Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is engagement all that matters?

I've worked in social media marketing at Newsblasters for about a year now. Our company focuses on political candidates and non-profits, but we have picked up some traditional business clients as well.

To be on social media, you have to have something to say. After all, your fans and followers won't visit your page often and you have to show up in their timeline. We help our clients produce daily content so they are heard.

If you keep up with social media discussion, you know there's a lot of focus on engagement. Do people "like" what you say? Do people re-tweet it? Are they leaving glowing comments about you? Yes, social media should be a conversation and should encourage familiarity with your brand.

But does that make you successful?

I use social media mainly for information. To keep up with the news or politics, to stay abreast of social media developments, the Braves and a little gossip and jokes, too. However, I don't interact with every post I see, even the ones that I find interesting or compelling.

A recent study found that Twitter accounts with more than 1,000 followers engage less than accounts with fewer followers. They have more followers, which indicates some level of success, but they're not really cultivating relationships with their followers. Their followers are interested in the information, not looking for a friend.

I'm not arguing that we should discount all forms of engagement and ignore the people that follow us. But, there is value in broadcasting your message via social media, even if you're not dedicating resources to engaging. Unfortunately, it's more difficult to measure.

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