How Social Media Engagement Has Changed Over the Past 3 Years

Why is your brand on social media? Hopefully the answer to that question is “to be social.” With social media being considered by many brands as part of the traditional marketing mix, it may be tempting to constantly push a commerce message, but that approach will kill your social media engagement.

Ensuring that your brand has engagement-driving posts as part of your ongoing social media content mix will not only build loyalty among your fans, but it will also mark the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the consumer. As stated in this Simply Measured article, “Engagement is exciting because it shows that consumers are paying attention and compelled enough to participate.”

Let’s take a look at how social media engagement has changed over the years.

Snapchat Gets Its Own Timeline with Snapchat Stories – (October 2013)

Snapchat Stories are a way to create a narrative out of your day to share with your friends. By compiling multiple Snaps into a story, which appear in chronological order, people are able to share moments in which they experience them. Shared stories can be viewed an unlimited number of times over a 24-hour period.

So what’s that mean for engagement? Users are shifting towards sharing more personal experiences with their more intimate audiences as opposed to sharing with a large following.

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Instagram Discovery and Caption Editing -(November 2014)

With Instagram’s Explore page, users are able to find people they want to follow much faster and also highlight interesting accounts to discover. With this easy to navigate feature, users can find people that they want to engage with regularly and also get inspired by new ideas for sharing moments with followers.

In addition, Instagram added the ability to go back and edit captions on posts. Why? Because when you share a moment, a typo shouldn’t get in your way. Updates like these make the platform much easier to navigate, discover, engage and share moments on.

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Facebook Live – (August 2015)

The introduction of Facebook Live is proof that people want a real, unfiltered method to engage with people and brands on social media. According to Facebook,

People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact.

The reality is, users are much more interested in moments as they are happening (real time social media engagement) as opposed to after the fact.

Facebook Reactions – (February 2016)

In today’s world, people want more ways to quickly and easily show how something they see on social media makes them feel. With the launch of Facebook Reactions globally, users are able to decide how they feel about something by choosing: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.

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Tweet to Direct Message – (February 2016)

With the evolution of ways to engage with brands on social media, users now expect a customer service response from brands on social media, it’s become the norm. It comes down to the way users consume information; there is much more of a real-time expectation. With social media at our fingertips, users expect to engage with brands and with people in a much more instantaneous way than ever before.

On Twitter, customer service conversations often start in a Tweet, but often need to transition into a private message to learn more. With Direct Messages no longer limited to 140 characters, it’s a great way to gather personal information in order to resolve a customer’s issue or answer an inquiry. A brand can now add a link to their Tweets that allows a customer to send the business a DM quickly and easily.

Care is the new face of marketing. Twitter has proven it’s an amazing place for brands to talk to and ultimately build relationships with their customers, and one of the best ways to do that is by helping them when they need it most. Twitter’s new customer service features are a testament to the fact that brands need to quickly and effectively engage on the customer’s terms, on the channel of their choosing, and at scale.

Not responding on social media?

Warning: you could lose 30% of your fans

Social media platforms continue to evolve and adapt based off of user feedback. The sum? Social media engagement is not dead. It’s something that your brand should care about significantly as a marketing metric.

Don’t just “do” social media. Your brand can be best in class for social media marketing. Learn how.

Ignite Social Media