01 Sep What Likes, Reach, and Engagement Really Mean On Social Media
Understanding These Metrics
If you have ever attempted to navigate the Social Media world, you must have heard these 3 words. You might have also heard thing like “Gain more followers!”, or “Grow engagement rate!” But do these word-specific promises have value to you? Do you understand these metrics? Usually not.
Today we will walk you through the true meaning behind what these metrics are telling you. Understanding what makes these numbers tick and how they help you, will assist you to build better campaigns.
The best way to explain this is if we change the order a little, and start with the explanation for “Reach”, then move on to the meaning behind “Engagements”, then ending it with the conquest; “Likes”, AKA your follower base.
Radio has Listeners, TV has Viewers, and Social Media have Users. Reach is the number of Users (unique people, single profiles) you have reached, in other words, how many “Users” you reached. It tells you how many people are being exposed to your message. Observe that we said, “exposed”, it doesn’t guarantee anything other than that. At this point, you still don’t know how many people actually were hooked by your content. This only tells you the reach of your network.
Your network is formed of an initial follower base, which will then expand your page’s word reach through their main follower base (friends and acquaintances) IF and ONLY IF they engage with your content. we’ll go over “Engagement” further on.
People on social media are Users, they’re there to use it. They are not there to have things displayed to them whether they like it or not.
In the social media world, Users want to use it, they want to consume it, they want to interact with it, they want to relate and engage, they want to have a say, and they want content. These unique individuals, express themselves through their profiles and everything they do, gets recorded as data. This data will help us target them in the future.
When your Reach grows it tells you that you are posting often enough to reach more people. Are these people interested in what you have to show? At this point, this data won’t tell you that. It will help you see if you need to post more often, or if your posts are reaching enough people to start bringing other results. If you reach enough people with the right kind of content, they will relate to this content and your next variable will grow; Engagement.
Thisis where things start getting more finicky, and it’s not an exact science. And here’s why; this indicates how many people showed extra interest towards your content.Once again, observe we said, “show an extra interest towards your content”. This is because some people that see your content, might actually like it, but they’re just not the type of people who would comment.
You need to gain these people’s interest, their “Likes” and “Comments” are the doors to a larger audience through their networks. This leads you to the need of understanding “who am I trying to reach?”. Keep in mind that the wider the definition of your target audience, the harder it will be to have a steady and professional online identity. It’s important to know your most valuable audience and target it. What gender is my main audience? How old are most of them? What do they like? What relates to them? How do they behave? What was the most-watched Cartoon in their childhood? How can I relate all of these things that make them what they are, to what I have to say, to what my business has to say?
This requires a lot of research, testing, and result analysis over multiple posts until you start understanding what your audience engages with.
When your Engagement grows it tells you that your audience is interested in what you have to say! CONGRATULATIONS! You’re on the right path! This means that you’re understanding your audience’s interests, as they begin interacting with your content. Now, try and understand why, and what is or isn’t working with your audience. Which type of posts engaged better? What did they have in common? Now try and focus on those things. Create some content based on these good cases of success and see if you are on the right track. If you see you have more engagement this time, repeat the process. The more engaging the content, the more people you will reach, the more often people see your content as relevant and the more chances you’ll have at turning this person into a follower. That’s when you get “Page Likes”.
This is what you are trying to build. A base of page followers that are interested in your business and content.
Most of your followers will be people that were exposed to your engaging content, multiple times before making them go “Huh! This page is actually cool! I’m going to follow them”. Most Social Media Users need to be hit multiple times with interesting content, before making the decision to follow your page, assuming that more interesting content will follow.
The larger your follower base, the more people you will reach at an earlier stage after making a post. The more people you reach, with the right kind of content, the more chances you will have at resonating within them and making them take the extra effort of liking, commenting, clicking, and so on. This is your engagement, which helps you reach more people, and gain more followers and likes.
Let’s compare this to sailing. Page Likes is your final goal, Reach is your vision, and Engagement is your compass. Your followers and what makes them who they are is the ocean. Know the water, read your compass, and don’t lose sight of your goal. Once you have gained followers, you can make them see whatever you want, as long as you don’t abuse it. Keep it interesting!
Why should I get a professional to do my Social Media Management?
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to managing and understanding Social Media. You still have to deal with the release of new technologies, new algorithms, changes in advertising rules, costs, changes in how Facebook and other Social Media platforms deal with their metrics, and so on. Social Media Marketing is just like any other field of Marketing, it requires study and research, which means time and know-how.
You are busy creating an awesome business. Your business’ social media needs to be an extension of its great customer experience. It needs to carry the identity and the values of your business’s brand. A good Social Media Marketer will study your business and research to understand its audience. With this understanding, they will create and manage the postings on your page, based on what your audience seems to be reacting to the best. Your Social Media Account Manager will also help you with insights about your audience, their tendencies, interests, etc., as well as present you with periodic reports on your page’s performance. Now, your Manager isn’t inside your business, which makes you the best person to give them advice about what you already know works well with your customers, or even suggesting a good moment for a giveaway. This will help your manager’s growing view of your business, as well as your results.
Keep in mind, that your Social Media presence will not be a huge source of new customers in the first 6 months of hard campaigning, 3-4 months in the best case scenario. Your Social Media presence will create a stronger connection between your business’ brand and your audience. It is a tool to create brand recognition and memorability. The more your numbers grow, the greater chance at better results you will have.