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Science-Based Guide to Getting Social Media Engagement (No Fluff!)

Posted 24 February, 2015

Science_Based_Guide_to_Getting_Social_Media_Engagement--lssocial media engagementAre you too focused on how many followers you have on social media?

Lots of businesses are.

It's great to have thousands of followers, but does having more followers mean more engagement?

The truth is, if you only focus on getting more followers, you're probably missing out on all that social media can do for your business. Worse, you're probably wasting money!

Most small businesses don't actually have huge numbers of followers anyway!

Salesforce figured out the average follower counts for businesses on different social platforms:

  • Twitter -- 14,709
  • Facebook -- 13,157
  • Pinterest -- 229
  • Instagram -- 208

And businesses with smaller followings have an easier time getting high-quality engagement -- which makes it easier to achieve their social media goals. So there's nothing wrong with going slow!

The truth is, true social media engagement CAN be achieved if you set the right numbers-based goals. This post covers how to do that.

>> Click to Tweet <<

Science-Based Guide to Getting Social Media Engagement (No Fluff!)

STEP 1: Set New Goals

social-media-engagementYou might need to rethink your goals on social media.

Social media can help you:

  1. Improve Customer Service
  2. Increase Thought Leadership
  3. Build Partnerships for Business Development

Don't just try to get more followers on social media -- set goals that actually help your business.

STEP 2: Use the Engagement Rate Equation

Salesforce created this simple equation to help you measure social media engagement on your accounts:


  • Conversation = comments & replies
  • Amplification = shares
  • Applause = Likes, favorites and +1s

Using this equation, we can count the number of Likes on our Facebook posts for one week, divide that by the number of posts we made on Facebook that week & calculate our Applause rate.

Use comments to compute your Conversation rate & shares to calculate Amplification.

These equations makes it easy to figure out where you are & set goals to improve your future results.

social-media-engagementSTEP 3: Improve Your Rates

Salesforce had these tips for improving Conversation, Amplification & Applause:

Conversation (comments & replies)

  1. Always have empathy for the customer's situation.
  2. Reply in a timely manner. Most conversations on social media are dead after a few hours.
  3. Have some fun. Show a person you care by making a joke or sending them a photo of a cute animal they like.
  4. If a comment makes you upset, run your response by a colleague before publishing. >> Click to Tweet
  5. Strong emotions? Bring the conversation into email or another more private channel.
  6. Be sensitive to what's happening in your industry niche, your location, or globally.
  7. Thank your community for their feedback, and for recognizing and recommending you.
  8. Most of the time, don't poke the trolls.

Amplification (shares)

  1. Make sure all your pages are properly optimized for social sharing with correct Open Graph meta tags, title tags & images.
  2. Catchy headlines work, but don't go overboard & make promises that aren't true about your content.
  3. Images are powerful. Make sure you've optimized images (880 x 400 pixels for Twitter and 1200 x 630 pixels for Facebook).
  4. Instead of just sharing the content's title, find a powerful quote from the piece.
  5. Make sure you're not just sharing your own content.
  6. Get a customized URL for shortened links. This can be a strong branding signal on Twitter.
  7. Say something with your content & stand for something in your industry.

Applause (likes, +1s, favorites)

  1. Meaningful shares with purpose get your brand all the high fives.
  2. Say & share something people want to remember later.
  3. Use images that elicit strong emotions: anger, fear, happiness, disgust, surprise, nostalgia & sadness.
  4. Smartly add a hashtag or 2 for discovery on networks like Instagram, Tumblr & Twitter.
  5. Mention others, especially when sharing content or boosting partnerships.
  6. Show off what it looks & feels like behind the scenes at your brand.
  7. Don't be afraid to humbly mention your brand's accomplishments & major announcements. >> Click to Tweet
  8. Give applause to others & spread that network of support.

Show Me the Money!

social-media-engagementSocial media doesn't always lead to sales -- at least not immediately.

The key is to get people into your marketing funnel so you can convert them into customers later!

Social media is one of the best ways to expose your brand to potential customers.

Social media can provide:

  • Exposure
  • Discovery
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
  • Customer Relationships
  • Retention

Embrace the Stats!

Reviewing the analytics from your social media accounts is one of the best ways to know which direction you're headed.

The equation in this infographic makes it easy to test your progress over a long period of time.

Keep things simple & the numbers will be easy to manage & report.




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