If you use social media for your business, you already know the importance of “engagement,” that all-purpose generic term that strikes fear into the heart of social media marketers everywhere. Engagement is any type of like/comment/share/follow activity that is taken by your community, and is what helps organically build a following on that social channel. The challenge, of course, is creating content that will be engagement-worthy.
Today’s post is about math. Well, sort of math. Today’s post is about understanding engagement ratios. Most of us have heard of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time will be consumed with 20% of your people/customers/team members. 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. Let’s extend that to social media – 80% of your engagement will come from 20% of your follower community. So that means you’re really posting content for a very small subset of your communities.
Let’s break this down. It’s my proposition that the math works out approximately like this.
- 80% of your followers on any social channel will rarely or never engage. They are lurkers, or not even seeing what you post. They will probably never buy from you. They might check-in just to see what’s happening, but are not your core followers.
- 16% of your followers will be occasional engagers. They might like or comment on a higly popular post or tune is occasionally to your livestream broadcasts. They like your content, and consider your community one worth checking in with regularly. They will buy your “standard” products, when the value proposition is worth it to them.
- 4% of your followers are your passionate community. They will engage, like, comment, share, tune-in, and refer their friends. They will buy your premium products, and be your brand ambassadors. They will follow you to new platforms. These are the community members to keep happy.
So see how that math breaks down? Approximately 80/20, with the 20% being your occassional and frequent community members.
Think about any Facebook group of which you are a member, or one that you moderate. I bet these ratios apply. 80% of the group activity (or more) comes from 20% of the group members (or less). Think about your newsletters you send out to your teams or customers. 80% of the views come from 20% of the subscribers. On your Instagram feed, I bet that 80% of the comments and likes, come from 20% of your followers.
So what do we make of all this?
We all struggle with the constant balance of quantity vs. quality of followers. How many fans on your Facebook business page is “good enough?” Well… that depends entirely on how many are engaging. You want to grow your base (quantity) as large as you can, so that your 80/16/4 ratios proportionally grow as well (quality). If you have only 100 followers on any particular channel, but have regularly active engagement of 20ish people, then you’re doing awesome at 20%. If you have 1000 followers, but only those same 20ish people are engaging? Your engagement ratio dropped to 2%. Your content isn’t providing enough value that warrants the like, comment, or share.
How do you do that? Content, Content, Content that reflects who you are as a business person – Purposeful and Personality-driven content that is interesting, useful, humorous, and for the value of your community.
So my challenge for you is this. Go look at any online community you are part of – whether it’s a group, a business fan page, a public social channel such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube. You will likely find the 80/16/4 rule applies. 80% of your followers never engage on anything you post, and most of your engagement comes from the remaining 20% – with the very most coming from a highly engaged 4%. Or, if it’s more like 90/9/1, then you have a bigger problem – lots of followers in quantity, little quality who actually engage on your content. Then think about your content, and how you can post content that would be more useful or engaging.
Are you over in my social media tips group yet? Come on over to the Socialite Suite Mastermind. It’s a free group on Facebook, where I’m sharing my best social media tips with my community. This month (August 2015) we are focusing on Instagram, providing great content, and building new followers!