Although the term “social media” encompasses a large group of applications, each individual platform is unique. The communities behind Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are different due to their user’s demographics, psychographics and the app’s overall purpose. Tailoring each of your posts based on the specific platform you’re using is crucial for the overall success of your account.
Understanding Engagement Rates
An engagement rate is the measurement of users who are interacting with your content in the form of likes, comments, or shares. Ultimately, an engagement rate will show you which of your posts are the most successful. In addition to posting good content, your goal should be to have people react and engage with it.
Here’s a simple way you can calculate your engagement rate per post.
A healthy engagement rate is anywhere between 6-15%, and anything above that performs extremely well.
We shared the post below on Instagram for National Hot Dog Day. Our Instagram account has 177 followers, and this particular post received 41 likes. That’s an engagement rate of 23%! Although 41 likes from 177 followers isn’t groundbreaking, it’s an excellent engagement rate and it lets us see what kind of content our followers react best to.
It is much better to have a engaged followers than hundreds (or even thousands) of ghost followers.* A successful page has followers that interact with your content – it’s not about how many followers you have.
An impression represents the number of times your post has been seen. Impressions are a much more simple statistic to grasp – the higher the number, the more people who saw your post. In some cases, the number of impressions you have per post are usually higher than your follower count. This is because although people don’t follow you, your post may show up in their feed because their friends follow you or have engaged with (or shared) your post. For example, Instagram introduced the “explore” page, which shows posts that you may be interested in. This allows your photos to be seen by a larger audience. Your impressions will also go up if you’re using hashtags or tagging other accounts in your content.
Here are two posts we shared on Facebook. The post with more shares has almost 3x as many impressions as the other!
Zoo post: 1 share, 1,489 impressions.
Best Places to Work post: 13 shares, 4,135 impressions.
Tailor Your Posts
In order to get the most out of your posts, it’s important to keep the user base in mind. Knowing who you are speaking to greatly affects your phrasing and the type of content you share.
72% of 50-64 year olds who are active online have Facebook accounts. So if you’re looking to target that age group, utilize that platform the most. Make your Facebook posts concise, informative and conversational. Let your audience know what you’re giving them with little room for questions.
59% of 18-29 year olds who are active online have Instagram accounts. Instagram is something you should invest time and money in if your business is geared toward a younger, more hip demographic. All of your posts should be unique, visual and provide an opportunity for engagement. Don’t be afraid to use emojis or hashtags in your captions.
Twitter is interesting in that it does not have an age curve that leads one way. This platform should be looked at solely based on the app’s purpose and capabilities. “140 characters or less” is the foundation upon which Twitter was built. Those four words translate to quick, simple and most importantly, shareable.
For the sake of experimentation, we tweeted a photo two different ways. Each Tweet had the same caption and was posted just seconds apart, however, the results were very different.
The image above shows the Tweet that posted through the Instagram app – notice the link leading to the photo. The results were 1 retweet and 6 favorites totaling 84 impressions.
This image shows the same tweet posted directly through Twitter – notice the image is visible. The results were 6 retweets and 13 favorites totaling 676 impressions.
The second post performed better because it is more shareable. It’s quick and easy – no links or redirects involved.
Fitting the Platform
Let’s say you want to celebrate your favorite holiday, National Guacamole Day on September 16th, using all of your social media platforms. Here’s how you can tailor each of your posts to fit each one.
“In honor of National Guacamole Day we teamed up with our friends at @MarketDistrict to mix together this delicious video. Here’s how we spiced up our guacamole. What’s your favorite ingredient to add?”
“#NationalGuacamoleDay done right ”
“It’s #NationalGuacamoleDay ! RT if you’re hungry @MarketDistrict”
When writing content for social media remember that each individual platform is unique not only by its user base, but its purpose as well. Tailor your posts so it fits the platform and in return you will maximize engagement rates and impressions!
*Ghost follower: Someone who follows you but never interacts with your posts. Often accrued by purchasing followers.