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June 2017

Social media: Let’s focus on engagement

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How important is fan growth to you and your organisation. Is it still the top priority, the right priority and the key metric you report back on?

If you want your followers or like count to increase you can if you wish pretty much buy them. But you’re likely buying bulk likes from people who don’t even have any interest in your brand or product. So why bother?

We believe that fan growth doesn’t matter if your audience isn’t engaging with your content. You can have as many followers as you like but if what you post gets no engagement, your followers have very little value for you, your organisation or your brand.

Focus on engagement rather than the number of followers

Whatever your social media objective, engagement is a far more important and useful metric. For example the level of engagement influences the probability of and the numbers of your audience who will see (referred to as reach) your content in their news feeds.

One important example of engagement is shares. Shares influence how many people see your posts.  Recent changes to Facebook News Feeds prioritise content that comes from family and friends over content posted by fan pages. Therefore it is essential to create content that your audiences will want to share with their own networks.

Another critical but currently often neglected component is reactions. Facebook has updated its news feed algorithm again, this time with an emphasis on your audiences use of ‘reactions’. The social network now prioritises reactions over “likes” when ranking your News Feed. According to the company, a reaction is a stronger indicator that you want to see similar posts to ones you like.

Monitor others

Don’t forget to monitor the social media engagement that your competitors are gaining as this can provide a useful benchmark over your social posts performance. Don’t just look at the posts but aim to delve deeper by splitting the monitoring of both organic and paid posts. If your competitors out perform you on their organic posts then it would suggest that their content resonates well with their audiences thus boosting their reach for ‘free’.

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Email bounce rates

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When an email can’t be delivered to an email address, it’s called a bounce. To calculate your bounce rate divide the total number of e-mails that bounced by the total number of e-mails sent. This gives you the total number of bounces per e-mail. If you multiply your bounce per e-mail rate by 100 you’ll get your bounce rate as a percentage.  You want this to be as low as possible.

If you experience high bounce rates in your campaigns there may be a number of reasons why this may be happening and ways to address it. These include:

Your list contains bad data

If you have a brand new list and the campaign linked to it is showing high bounce rates there may be a problem with the list itself. Check where it came from and how it was put together so you can decide if you still want to use it or if it needs amending.  I’m sure we’ve all seen human error with typed lists when the compilers have forgotten the @ in the email address.

Errors in your imported list

Sounds simple but check how the data has been imported and that for example only the email address is in the email address field.

You have an old list

If you see high bounce rates it may include stale or inactive addresses. Every mailing list can contain stale or invalid email addresses if you haven’t used it in a while. Lists with a lot of stale or invalid addresses can not only lead to high rates of bounces but also spam complaints and unsubscribes. If you are seeing high bounce rates and think your list might include stale addresses then put actions in place to reconfirm your subscribers.

 

Image from Bodya Grinovetskyi | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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