Why you need to measure engagement and not just mentions

Just looking at the number of mentions your brand gets week over week and noting if they go up or down isn’t going to give you the best feedback on your social strategy, but looking at deeper forms of engagement will. Why? Let’s break down why you need to measure engagement and not just mentions.

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Why engagement?

Engagement is important because it tells you what’s actually resonating with your audience. While mentions are a form of engagement, they’re one of the lowest forms of effort in engagement. Deeper engagement- amplification or action via shares, shares with commentary, click-throughs and more- means your content struck a chord with your audience, either positively or negatively. After all, people don’t bother to engage with things that have no meaning to them.

You’re going to learn a lot more about what your audience wants and expects from you by paying attention to what pieces of content have been shared- particularly with commentary added- and what caused them to click through than you are just comparing how many mentions your brand is getting week-to-week.

You already know the conversation about your brand- the mentions- exists. The value comes from diving deeper into what that conversation is to see how you can best join it. What problems can you solve for your target audience?

How to focus on engagement

What exactly you choose to focus on will depend on your brand’s goals. Are you trying to increase your share of voice in your industry, nurture and grow your existing community of fans and followers, do something else entirely, or all of the above? Decide what your goals are and how you will measure them so you know if you’re making progress.

For example, if you’re trying to increase your share of voice in the industry you want to compare the conversation around your brand (including but not stopping at those mentions) to that of your competitors and even the big influencers in your industry. How much of that conversation is you and how can you nurture what’s out there and help it grow? (Hint: Help solve problems or otherwise bring something to the table that your competitors won’t or can’t.)

If it’s your fans and followers you’re looking to nurture and grow on social, you want to look at who your biggest advocates are and make sure you’re engaging with them at a level that’s appropriate for your brand and available resources. Are any of them influencers? Even if you don’t choose to do an official campaign or project with them, simply staying active in each other’s feeds can encourage audience crossover and produce a boost for both of you. That’s something you’ll never get just by counting mentions.

Need help with all this measurement? Our analytics can do just that, across Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook. Let us give you a personalized demo to show you exactly how on exactly the channels you need.

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