Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. Today’s post is all about engagement.
Actually it does matter, but not as much as you think. While it still matters quite a bit to Google, as well as every single social media site, all of which take engagement into account when deciding where to rank your post among millions of other posts. There’s a reason people are constantly coming up with incentives for people to comment on their blog and like and share their social media posts. Getting more likes and shares increases both organic visibility and makes the site’s algorithm work for you by prompting it to boost your post.
That said, I want to encourage you not to get discouraged if you’re not seeing any likes or comments on your posts. I do have followers and newsletter subscribers from all over the world, but I also have a fair number who live right here in my hometown, many of whom I regularly see in person at networking events and the like, and guess what I commonly hear from them?
- They love seeing pictures of my dog;
- They liked my recent post or short story about XYZ;
- They congratulate me on the value I provide on a certain social media site;
- They ask what my social media goals are (and after I tell them, they confirm that, at least in their eyes, I’ve been successful in achieving those goals); and
- They complain I haven’t been posting enough pictures of my dog recently.
What can I say? I’ve been blessed with an adorable dog, even if she does have a diva streak wherein she looks away from me any time I get the camera out.
But here’s the thing about all those people who have said all of the above: I don’t have online engagement from any of them. Not one of those people have ever commented on or clicked the “Like” button on any of my posts, either on social media, or on my website.
While my engagement has been steadily increasing, all those in-person comments have made me wonder: does engagement matter as much as everyone says it does?
As I said above, I’m not trying to claim that engagement doesn’t matter at all. Not only does it help boost your visibility, it can also help build a community around your brand (which is invaluable, because that’s how you get fanatical followers who will buy all your stuff all the time).
But there are other ways to gain visibility, especially since the latest reports have been putting SEO above social media for discoverability, although that’s always subject to change.
While discoverability is certainly a main driver behind my social media marketing (and why I use hashtags so much), my other goal is to gain credibility and establish myself as an authority in the field of content marketing. I want the followers I do have to think of me as their source for information on all things related to content marketing, which will hopefully lead them to buy my services.
In addition to potentially gaining new business, guess what else that can do for me? Help grow my organic visibility. When people like what they see, even if they don’t share my posts, they’ll refer me to anyone who says they need help with their content strategy. Because they’re constantly seeing my high-value updates on social media and on my website, I’ll be the first one to come to mind when someone asks if they know of a good content marketer.
This is also why I don’t bother with all the tricks out there for growing my following into the tens of thousands. It’s an option, but I prefer to build my audience more slowly, because then I know the few hundred who are sticking around are so much more valuable than the tens of thousands I could get to follow me by using social media shenanigans.
What’s your take on it? Do you strive for engagement above all else, or are you looking for more of a slow burn?
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. I don’t send spam and I don’t share information with third parties. If you still have questions about content marketing, let’s chat.