Is There A Right Way To Measure Social Media Engagement?

Finding the right brand advocates is a challenge many businesses face as they attempt to carve out an audience on social media. Most brand advocates have large follower counts, but it’s important to find people whose followers are more likely to engage with their content, than simply see it in their feed.

To discover the most valuable advocates for your brand, you need to understand how to measure social media engagement the right way. The relationship between reach, impressions, and engagement is complicated if you don’t understand the value of each metric on each social network.

This article will help you launch a successful marketing campaign with results you can measure.

The Basics: Reach, Impressions & Engagement

What does ‘Reach’ mean?

Reach measures how many unique people saw your content, i.e. how many people you “reached” when you published your content.

If every single follower saw your post then your follower count would also be your reach number. It’s rare for each unique follower to see your content so you should expect a smaller number here.

What are ‘Impressions’?

Impressions are the number of times your content is delivered to someone’s feed. Sounds complicated? It can be.

Your follower doesn’t have to engage with the content for it to count as an impression. It gets even more complicated when that follower can count as multiple impressions.

For example, if someone shares your post, and that person has a follower in common with you, that counts as two impressions, even though it’s the same content.

What does ‘Engagement’ mean?

An action that shows a person reacted to the content: clicks, shares, comments, and downloads fall into this category.

Are Impressions Better Than Engagement?

Holistically speaking neither one is better than the other because you need to have an impression before you get an engagement. That being said, you don’t want to get thousands of impressions without a single engagement.

To measure the effectiveness of a campaign, you should have a specific goal in mind, and make this goal known to the agency or team helping you create an social media campaign.

Are you most interested in generating brand awareness? Your goal might be reaching a certain number of likes or page visits (both engagements.)

Do you want to tie your social media campaign directly to sales? Measure clicks from links to your product landing page, or measure how many coupons are downloaded as a result of social media publicity.

Social Networks Ranked By Value

Acorn analyzed the value of social networks based on performance in campaigns, and other factors, through 2016. These rankings are subject to change based on a variety of factors including:

  • Updates from the networks
  • Unique campaign goals
  • How influencers use them in campaigns
The values are not changed on a campaign-to-campaign basis, but many campaigns do not incorporate each network, as a result of cost and efficacy. (Sometimes the content you want to publish doesn’t work across all platforms, and that’s okay!)

It’s also important to note that not all influencer marketing agencies will rank social media platform values in this order. In fact, some might not rank them at all. Ask questions, and engage with more than potential vendor before making a decision.

The Current Standings:

=Twitter (Non RT)

Why Are They In This Order?

After extensive research, and campaign experience, Acorn decided on the order of this ranking based on the unique value of a piece of content to a campaign.

A blog post, for example, is worth more than an Instagram photo, because it contains the most information, incorporates several mediums (photos, links, text), and requires the highest level of interest to consume.

An influencer spends the most time producing a blog post, and a reader likewise, must spend more time engaging with it. The longer an audience engages with a piece of content, the higher the potential for conversion.

Will The Current Standings Change?

As the internet and social media changes so too will the standings. Many of the social networks are adding similar features to compete for more time spent on their platform. (Check out Instagram Slideshow.)

Next Steps

Acorn Influence has had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest, and best, brands in the world. Our case studies page features examples of how influencer marketing is providing true ROI for agencies, and brands alike.