[Buffer] Social Media Engagement is the New Social Media Marketing: How To Do It Well

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On this subject, here is an article about Social Media Engagement: It started as a way for friends to connect online, evolved into a broadcasting channel, and is now a place for brands to provide personalized, human experiences with their audience and customers.

Social media is as much about engagement with other people as it is about sharing content.

It’s why we call it “social” media.

Here are just a few reasons why social media engagement is a vital part of any social media marketing strategy.

1. Simply broadcasting content results in low reach and referral traffic

Over the last few years, organic reach (on Facebook in particular) has dropped so dramatically that some people have questioned the viability of organic posting at all.

In 2017, Buzzsumo analyzed 880 million Facebook posts and uncovered a sharp decline in engagements. This is linked to a perceived push by social media platforms to encourage brands to use advertising to boost their reach.

Facebook Engagements research

In 2018, Facebook also announced that they would change their post ranking algorithm to prioritize personal posts over brand page posts in the News Feed. A key part of the change is that they are using “meaningful engagement” as an important signal that a post should be prioritized.

In other words, posts with more active and thoughtful interactions will get more reach.

There’s a fascinating insight into why Facebook are taking this approach in this explainer video from their Newsfeed team.

“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.” – Facebook

2. People expect businesses to respond on social media, and fast

Twitter and Facebook have become the first places people go to for customer support, product enquiries or just to say thank you to businesses.

Back in 2013 it was estimated that 67% of consumers use Facebook and Twitter for customer service, and that was five years ago! With the rise of Facebook Messenger usage, that number is likely to have trended upwards as over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger alone each month.

This report by Sprout Social also suggests that using social media is now the top choice for people seeking customer service.

Graph about social media being top choice for customer care

The speed at which business respond is also important. According to research commissioned by Twitter in 201671% of their users expect a response within an hour.

3. Social media engagement increases loyalty and generates word of mouth.

People love positive interactions with brands on social media. Here’s just one example of nice tweet someone shared about Buffer.

screenshot of a positive tweet

There’s also a ton of data that suggests that answering complaints on social media increases customer advocacy and reduces churn. For example, Jay Baer’s researchfound that answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much 25%.

On the flipside, in Sprout Social’s research they discovered that 30% of customers who are shunned by brands on social media are more likely to switch to a competitor.

What’s more – social media experiences are, by design, both public and easy to share. This creates a compounding impact on positive experiences, compared to say, an email exchange or phone call.

The Twitter exchange below is a neat example of how thoughtful and fun social engagement between a customer and brand can go viral. Aside from garnering hundreds of retweets, it got picked up by news outlets including Buzzfeed and the Mirror.

Marty Lawrence@TeaAndCopy

I tried to buy some battered fish from @sainsburys but it didn’t have a bar cod!

Sainsbury’s

@sainsburys

@TeaAndCopy Were there no other packs in the plaice, or was that the sole one on the shelf? Floundering for an explanation! David.

Marty Lawrence@TeaAndCopy

.@sainsburys I tried dropping you a line but this whole situation is giving me a haddock. What are you going to do about it? Let minnow.

Sainsbury’s

@sainsburys

@TeaAndCopy If I’m herring you right, you’re looking to eel our relationship. I’ll tell the store to find the shelf & fillet. David.

Sainsbury’s

@sainsburys

@TeaAndCopy It would be shellfish not to get it sorted. We wouldn’t bream of upsetting our customers by accident or on porpoise. David.

Marty Lawrence@TeaAndCopy

.@sainsburys All these exchanges in a roe have been brill-iant, David. I’ll try to kipper a lid on it, but Gods hake, it’s been fin-tastic.

 

4. You can learn directly from customers and prospects

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