2009 Study On Facebook Engagement Holds True

By Julie D. Andrews 

Engagement is social media’s new hot-button metric. But much remains unknown as to how to most actively engage whatever fan base there is and how to split resources between furthering engagement and expanding the network.

An interesting study on social engagement a few years back revealed these valuable tips that still hold water for how to boost engagement. At the time of the study, a non-tech brand by the name of Starbucks (heard of it?) ranked most socially engaging across 11 social networks, outpacing other tech-based companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Dell.

A key takeaway within San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group‘s report was to act according to your budgets. “It is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels,” read the report, “than to spread yourself too thin.”

Read: Don’t just show up on Facebook and leave it at that. If resources are strapped, carefully select a few social networks (might we suggest Facebook, the largest?) to participate in and work them — meaning, actively participate in them.

Additional takeaways gleaned from the report included these ways to boost engagement:

  • Add fresh content regularly: Post updates, add to profile information often, and keep making efforts to expand the network by increasing likes and followers and getting users to talk about your page. Allow us to add: Post a plethora of content types including photos, updates, timeline entries, events, teasers to blog posts and articles, and, of course, videos.
  • Be active and responsive: Respond to comments and, perhaps even more important, moderate comment sections to keep them appropriate and on-target.
  • Work by the numbers: If you have the manpower and strategic structure in place, make an appearance on all of the social networks. However, if resources are limited, choose just as many social networks as you can be actively tended to and regularly updated.

There was a time when content creators were encouraged not to partake in comment streams, the thinking being that letting the stream evolve organically was best. Now, responding to comments is supported as a recommendation to grow engagement. Of course, monitoring comments requires manpower.

Among the suggestions, the most noteworthy was this: Make social media part of everyone’s job, not just limited to a few people or one team. The recommendation went that employees across the organization should participate to an increased flow of content on social networks, all the more with which to actively engage with customers in “channels that make sense.”

This raises many questions, though: Should all employees be required to spend a set number of minutes daily or weekly interacting with customers on Facebook? Or could this open the company up to liability issues if an employee untrained in customer service misspoke in a social-network interaction?

Should training in social media communications be required? How is your team dealing with managing its social media presence and content creation? Are all employees posting to Facebook on behalf of the company and engaging with customers there?