Do you know how well your social channels are performing? Learn how to measure social media engagement with this comprehensive guide.
Social media engagement means using social networks to connect with others and generate discussion. Typically, this is done by commenting on news articles, blogs, or other people’s posts, creating groups or pages around specific topics, or even hosting events online. But how do you know your efforts are producing results—how do you measure your social media engagement?
Measuring social media engagement is the only way businesses and brands can determine if their current strategies are working or if they need some adjustments.
In this article, we will explain the different aspects of measuring social media engagement so you can get a better grasp of how your current strategy is faring.
Measure Social Media Engagement with Page and Post Likes
One of the easiest ways to measure social media engagement is through page or post likes. This is because these numbers are highly visible and are a tangible gauge when compared against other pages or posts.
If you want to see how many likes your Facebook Page has received in one day, simply go to the page and check “Likes” under the cover photo. If you’re looking at your Instagram or Twitter account, it’s similar. Simply go to the profile and scroll down until you reach the number of followers.
This method is also helpful when performing research on your competitors’ social media engagement. Understanding the reach of similar brands helps immensely when setting up your own content marketing strategy.
Concurrently, there are two things to keep in mind when checking out page and post likes:
- Don’t trust them completely. While they may seem like an accurate reflection of what is going on within your network, they aren’t always accurate. For example, many times companies will buy fake likes from third-party sites. Likewise, sometimes the likes that appear on a page or post come from bots—automated programs that automatically like posts, comments, or photos. As such, it is important to check multiple sources to ensure that the data you collect is valid.
- Make sure that you’re comparing accurately. When you look at the numbers, make sure that you’re comparing the same amount of activity across all accounts. For instance, if you have a large following on your personal account but not on your business account, then you won’t be able to accurately gauge which account is outperforming the other.
Understanding the Number of Post Shares
When considering how to measure social media engagement, the number of post shares is probably one of the first things that come to mind. Check out these popular examples of tools that you can use to see how many times a post has been shared:
- Facebook Insights for Business Page. If you have a Facebook Page, then all you need to do is click on “Insights” and look at the post engagement. You’ll be able to see how many likes and comments a specific post has received as well as the number of shares.
- Bitly. A link-shortening and analytics service that is helpful when you’re trying to track your social media promotion efforts, such as through paid advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email marketing campaigns.
- BuzzSumo. With this analytics tool, you’ll be able to see how many times something has been shared across major social media sites.
However, as mentioned above, there are two things that need to be noted when checking out your number of shares:
- Yet again, don’t assume accuracy. There are a vast number of variables to take into consideration when looking at the number of shares across different social media platforms. For instance, many people use different URLs when sharing content on social media sites even though they are using the same Bitly link. Or, sometimes users will copy and paste a Bitly link into a new post on social media sites—thus creating a new URL. As a result, it is important to look at multiple sources when attempting to gauge whether or not something has been widely shared online.
- Only compare apples to apples. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work very well when you are comparing across different platforms. That’s because the number of shares that something has received on Facebook, for instance, is drastically different than the number of shares it has on LinkedIn. Each network has its own unique audience, so comparing social media engagement across similar networks (rather than across all networks as a whole) is crucial.
Compare Comments per Post for Social Media Engagement
Another strategy is looking at the number of comments on posts. To do this, you can use tools to measure social media engagement, such as the platform’s insights, or an outside analytics service, such as the three mentioned above. Just like with post shares and page likes, you need to remain prudent about their accuracy and make sure you are comparing comments correctly.
Using comments as a way to measure social media engagement goes beyond just numbers. Reading follower comments can provide great insight that can be used to shape any content you are planning on producing and allows you to get a better understanding of what your followers want and need from your brand.
You might notice that there are questions that keep being asked in your comments. Not only should you quickly respond to these questions, but you should also consider creating blog posts that address these concerns. This will provide customers with a source they can refer to, and it can help you boost your site rankings if optimized properly.
Grow Your Active Audience Member Numbers
One particularly insightful way to measure social media engagement is to measure fan growth. Fan growth refers to the increase in followers a business has over time. You can track this by using a service like BuzzSumo. With this tool, you can check data outlining which posts have grown the most fans. If you notice that certain types of posts tend to grow more fans than others, then you know that you need to focus on those types of posts going forward.
For example, you might notice that a specific blog post you recently published is growing fans at a faster rate than others—meaning the content resonated better with your audience. Your next step would then be to check out what other types of posts were resonating with your audience and focus on producing more of those types of content.
Another way to gauge fan growth and engagement is by taking a look at the growth rate of your followers over time. Social media marketing company, Statusbrew, offers an easy-to-use platform for checking out these numbers.
So, how do you know if your rate of growth is good?
According to Thumbstopper, the average rate of growth for the big three social platforms is 1.2-2.5% per month for Instagram, .64-2.2% per month for Facebook, and up to 4% for Twitter. And while the goal is always growth, the most important thing is to ensure that you’re not losing followers along the way.
If you notice that your growth rate is slowing down, then you may want to take some steps to improve your strategy. For example, you could try implementing new features into your website or changing up your content so it’s more appealing to your target market.
Boost Social Mentions of Your Brand for More Social Media Engagement
Another way to measure engagement is by measuring the mentions of your brand across different social networks or online media. The best way to do this is through services such as Mention, or Google Alerts, which allow you to set up alerts for keywords related to your brand. When someone uses one of your predetermined terms, the service will send you a notification letting you know.
Additionally, you can use these services to monitor mentions of your competitors. This allows you to see what type of content your competition is posting and whether or not they’re gaining any traction.
Improve Post Clicks
Examining your clicks per post also helps you measure social media engagement. You can use Google Analytics to view the number of times users click on links in your blog posts along with other important information, such as how long they remained on each page.
Clicky, a real-time web analytics platform, can also be used to track how many times visitors click on links within your social media profiles. If you notice that your link clicks are decreasing, then you might want to consider revamping your profile design.
For example, if you have a lot of images in your profile, you might want to remove some of them or add captions to make them easier to see. Another option would be to show fewer images so that they load faster. Either way, by using this type of data you can identify what types of social media profiles your visitors are responding to the most.
There are other options when it comes to improving the number of post clicks including adding bullet points to increase scannability. You can also revise your titles, add subtitles, and increase internal links throughout your social media profiles.
Add Internal Links
Another way to get people to click on your blog posts is by adding internal links to related content within your social media profiles. The easiest way to do this is by placing a link in your profile description. Extensions like Moz’s Schema App and YoRocket will automatically turn links into clickable links within your social media profiles.
Adding internal links to your profile descriptions allows you to direct people to other parts of your website where they can learn more about a topic or service you offer. You also avoid the risk of customers leaving your business’s website and visiting a competitor’s.
Using referral links is typically the best way to measure social media engagement because they tell you exactly where your customers are coming from. You can use Google Analytics or other web analytics tools to see where visitors are arriving from when they visit your site.
If you have a business that relies on conversions, then you’ll need to play around with the different kinds of referral links that your social media platforms offer. For example, if you use Twitter as a marketing tool then you’ll want to include a special link for people who click on one of your tweets.
By finding out where your visitors are arriving from and which links they’re clicking on most often, you can find out which social media platforms and types of posts your audience is responding to the most. You can then focus on producing more posts that get clicks because they’re what’s working best for your business.
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In this article, we covered some of the ways you can measure social media engagement. Knowing how well your social media engagement is doing can help shape the future of your content marketing campaigns.
To learn how to boost your social media engagement, read this article: How to Increase Social Media Engagement in Top 8 Ways.
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