Engagement with Social Media Marketing

Woman taking a photo of a bay with her cell phone.

What is the point of talking if nobody is listening to you?

Silly question, right?  Or is it?

People get super excited (myself included) when they reach 500… 1,000… 2,000+ followers on a social network.  But that doesn’t mean that people are actually chatting about y0ur product or even thinking about your product after they the hit the follow button one time.

Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media at the University of Michigan, talked about what success in social media looks like in her interview on the Buffer podcast.

The size of the account really does matter, because at any point in time you can

“leverage that network to talk about a very important initiative, or concept, or piece of research, or game changing, world changing, influential impact that” your organization has.

Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media at University of Michican
Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media at University of Michigan

This is where engagement in social media enters the scene.

Video views, shares, and commenting are when you can tell that people are really starting to pay attention to your content.  Nikki told one anecdote of how during breast cancer awareness month, for one week their Instagram account was turned over to a university oncologist to show the behind the scenes work that she has done.

“And they actually saw an increase in donorships to that program area.”

What amazing engagement and what social media success!

If you’d like to learn more about what Nikki Sunstrum is doing at the University of Michigan, definitely check out the podcast and show notes that I’ve linked above.

Now let’s broaden our scope to look at what Mark Traphagen, Senior Director of Brand Evangelism at Stone Temple Consulting, has researched in his article on engagement in social media in his article.

Senior Director of Brand Evangelism at Stone Temple Consulting
Senior Director of Brand Evangelism at Stone Temple Consulting

Traphagen finds that brand loyalty and sales, super important business metrics, are not possible to track via social media.  But…

Social Media Engagement Has Positive Indicators 

  • Engagement is an indicator of what content is important to your audience.  But you need to dig deeper to find out more about what this means.
  • Analyze who is engaging the most with your content.  This can tell you what population is most interested in your product.
  • High levels of social engagement correlate positively with higher levels of organic traffic to your website.  If this is the case with your efforts, it can indicate that you are on the right track with your social marketing.
  • Social media’s job is to get people to your website (or physical location) where they can buy your product. That means that it is your website’s job to sell your products, and social media assists in the process.

This brings me to my initial question: What is the point of talking if nobody is listening?  There isn’t one. But you can get people to listen to you on social media, and if you are doing things right, this means great leads and indirect sales.

In conclusion, keep using social media marketing, but keep trying strategies to get your followers to engage with your content. If you use the tools at your disposal wisely, you’ll see the results that you are looking for.

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