What do you immediately think of when I say ‘engagement?’
If visions of diamond rings, bent knees, proposals, and romantic moments popped in your head, I’m not talking about that kind of engagement. Although wooing your audience can certainly help with building an engaged audience and relationships with your ideal clients.
But rings aside, I’m talking about the type of engagement that makes most people immediately think of views, likes, and comments on their content. But engagement is so much MORE.
What is Online Engagement?
Online engagement is ALL the actions people take to interact with you or you with them, including DMs, emails, buying your products and services. It’s also the actions you take on other people’s content. Engagement is communication. It’s CONVERSATION.
Getting engagement is EASY. Just toss up a do you like coffee or tea post and you’ll get plenty of engagement.
But having higher numbers does not mean instant success. Instead, it’s getting the right types of engagement from the right types of people so that you can fulfill your goals. Having 10,000 likes, comments, and shares are completely worthless if they all came from people not interested in what you’re offering. But you can have engagement from 100 of the right peeps and incredible things happen.
It’s time to drop the focus on the numbers and start looking at the action. What types of engagement are you receiving? Is it from the right people? Are you getting enough of the right types? Is your network immersed, involved, and interacting?
Let’s talk about the seven main types of engagement and how each one helps you build an engaged audience that helps you fulfill your goals, increases your visibility, and marketing success.
The 7 Types of Engagement
Not all engagement is created equal. Views, likes, and shares fall more into the vanity metric category, although they do have some value as I’ll explain. These, along with comments, are the most thought about forms of engagement, with many forgetting the more valuable types of engagement, such as buying.
Chasing views is absolutely worthless. And meaningless.
Views simply mean the number of times your content showed up in social media feeds. They tell you nothing about whether the person kept scrolling or stopped and consumed your content. Which means knowing you had 100 or 30,000 views is almost worthless except for one thing.
It’s not all bad news though. Having a higher number tells you that the algorithms placed your content into more feeds – meaning the algorithm found your content valuable. And more feeds mean more opportunity for more people to see you. Assuming those views are by the RIGHT types of people, like for ideal clients for instant.
That said, chasing views is NOT your focus when it comes to increasing the right types of engagement, reach, or content success.
2. Likes or Interactions
Likes and interactions do mean that people did engage with your content. And they do send a TINY message to the algorithm that someone interacted with your content which means it has some value.
But did they consume the content and it resonated with them? Or did they simply like it because it appeared in their feed? Oh, they hit the heart option. Great, what did they love about it?
As you can see, likes and interactions aren’t that helpful for helping you achieve your goals or determining success or failure of your content.
Comments are the holy grail of engagement. People who comment are opening themselves up for conversation and the possibility of relationship building. They are also given the heaviest weight for quality engagement by the algorithms. All good stuff, assuming they are coming from the RIGHT people and achieving your content’s purpose.
People sharing your content means it resonated with them and they thought it valuable to their audience. When people share, they are letting you borrow their networks – it’s a chance to get in front of new peeps. Sharing your content also acts as an endorsement of you. And people trust referrals from their networks.
5. People DMing or Emailing You to Work with You
THIS is the type of engagement that you want MORE of. It means your content is working. You’re speaking the language of your potential clients. AND they feel you understand their issue and have the solution to help them. You’ve achieved your intention and purpose.
Posting content to receive attention is nice. But nice, doesn’t pay the bills. The goal of content marketing is to sell your products and services. You might also be wanting to collaborate with others in a way that advances your business goals. So, while likes and views make you feel instantly better, if people aren’t contacting you to work with you, your content isn’t working.
Yes, lurking is engagement. It’s just invisible engagement.
90% of social media and blog consumers are lurkers. Which means no engagement of any kind on your posts, leaving you not knowing if your content was consumed or not. The one thing you know is that these people are included in the number of views but that’s it.
Instead, trust yourself. KNOWING that you’re putting out the content that reaches your ideal client and target audience is one of the most important things you can do. Because at the end of the day, lurkers are going more often be your next client, which is why NOT seeing engagement on your content can be a good thing IF you’re making sales and achieving your goals.
7. Hitting the ‘Buy’ Button
Hitting the ‘buy’ button is the ultimate form of engagement and of course, YOUR goal. Buy means to actually purchase your products and services, as well as to sign up to your email list when grabbing your lead magnet. Yep, people are also buying even when it’s a free offer you have. Giving you their email is giving you the opportunity to directly contact them.
‘Buying’ means they said YES. They said ‘YES’ to the relationship, bringing us full circle back to thoughts of rings and romantic moments. So, let’s sum all this up.
|Views||Barely effective: simply the number of times your content showed up in social media feeds, not that someone saw it or consumed it.|
|Likes or Interactions||Slightly effective: Some action is better than none and helps signal to both you and the algorithms that your content has some value.|
|Shares||Effective: Means people saw value and thought that their people would find value in it as well. Endorsements always help with trust building.|
|Comments||Very effective: When from the right people and are substantial because they are an invitation to a conversation and relationship building. Plus, signal to the algorithms that your content is valuable.|
|People Contacting You to Work with You||Extremely effective: Can we just say this is the holy grail of engagement and the ultimate goal of most content creators because it means leads and clients?|
|Lurking||Extremely effective: 90% of people online are lurkers, consuming but never engaging until they ready. Most of your clients will be lurkers.|
|Buying||Extremely effective: Best type of engagement.|
What are your favorite forms of engagement? To do and receive? Which ones do you focus on in your content, social media, and email strategies for building your engaged audience? Let me know in the comments. And if you have questions, put them there as well. Then make sure you grab my free 30-Day No-BS Visibility Calendar below before checking out the next step, my article 7 Effective Ways to Grab Attention and Increase Engagement on Your Content.