There’s no lack of debate about the value of social media engagement. Some say that getting likes, followers and comments on social media doesn’t drive ROI. They call them vanity metrics.
I’d argue that if you’re not monitoring or looking for ways to improve organic social media engagement rates, you’re losing out on more traffic, conversions and wins. Also, the money you’re saving by driving engagement organically versus spending it on paid promotions can be used for other demand generation and marketing campaigns.
Let’s break down the ways that social media engagement on LinkedIn and Twitter can drive business goals.
When people engage with your brand’s social media content, members of their networks who don’t follow your brand (and maybe have not even heard about it) may see your social media posts in their feeds. This increases the number of impressions for your post and delivers more opportunities for clicks and conversions beyond those of your company’s followers.
Social Media Network Algorithms
To keep users interested in the content shown on their feeds, social networks prioritize posts by the likelihood that users actually want to see it. They rely on social media algorithms to determine this prioritization. These algorithms look at accounts that users tend to engage with (aka their likes, retweets, shares, clicks, favorites, etc.) as well as content categories and keywords they interact with most often. The more engagement that audiences have with your posts, the higher the prioritization on social media networks. This means that content with higher engagement rates gets boosted FOR FREE by social media networks.
SEO and Social Media Engagement
There is no direct link between social media engagement and SEO ranking, but social media definitely influences SEO by helping drive quality traffic to your website. What distinguishes “quality traffic” from other traffic? Quality traffic generates lower bounce rates, higher time on page and more pages per session. All those elements are important factors for SEO ranking. When your audience shares and likes your social media content, directing like-minded new visitors to your site, it creates a virtuous cycle of quality traffic that positively influences your rankings and boosts opportunities for conversion.
Social media engagement can also increase the chances that someone will link to your content. Backlinks are a powerful signal of authority and expertise that boost SEO.
Social media shares and other types of engagement can direct visitors to content many days, weeks and months after the content was first published, extending the lifespan and SEO ranking of the content’s landing page.
Conversions and Leads
Whether you’re using the 80-20 rule for social media content mix - 80% of posts educate or entertain and 20% promote your brand - or another approach, you are ultimately responsible for helping to drive leads for your company. We’ve already established that by boosting social media engagement you increase the reach of your posts and quality traffic to your site. With more eyes on your content, you’re increasing the probability of converting these views and site visits to leads.
When thinking about how many leads and conversions you can drive with social media, keep in mind that the average organic click-through rate for a LinkedIn post or a tweet is between 1.09% and 1.6%. The average click-through rate for sponsored LinkedIn content is actually lower - between 0.44% – 0.65% and 1% is considered a high click-through rate for a Twitter ad.
In short, if you want to improve conversions at no additional cost, look for ways to increase social media engagement.
Brand Trust and Authority
Seventy six percent of people trust content shared by “normal” people compared to content shared by brands. In the tsunami of content that people are exposed to every day, social media engagement validates your brand message and makes it stand out. When your audience shares your social media content with others in their network, they’re telling their followers that what you have to say is important and credible. Building a reputation for expertise, authority and trust leads to improved SEO, shorter sales cycles and higher win rates. Those are not vanity metrics!
Employee Advocacy: A Surefire Way to Increase Social Media Engagement
Now that we’ve seen why engagement is important, how can we increase that engagement? Using an employee advocacy approach, you can encourage your employees to help. At Please Share, we make it very easy for them to share, like, retweet, reply and comment on your brand content with just a few clicks, without ever leaving Slack. We also have powerful reporting features, including ways to track the performance of engagement from employee advocacy activities.
Try the Slack application free for 14 days to immediately boost engagement rates and reap all the benefits we discussed in this post.