Why not all engagement is good engagement

by | Feb 19, 2019 | Blog


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All engagement is good engagement, right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s probably best you hear it from us first.

The answer is no. This is why understanding what your social media data actually means is an important part of understanding how well your social media profiles are doing.

But just how do you make sense of it all? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

It’s not all about the numbers

Let’s get one thing straight. Social media engagement is not simply a numbers game. Imagine you receive 100 total likes across all your posts on Facebook in a month. That’s great, but what do all those likes actually tell you? Honestly, not a lot.

You want your social posts to bring in new customers to your website, in the hopes they will end up purchasing your product or service. Likes and shares are a sign of a healthy social profile, and can help show you which posts people like more, but they don’t tell you the important stuff: Did that person who liked your post see it and then visit your social profile? Did they contact your business, either online or over the phone? Did they visit your website after seeing your post?

These are the questions that you should be asking yourself as part of your social media strategy. To get the answers, we need to start looking beyond just the figures at face value.  

Think who – not how many

Social media numbers, such as followers and likes, should only be looked at as general indicators – because once you dig a little deeper, things might not be as great as they seem.

Let’s say one of your posts gets a total of five likes. But are the five people who liked your post the kind of people you want engagement from? If one like is from your Grandma and the other four are from her friends, that’s a prime example of bad engagement. Unless you’re in the business of retirement homes, these people aren’t likely to be buying what you’re offering.

That’s why it’s so important to look at the type of people that are liking your content. Five likes from people with a genuine interest in your business will always be better than 20 likes from people who only liked your post because it has a pretty image.

You’re always going to get engagement from people that aren’t relevant though –  and that’s OK.

For example, just the other month we here at SGM were followed by an account that has over 185k followers. Sounds impressive, until you realise the profile is a business offering music promotion. Although some of our GIANTS aren’t opposed to a little sing-along, we’re sorry to say we won’t be dropping a mixtape anytime soon. Remember, think who, not just how many.

Insights are your best friend

But what if we go even deeper? To do so, we need to introduce you to your new best friend – insights.

All of the big three social media platforms have insights – a specially dedicated area that will allow you to make better use of all your social media data.

Let’s start with Twitter. One helpful metric that Twitter insights will tell you, that directly looking at the post won’t, is how many people have clicked on the links in your posts. You can look at this metric individually, or over a set period of time.

Link clicks are a particularly helpful metric, as they tell you how many people actually interacted with your post. If you’re linking to a particular piece of content or a page on your website, this metric will tell you how many people actually went and visited it. Similarly, profile clicks will tell you how many people clicked on your profile to go and have a look.

Facebook isn’t as good with telling you these specific metrics, but they make up for this with a little insight tool called ‘Actions on Page’. With this, Facebook will be able to tell you how many people visited your site, searched for your contact information, and a whole lot more. These are metrics that tell you a lot more about the people engaging with the page, so be sure to take advantage of them.

Make the best use of your data

Followers, likes and shares should, therefore, be seen as general indicators of the overall success of your social profile – not the be-all-and-end-all of a successful social profile. Take a closer look at who is engaging with your content and take advantage of social insights to ensure you’re making the most of your social media data.


Want to learn more about how social media can help your business? Find out how we can help you get the most out of your social media, or check out the Social Animal course from our sister brand Giant Campus to learn how to do it yourself.



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