While it’s always nice to have a large follower count, engagement is the social media marketing metric you should pay attention to in 2021 and beyond.
For years, social media marketing strategies have largely been centered around growing the audience of your social media channels as much as possible.
After all, even the best content in the world isn’t going to do your brand much good if no one sees it and you are simply shouting into the void.
With that said, however, there’s a lot more to the equation than just bringing in as many followers as you can, and so-called “vanity metrics” such as follower count are not the end-all-be-all of social media marketing.
As companies such as Facebook and Twitter continue to place an ever-increasing amount of value on audience engagement rather than audience size alone, brands in 2021 must shift their focus to promoting engagement as well.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why a large following and high engagement don’t always go hand in hand, as well as what you can do to ensure that you are getting as much value as possible out of the audience that you have built.
The Growing Importance of Engagement
Imagine for a moment that you are a performer such as a stand-up comedian.
Would you rather perform in front of an entire stadium full of distracted people and not especially interested in the jokes you are delivering or perform in front of a medium-size crowd who is enthused and hanging on your every word?
While performing in front of a massive crowd has its benefits, performing in front of a receptive and engaged crowd is sure to be a much more rewarding experience.
The same concept holds true for your social media channels. In fact, it’s even more true, given that social media platforms continue to tip the scales away from audience size and toward audience engagement via their ranking algorithms.
Gone are the days when you could publish a post and be confident that a majority of your followers are going to see it.
Today, even a post published on a page with tens of thousands of followers may only be shown to a small fraction of those followers if the post does not generate enough engagement to be seen as worth promoting by the platform’s algorithms.
For example, let’s say that you publish a post to an audience of 100,000 people who do not generate much engagement in likes, comments, clicks, and shares.
In this case, your post may only be seen by a few thousand people in spite of how large your follower count happens to be.
Now, consider a post published to an audience of 20,000 followers that generates a high engagement level.
This second post is much more likely to be deemed valuable content and thus displayed to a larger percentage of your followers.
In other words, a brand that publishes valuable and engaging content to an audience of 20,000 followers is likely to actually reach a larger number of people at the end of the day than a brand with five times as many followers publishing uninteresting content.
And this doesn’t even take into account the fact that engagement in the form of comments and shares will often display your content to users outside of your page’s followers, helping to expand your reach even further.
But the importance of engagement doesn’t stop there. In addition to helping ensure that your content is seen by as many of your followers as possible, focusing on content engagement is also certain to help you get more value out of the people who view your content as well.
Views alone do not often translate into revenue. Instead, what best translates into revenue when it comes to social media marketing is when your content is viewed by an engaged audience who will take the time to digest your posts and click through to the links you are promoting.
Once more, having your post show up on the feeds of tens of thousands of users isn’t going to offer much value if all they are doing is scrolling past it.
Instead, cultivating an audience engaged and interested in what you have to say through compelling content is a much better approach toward ensuring a return on your investment than focusing on audience size alone.
How to Improve Your Brand’s Engagement in 2021
If you are looking to ramp up the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts in 2021 and beyond, improving your engagement should be your primary focus.
And the only sure-fire way to accomplish this is by publishing content that your audience will be excited to engage with.
This means publishing high-quality content that will inform, entertain, and elicit emotional responses from your audience rather than posting content that is little more than a thinly-veiled advertisement for your brand.
In our ad-saturated world, social media audiences are less interested than ever in viewing posts that don’t offer any value beyond the product they are promoting.
Social media platforms are less interested than ever in displaying such content to their users.
This doesn’t mean that you need to abandon the idea of promoting your brand’s products and services to your followers.
Instead, it means that you will need to find creative ways to publish content that promotes your brand and offers some type of value to the viewer in the form of entertainment, information, or both.
One great way to go about this task is by creating content designed to be interactive, such as a poll or quiz that your followers can complete, a video they can view, or a link to an article that they can click through to read.
Content such as this, that requires interaction and engagement to be enjoyed, is likely to generate much more engagement than a text-only post that is all too easy to scroll past and ignore.
Of course, ensuring that you are publishing content that is actually interesting and valuable to your followers is essential no matter what type of content you are posting.
Even more non-interactive content such as text-only posts can generate high engagement if it is entertaining, informative, or emotionally gripping.
In 2021, brands who succeed at marketing their products and services through social media will be those who know how to actually connect with and engage their audience regardless of how large or small that audience might be.
If you would like to learn more about how the Content Marketing experts at Rock Content can help you revamp your social media marketing strategy and drive engagement through attention-grabbing, high-value content, be sure to contact us today!