Likes and comments aren’t everything!

How do you measure the success of your social media? Are you focused on engagement or is it all about the sales? As business owners, it can sometimes feel like we are under massive pressure to collect likes but if your customers aren’t buying from you then what’s the point?

What is engagement?

It’s easy to focus on likes, shares and comments when we talk about engagement, but Facebook also counts views, clicks and unfollows as engagement. Just because it’s not so obvious, this shouldn’t be dismissed. When someone takes time to look at our content and take an action that’s a huge compliment, and Facebook has recognised that not everyone appreciates content the same way.

Just because a person didn’t react to it, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth their time, and they weren’t interested. Content that people take their time over is far more likely to translate into sales. People that are genuinely interested in you and your business are much more likely to take an action such as send a message, click through to your website, or go to your shop. In my mind, that’s much better than leaving a like!

Measure it

It’s easy to see when a post gets lots of likes and shares. But that’s not the only way to measure the success of your content. Most social media platforms will tell you how your content is doing if you look. Facebook, for example, will show you how many reactions, shares and comments a post is getting. It’ll also tell you how many views your content’s had, and how many times someone has clicked on it. This could be clicks on the “read more” link, clicks on your video, clicks through to your page, or link clicks. People can react negatively to your content too so look out for the hide post stats, or unfollow stats!

Google Analytics Live View

If people are taking action as a result of your content which isn’t measured by your social media account, then you’ll need to find another way to track how effective your content is. Google analytics will measure website visitor numbers and it’ll even break it down by source so you can see where your visitors are coming from. If you have time, you could even watch Google Analytics Live next time you put a call to action on your social media, hopefully you will see a rise in visitors coming and going to your website, as in the screenshot below. Failing that, you could monitor newsletter sign ups, email volume, or good old fashioned sales uplifts.

Of course, you can’t measure success if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve with your content. Knowing what action you are looking for, or what type of reaction you are trying to achieve is essential before you even start typing.

Content for the sake of content

When you start optimising your content for engagement you will start attracting a different kind of person to your social media. You also run the risk of putting off your best customers, if you are not careful.

Take a look at the poll (below) on LinkedIn. You might be forgiven for thinking that the person who created it was doing some kind of research for a hairdressing business! Well, actually they are an event organiser! At the time I took the screenshot the poll had already received a huge amount of engagement, but what has your preference for hair length got to do with event management?

So many people are advocating this type of content because it get’s the numbers up and gives the impression that things are working, which feels good. Your engagement has gone up but are you attracting genuinely interested people to your business.

This content also shrieks of a lack of ideas. When you run out of things to say about your business, and your content planner says you have to post something – this is what you end up with. But, more and more experts are taking a massive u-turn, and are now moving away from “content for the sake of content”. Where once they would have advised posting a set number of times a day, and set types of content, now they are advocating a more organic and meaningful approach.

Mix it up

Here’s some different ways you can generate interesting content for your customers. There is something for everyone in this list whether they are new customers learning who you are, your regulars, people that are ready to buy, and those that are in it for the craic! Whether you decide to share four times a day, or twice a week, just rotate them round for a good mix.

  • Share a review or comment from a customer
  • Something fun/cute
  • Behind the scenes picture
  • Upcoming dates
  • A new product
  • Talk about one key value and why it matters to you
  • A FAQ
  • Availability Update
  • Product photography
  • A salesy post
  • Something fun and engaging
  • Share something in the community
  • A relevant news story
  • A relevant fact or tip

Using a scheduler to schedule your content will help you manage the variety of content so you get a good mix, spread evenly, on your page.

This is much better than running out of ideas half way through the week and asking people random questions such as what their favourite punctuation mark is, do monkeys have feelings, what kind of potato would you be, biscuits or cakes, or how many cups of coffee must you drink? (FYI All genuine posts I’ve seen!)

Who are you writing for?

Engagement bait content is ok every now and again, it’s light hearted and shows a bit of personality, which is important. But, too much of this means that your meaningful content will get lost. Your real customers want to know about what you do and how you can help them. Too much of anything else could be seen as a waste of their time. Imagine opening a businesses page for the first time and having to scroll through pages of “fun/engaging” content.

The people that buy from you, mostly want to learn about how you can make their life better. Content that highlights your values and the benefits of buying from your business is exactly the kind of content that will inspire them to do business with you.

Valuable Content

Creating valuable content that drives people to your website or to get in touch is not likely to translate into likes and comments. But, it will translate into customers that value what you do and want to do business with you.

I recently tested this theory and changed my tactic on one of my business pages. I now get hardly any engagement on my posts. But great customers are getting in touch instead. Once, I would have had enquiries from people all day just looking for prices and quick fixes. Now, I get high quality enquiries, of which most go on to do business with me. It’s far more rewarding, and I’m just as busy as ever. But, I’m not losing my mind trying to create content that people will “like”. Instead, I’m filling my feed with useful tips, insights and ideas, and only the occasional piece of “engagement” content.

Do you optimise for engagement or value?

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