Social Media Engagement: What You Need to Know!

Learn about the importance of social media engagement, how to grow your followers and ways to increase social media engagement and more.

Karishma Borkakoty
February 6, 2024
11 min read

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Back in the early 2000s, as platforms like Friendster, MySpace and later Facebook began to shape the social media landscape, a new term started to gain traction among users: “social media engagement.”

It was clear from the start that being online wasn’t just about creating a strong presence; it was about interacting, connecting and building a strong community of followers. Fast forward to today, with countless social media platforms at our fingertips, engagement is more than just a buzzword — it's the core of our online interactions and a key indicator of a brand's online popularity.

But what does the term — social media engagement — actually mean? Continue reading to find out and understand its significance in today's hyperconnected world. 

What is social media engagement?

Social media engagement is a measure of how people interact with what you post on social media. It includes a range of actions people take in response to your content. You can assess engagement levels through the number of likes, comments, link clicks or how often your content is shared.

Take an Instagram account as an instance. You can gauge engagement by observing the ebb and flow of your followers. You might see a surge in followers after a promotional activity, or a drop if your post doesn't sit well with your audience. On TikTok, engagement can be measured by finding out the number of times your video was added to someone's favorites or the frequency with which it was watched. In other words, engagement on this platform is dependent on how well your videos resonate with viewers.

A strong social media engagement strategy allows brands to remain in constant touch with their customers by focusing on their interests and responding to their feedback in a seamless manner. Now, let's explore why social media engagement is essential for your brand's success.

Why does social media engagement matter?

Whether it’s a comment, a share or a like, each action taken by social media users can contribute significantly to your brand’s success in several ways. Let’s understand how their actions, i.e., social media engagement benefits your brand.

Offers a better search engine presence: Social media has a significant impact on your website's visibility in search engines like Google. When your social media posts receive more likes and comments, it signals to Google that social media is an important source of traffic for your website. As a result, Google may send more visitors to your social media profiles, increasing the overall traffic to your online channels.

Boosts visibility: Any kind of engagement on social media — be it a like, comment or a share — signals to the platform algorithm about the relevance and appeal of your content. In response, the platform becomes more likely to increase the visibility of your post in user feeds, thereby amplifying the reach of that post. This enhanced exposure can boost your brand's presence organically, optimizing your marketing spend by reducing the need for paid advertising initiatives. 

Gathers feedback: Receiving instant feedback through comments and direct interactions from your audience gives you an idea of the prevailing customer sentiment and their preferences. This helps in refining your marketing and product development startegies to align more precisely with what your customers want and expect from your brand. 

Drives business goals: Engagement levels can directly translate into tangible business results. A well-engaged audience on social media is more likely to buy from you and refer your brand to others, driving sales and increasing your customer base organically. 

6 key social media metrics used to measure engagement 

Now that you've learned about the importance of social media engagement for your brand, let's turn our attention to how you can go about measuring it. This is where social media metrics come in — think of them like a scorecard that shows how your brand is performing on social media.

Here's an overview of six popular social media metrics typically used to measure social media engagement.

1. Engagement rate

The engagement rate is a vital metric that reveals how often your audience interacts with your content. This interaction could be in the form of likes, comments or shares.

A widely used formula to calculate engagement rate is:

Engagement rate (%) = (Total interactions / Total followers) × 100

where total interactions include likes, comments, shares and saves.

2. Amplification rate

Amplification rate measures how often content is shared relative to your audience size, typically on social media. It gauges the virality of content, indicating its resonance and familiarity with social media users.

To find out the amplification rate of a particular post, follow the formula: 

Amplification rate (%) = (Total shares for a post / Total followers) × 100

3. Virality rate

The virality rate measures how often your content is shared compared to how many times it's seen in social media feeds. It's different from just taking a count of how many followers share your posts (that's amplification rate). Instead, virality rate tells you how likely your content is to go viral, reaching people beyond your followers’ networks.

To compute the virality rate of a given post, use the formula:

Virality rate (%) = (Number of shares / Impressions) x 100

4. Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR) is an indication of how often people click on a link in your post to take some kind of action like visiting a blog or making a purchase. It tells you how effective your content is on social media.

To find the CTR of a post, use this formula:

Click-through rate (%) = (Clicks / Impressions) x 100

5. Conversion rate

The conversion rate indicates how effective your social media posts are at getting people to perform a specific action, like signing up, downloading an e-book or making a purchase. It highlights how good your social media efforts are in achieving the desired results. By using special tracking codes, known as UTM parameters, you can accurately keep tabs on these conversions.

To determine the conversion rate, use this formula:

Conversion rate (%) = (Conversions / Clicks) x 100

6. Audience growth rate

Audience growth rate tracks the increase in your social media followers over a specific period. Rather than just tallying new followers, it evaluates them relative to your entire follower base.

To compute audience growth rate, use this forumla:

Audience growth rate (%) = (New followers / Total followers) x 100

How to formulate an effective social media engagement strategy

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to boost your brand’s social media engagement levels.

Step 1: Know your goals and objectives

First, decide what goals you want to accomplish with your social media presence. Begin with the fundamental question: Are you looking to increase traffic to your website, or is enhancing your brand's visibility your top priority? Having a clear understanding of your goals is vital to craft the right kind of content for your audience and in choosing the most effective social media platforms for posting. Moreover, having a clear direction or vision helps in aligning every subsequent action with your overarching goals.

Step 2: Understand your audience better

Consider the audience you're addressing. Understand their preferences, online behaviors and even pain points. This information enables you to create content that they will find both useful and engaging. By putting out posts that matter to them, they are more likely to take notice of your brand and engage with it.

Step 3: Align social media platforms with your target demographics

Different social media platforms cater to different demographics and interests. For instance, while Instagram might be popular among younger users, LinkedIn is preferred by professionals. Choose platforms that align with your audience and your brand voice.

Step 4: Work on developing interesting and quality content

On social media, content serves as both the bait and the hook. It should not only capture the attention of your audience but also keep them engaged.  Whether you're sharing a quirky infographic, an informative blog post or a short video, ensure your social media content creation plan is thoroughly planned and researched. This way, you can produce content that resonates with your audience's desires and curiosities.

Step 5: Engage actively

Respond to comments, tag your audience and answer user questions to show that your brand values customer feedback and concerns. Active interaction and engagement can strengthen your connection with your followers immensely.

Step 6: Analyze and improve

Regularly review how well your content is doing on social media. Check your engagement metrics like likes, shares and comments to see what's working and what's not. Use this information to make incremental improvements to your social media plan and to gradually increase engagement levels over time.

5 key tips for overcoming social media engagement challenges

Having a robust social media engagement plan can really help your brand in many ways. It makes your brand more visible and helps you form a real bond with your audience.

But it's not as easy as it sounds. You've got to create content that cuts through the noise and speaks to the right people. In addition, you need to post regularly to retain their attention, figure out when and where to post and deal with all kinds of comments (positive and negative).

Here are our five top tips to help you through these challenges.

Know your audience: One of the biggest challenges in social media engagement is creating content that resonates with your audience. To overcome this challenge, it's important to understand your audience's needs, interests and pain points. This can help you create content that is relevant and relatable to them.

Be consistent: Staying regular with your social media posts helps keep your audience interested. It's good to post often and pick the right times to do it. Planning your posts ahead of time with a content calendar can help you develop a routine and stick to it.

Respond to comments and messages: Engaging with your audience is a two-way street. Responding to comments and messages can help you build relationships with your followers and increase engagement. Make sure to respond promptly and in a friendly, helpful manner.

Use visuals: Visual content is more engaging than text alone. Incorporate images, videos and infographics into your social media posts to make them more eye-catching and shareable.

Offer value: People engage with content that offers some kind of value to them. Share tips, advice and other valuable information through your posts that your audience can use in their daily lives. 

Success stories of brands and their social media engagement campaigns

Let's take a quick look at a few famous campaigns that became immensely popular and drew lots of engagement. 

Wendy's #NuggsForCarter

In 2017, a teenager named Carter Wilkerson casually tweeted to Wendy's inquiring about the retweets required for a year's supply of chicken nuggets. Wendy’s set a playful target of 18 million retweets. The tweet went viral, and while Wilkerson didn't quite reach 18 million, he did break the record for the most retweeted tweet. His tweet became legendary, and fast food chain responded by giving him free chicken nuggets for a year.  Beyond the fun, Wendy’s exhibited its big-hearted side by donating $100,000 to a children's charity. This light-hearted interaction gave the brand plenty of visibility and showcased its fun-loving spirit.

Nike's #JustDoIt campaign

In 2018, Nike rolled out its compelling #JustDoIt campaign urging people to share their stories of how they overcame obstacles in their lives and achieved their goals.  With its simple slogan "Just Do It," Nike motivated individuals to push themselves, overcome challenges and chase their dreams. The campaign featured famous athletes and everyday people, showing that anyone could achieve greatness by taking that first step. From sports to everyday life, Nike's #JustDoIt campaign encouraged everyone to believe in themselves and go after their goals.

Airbnb's #WeAccept

In 2017, Airbnb launched its #WeAccept campaign in response to President Trump's travel ban. The campaign featured a powerful video that highlighted the company's commitment to diversity and inclusivity. The campaign generated a lot of positive press for Airbnb and helped the brand strengthen its reputation as a socially responsible company.

Boosting social media engagement with the right tools

For most companies, creating detailed social media reports are crucial for making smart marketing choices. These reports give a clear view of how well marketing and social media efforts are working, whether it's boosting sales, making the brand more well-known, or having impactful customer engagements.   

However, the task of collecting data from social media can be overwhelming, more so when running campaigns across multiple channels. The main challenge is the tedious process of manually collating and organizing this information from each platform. But what if there was a way to get a consolidated view of your social media performance across multiple channels? This is where Sprinklr’s reporting tools come into play. With Sprinklr, brands can seamlessly do the following: 

  • Keep tabs on brand mentions, keywords and relevant hashtags 

  • Gauge the user sentiment around brand discussions, determining whether they're positive, negative or neutral 

  • Compare its brand's social media presence with competitors, spotting areas of improvement 

  • Use distinct tracking links to identify which campaigns or channels drive the most engagement and conversions 

  • Stay alert with real-time notifications about key events or mentions, ensuring timely responses to customers and proactive handling of potential issues 

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