FFC)

Engagement is a fantastic way to show customers that you're an authority in your industry and a brand that they can trust. Follower counts only don't establish this type of social proof, as that metric merely shows your popularity. Engagement, however, shows how responsive you are to questions and how much your followers value your products and services.

Reach Consumers Affordably

Engagement is far more affordable than advertising as a way to reach consumers. This ties back into outreach — you can craft email campaigns or publish ads on social media channels to reach new users, but that kind of outreach doesn't come with the same kind of credibility as virtual word of mouth via engagement.

Improved Customer Relations

Engagement helps make businesses more personable. Consider success stories like Wendy's — a company that's dominated social media by being incredibly responsive to people who tag the fast-food restaurant online. People now see Wendy's as humorous and genuine, and their fantastic social media engagement has led to remarkable profits.

Higher Quality Follows

Again, follower count alone isn't a meaningful metric. Companies with lots of followers but low engagement may seem disingenuous or otherwise lacking value. Engagement shows that people like your content, and it proves to other potential followers that your brand has something to offer.

Increased Sales

Higher quality followers — those who engage with your brand — are far more likely to become paying customers. This is doubly true since engagement is a kind of free or very cheap advertising. In the case of Wendy's, people see the company regularly on social media, which helps the brand stand out among other fast-food chains. The next time those individuals want to eat out, there's a far greater chance they'll consider Wendy's.

Follower counts and likes are only two ways to track your social media channels, so take the time to learn more about all the ways you can measure your engagement. Once you have a handle on these metrics, you can make a more concentrated effort to encourage users to interact with your company.