Social media marketing customer engagement? More than ever, businesses are struggling to compete for customer engagement in the social space. 

Customer engagement through social media? Research from marketing consultancy firm Edelman found that 60% of global consumers no longer trust social media networks. If 2018 was a tough year for marketers to regain trust on social media, 2019 signifies an important one for brands to become more agile in adapting to customer needs.

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What is Engagement in Social Media?

Influence of social media marketing on customer engagement? Social media engagement is a measure of how people are interacting with your social media accounts and content. The term can cover a broad range of actions across all social platforms. For example, engagement might include:

  • Likes and Favourites
  • Comments, DMs and Replies
  • Shares and Retweets
  • Saves
  • Clicks
  • Mentions

Engagement is a great way to measure whether the content you’re creating is actually resonating with your audience.

Read also: 11 Different Ways on How You Can Grow Your Business Online

Why is Engagement Important?

Why is social media engagement important? Organic reach has dropped on almost every social media platform in recent years. However, accounts with higher social media engagement are the least affected. In fact, Facebook uses “meaningful engagement” as an important signal that a post should be prioritised.

“Interacting with people is associated with a greater sense of well being. On the other hand, just scrolling through your Facebook feed, passively reading or watching without interacting with others, tends to make people feel worse.”

Your customers expect you to engage, as well, particularly when it comes to providing support. Social media is the number one choice for customer care that every month, people and businesses exchange 8 billion Facebook messages. 

Customers rely on you to not only respond but to do it quickly. According to research commissioned by Twitter in 2016, 71% of their users expect brands to respond within an hour.

People love seeing and sharing positive interactions between brands and real people. Answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%.

It may be a bit intimidating to respond publicly, but if you provide great service, your customers will love you for it. An average of 66% of people between the ages of 18-54 view brands more favourably if they respond to customer service requests on social media. 

Read also: 10 Hacks on How to Grow Your Online Business on Instagram

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2 Social Media Engagement Metrics You Need to Understand

Engagement is great for an ego boost, but it’s also important to monitor how that engagement impacts your business. Being able to quantify the return on investment is the biggest thing that holds brands back from investing in social media engagement.

It’s often not quite as straightforward as measuring clicks on an ad campaign, or sales from an email promotion. 

Customer Support Impact

How many messages are responding to on social media? Are you responding and resolving issues faster? Is it reducing the number of support requests you receive through other channels, like email?

Brand Impact

The impact social media engagement has on your brand is more difficult to measure because someone’s journey with your brand is nonlinear and attribution is murky. Brand perceptions are built up over time and through multiple channels.

At Buffer, the brand social media engagement metrics that focus on the impressions number of people who are coming into contact with Buffer each week. That has an annual goal to reach and track weekly progress against it.

In the table below, Social Reach is the total number of people who see our content within a social media feed and Social Engagement is the cumulative total of likes, comments, shares and clicks.

3 Example Customer Engagement Through Social Media

Social media engagement examples? Here’s how to keep your social media engagement rate on the rise:

Actually be Social

You probably wouldn’t go to a party just to launch into a speech and refuse to have any conversations, would you? To be engaging, you have to actually socialise, which means interacting with the people around you.

Got a bit of social (media) anxiety? Use social media engagement tools to track mentions, comments and conversations in a central place.

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Have a Consistent, Authentic Voice

Putting yourself out there on social media can be scary. Will people like what you have to say? Are you putting your brand in its best light?

Having an authentic voice on social media is important but not as easy as it sounds. It’s essential because it humanises your brand and encourages people to respond and talk about you positively. It’s difficult because things like “voice” and “tone” are quite subjective.

Establishing a brand voice is especially important if multiple people manage your social media accounts. Keep in mind that different styles work for different audiences. For instance, D.C. area bookstore, Capitol Hill Books, embraces dark humour on its social networks.

You can also liven up your feed with GIFs and emojis. Both have become a massive part of the language of social media. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch says emojis allow us to add gestures and emotional nuances into our online communication. When you share content with GIFs and emojis, you add a bit of personality to your social media channels.

Know Your Algorithms

Not all platforms measure social media engagement in the same way. Familiarise yourself with the unique algorithms, so you know how to boost engagement.

Start with timing that does it matter when engagement happens or are midnight likes weighted the same as midday interactions?

LinkedIn, for example, cares when people engage with your posts and factors it into your reach. In our LinkedIn Strategy guide, discuss the “Golden Hour” concept that posts that get engagement within the first 60 minutes have greater reach. Instagram, on the other hand, doesn’t factor engagement timing into its algorithm.

Consider your post timing as well. While there is no “best” time to post for everyone, you can dig into your audience insights to strategically post when your followers are most active.

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How to increase social media engagement organically? You can’t boost something without knowing your starting point. With Buffer’s analytics and engagement tools, keep a close eye on your engagement efforts.

In today’s busy world, engaging customers on social media can be a challenge. Your followers are always on the go and constantly exposed to huge amounts of content.

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