Part 1: Why You Should Stop Sweating Over Facebook Engagement
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: Does engagement matter? Of course it does.
But it doesn’t paint a complete picture of your social “worth”.
In other words, it’s not a reliable indicator of your social influence and popularity, despite the fact we’ve been conditioned to believe otherwise. So it’s ok stop obsessing over it. 🙂
While this may seem contradictory to some things I’ve written recently, it’s really not. I’ll explain.
If I were to rank the importance of engagement (i.e., how many likes, comments, and shares your posts receive) among other important factors, it would look like this:
- Quality of content.
- Reach (how many people actually see your post). This is heavily influenced by #1.
- Engagement. This is heavily influenced by #1 and #2.
You’ve heard that “content is king,” right? Well, engagement is more like the butler. It’s important, but it’s not the “end all be all”.
Here’s why. Not everybody who enjoys your content is inclined to go the extra mile and tap the like button. Or the share button. Or, heaven forbid, string together multiple letters to form an actual comment.
Yes, we humans are that freakin’ lazy. And this laziness can end up skewing your perception of how effective social media is for building your brand.
Here, I’ll share two personal experiences that illustrate my point:
Example #1: I’m the world’s worst at enjoying a piece of content on Facebook, but not expressing my appreciation with a like, comment or share. Heck, there are certain people and pages I’m borderline obsessed with, yet I’ve never lifted a finger to express my gratitude. While I’m not proud of this, it’s the truth. And I bet I’m in the majority.
Example #2: I’m Facebook friends with several people who also follow the Lighter Side. Sometimes they’ll reach out to me personally about how they enjoyed an article, meme or video I posted. A few times, on a whim, I’ve checked to see if they engaged on the original post. And guess what? They didn’t. Did it bother me? YES! Does it now? Heck no! I’ve come to realize that just because a post doesn’t get engaged, it doesn’t mean it fell on deaf ears. I encourage you to come to this realization too.
The Takeaway: People are watching (and often appreciating), whether they “tell” you they are or not. So DON’T let your ego get bruised by low engagement. DO, however, keep posting good content because your personal brand depends on it.
And while we’re on the topic of your brand, I’ve never read a more accurate description of branding than this:
Brand Strategist Justin Foster defines a brand this way: the output of your values as they’re experienced by others.
Notice how he didn’t say “… as liked, commented and shared by others?” Nope. He said experienced. And people experience your “output of values” with every post you make, day in and day out.
That’s why building your brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a marathon with no finish line in sight because there isn’t one; your brand never rests. And spectators are watching, even though you can’t hear them cheering. They’re cheering on the inside, though, because… well, they’re too lazy to clap.
Last thought on branding: Branding is quite different than lead gen, although many confuse the two.
With generating leads, you can actually measure your initial investment against the rewards.
With branding, you can’t. It’s less black and white. In other words, it’d be like trying to calculate the exact ROI of your father during your childhood years… which in my case, as the son of a single father, is immeasurable. Catch my drift?
I’ll leave you with a little fun fact about Facebook engagement: Do you know the type of post which, on average, receives the least amount of engagement?
There’s a good reason for this, but you should NEVER underestimate the power of sharing articles — good ones, that is. Click here for more on that.