Engagement is not Unique
This mainly pertains to Facebook for the point of this article, but it laterally applies to every other social media platform out there, because engagement as a concept is not a unique thing to any one platform, but describes actual involvement with a post in a statistic easily tracked, and able to be used for transformative methods in marketing practices.
We’ve seen a lot of people copying and pasting this status into Facebook, believing it works.
The Real Deal
The reason this works is not because they’re copying and pasting the status. In fact, one could say it doesn’t work at all, and that Facebook’s clever algorithm is doing precisely what it was programmed to do, if they saw their friend’s post to begin with, to copy and paste from.
It’s All Binary
From a coding perspective, which is all one can look at in terms of an algorithm, because Facebook is – after all, built upon layers and layers of complex code… it is actually extremely straightforward. It is likely a complicated ‘if, then’ scenario, whereby if a certain thing happens, the code is able to choose from a list of commands to follow afterward. For instance, if Amanda shares Greg’s post, then show more News Feed from Greg to Amanda = yes.
A friend, or someone that another person chooses to follow appears as a list, or a data string to Facebook’s algorithm. It connects a person with all the other people they’re connected to as something like a web, but it doesn’t follow all the paths a web might, it may stop at a few degrees of separation so as not to be inefficient.
Degrees of Separation
This means that someone who is a distant friend, hardly followed, not commented on, and whose posts are not usually liked, would be at a distant point in this web, and would not be ‘targeted’ by Facebook to show posts from. This means, from Facebook’s perspective, a person is only connecting in ways that matter most, with the people they most want to interact with on their platform.
They measure this with the data a user provides often just at account setup, but more as a person increases their connections and experiences using the platform.
Key Data for Engagement
The key data which determines who is seen most often, are as mentioned prior. Sharing is the biggest indicator, then commenting, comments involving just a photo or GIF follow, reactions, and then likes. All of these factors combined, are engagement.
Facebook uses engagement values like these to determine how to rank who appears in a user’s News Feed, and shows them more often thanks to a user’s own usage of the platform.
A Bigger Issue
If the average user doesn’t know how engagement works, it can be reasonably assumed that others don’t either, and we’re aware of business owners who have no idea how social media works, yet use it because they must.
Efforts by people who don’t know how to increase engagement are a wasted venture, because engagement translates to sales in the end, which is what all marketers and advertisers aim for. If a business isn’t tracking these engagement stats, or using them to better their marketing endeavors, then there is a large volume of untapped business there just waiting for the right pitch.
Not Too Late!
It’s not too late to do so, and it’s one of the biggest reasons businesses of all sizes choose to let a third-party handle their social media posts and often their presence on social media, so they don’t have to stay up to date with all the rapid fire changes which happen on social media, and the ever changing landscape.
Some businesses devote their entire effort into handling this with class and grace, which saves a lot of time and money not having to attempt to do it in-house and fail at it anyway.