Goodbye to likes: What should the new engagement metric be?

The Drum 09 Oct 2019 10:30
By Danielle Smith-09 October 2019 11:30am

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Recently Instagram and Facebook (Australia only) have been experimenting with hiding the like count from everyone but the creator of the post, and this potential change has brands and creators questioning their social strategy.

Social media began as a means to connect people and, with this move, Instagram hopes to provide users with a genuine connection once again. After all, likes have diminished in importance because our behaviours have changed, so it’s time for social channels to change too.

If you are a smart brand or content creator, you have already been quietly adapting your strategy and tactics in the background over the past few months. Using this time to see how the platforms and audience have evolved, while looking at the new engagement metric – attention.

However, it’s important to remember that people give attention on social media in many different ways. You need to look at all of the data holistically in order to reveal true insight into your audience and understand the impact of content.

We believe the best way to approach this is a focus on measuring attention.

  • Affinity with the brand - people are more likely to stay and watch a Story from start to end if it’s from a brand they trust, enjoy, and know it will provide value.
  • Video watch time - where we can see precisely how long people have watched and where they dropped off. In the past, a video might have received just likes, which tells us very little about whether or not someone stuck with our content till the end. It also tells us nothing about what they were or weren’t interested in.
  • Referral traffic that can be tracked throughout the customer journey
  • e-Commerce via Instagram, Pinterest, and other social sites
  • Deep diving into a Feed
  • Profile visits: where did this audience come from and what action did they take when they got to your page?
  • Saves and forwards onto a friend: how valuable is your content really to your audience?
  • Intimate measurables like direct messages following content
  • In-bound posts: what is your audience saying about your brand?
  • Typical measurement of reshare, comment, clicks and followers

These opportunities to measure and gain insight mean you should be able to use this to create content that will stand out in this attention engagement era.

  1. Focus on Quality, Depth and Purpose
  1. Connect with your audience
  1. Measurement, measurement and more measurement
  1. Embrace the test and learn culture with Stories

Likes do not define your success and aren’t enough to get people to engage with and spend more time with your brand. Ultimately, the action that drives sales after seeing your content is success. The above guidance should help give you a more well-rounded picture of attention engagement and, ultimately, success. And when you get on board with focusing on attention, it can empower you to create your best content yet.

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