Analytical tools provide no shortage of information about a company's social media performance that can be used to improve a marketing strategy. However, improvement does not always come by increasing numbers. Sometimes it comes by increasing quality. According to the website eMarketer, a recent survey by ExactTarget found that 38 percent of U.S. marketers on Facebook and 48 percent on Twitter are more concerned with the quality of audience members than the number.
The concern is well founded. Garnering likes on Facebook does not necessarily mean a company's social media goals are being met. While the study did find that 77 percent of Facebook users cited brand awareness as a social media objective, the limited interaction required to like a page does not always accomplish this. Clicking the like button on a webpage is a very brief interaction, and while it's a good start, there are other metrics to measure as you move forward with a marketing strategy.
When utilizing Facebook, posts should foster more than just 'likes'
One form of increased engagement on Facebook is comments. The comment box requires a direct, thought-provoking interaction between a company's Facebook activity and a potential client. Improving engagement with Facebook users can be tricky, but Fast Company has a few tips for increasing communication:
- Pose a question or start a conversation: According to Kissmetrics, question posts get 100 percent more comments than standard posts. It is also worth noting that shorter posts increase interaction by 23 percent. So, a quick question posed to users is a great way to get clients typing instead of just clicking.
- Use emoticons and photos: The use of more visual content, such as photos and emoticons, also drive increased interaction. Photos grab 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments than text-based quotes. Emoticons also have a 57 percent higher rate of likes and a 33 percent higher rate of both shares and comments.
- The day of the week matters: Marketers should examine metrics to see if there is a day of the week that is best for interaction. As Facebook is a social tool and users often take to it to post about the weekend, engagement may be higher near the end of the week.
As with all tips for improving Internet marketing, a close watch on a company's own social media metrics will determine the best way to improve engagement. The important takeaway for marketers is that successful lead generation on social sites requires strong engagement, not just more likes.