How to Know When Your Audience Is Connecting With Your Content
Everyone needs an effective content strategy that promotes and encourages engagement in the digital space. Highly engaged content creates organic reach and conversions for online business owners. It's important to identify content that receives high engagement as soon as possible to increase the chances of reaching larger audiences.
I get the same questions or responses when I talk to a potential client about the content they create on social media and their blog. Many have concerns that their audience isn't connecting to their content or receiving their brand message as intended.
There are several ways to measure and increase engagement but you have to post consistently to understand what’s working and what’s not. So, if you are new to the digital space, don't be too hard on yourself. It's very easy to get discouraged especially when you're new and trying to build an engaged online community.
The major key to building an engaged online community is to post diversified content consistently while constantly surveying your audience. In other words, as you create diversified content for your platforms, you'll be able to measure whether or not your content is effective and useful. I definitely understand the feeling of getting crickets when you’re just starting out online. I understand the feeling of an unresponsive audience to posts even if you post consistently with open-ended questions or use a call to action (CTA) prompts. Regardless of what you feel, you must post anyway.
There are several ways to build an engaged audience. I wrote tips for creating engagement on social media here. But, as important as it is to create engaging content, it is also important to measure the content that you create to determine what your audience likes to interact with. It's important to know where your brand stands and how your brand is perceived online. There are four ways to determine if your audience is receptive to your content and if it is in tune with your brand.
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Your stats say so
It's safe to say that your audience will watch you for quite some time before they begin to interact with your brand. Their lack of interaction does not mean that they aren't engaged with your content. They probably aren’t ready to comment and share yet, but they may tell someone about you and encourage others to follow. If you keep a consistent measurement of your stats on social and your website, it'll be easier to determine who's engaged where and with what kind of content.
For example, on Instagram you can review your insights for a specific post to determine the engagement rate. You'll do this by dividing engagement by impressions. The ideal rate I like to stay around is about 30 to 50% on average. To determine my engagement rate, I'll take my last 9 or 12 latest post and get the total number of impressions and engagement. Next, I'll divide the total engagement by the total impressions and that will give me an average of what my engagement rate is on Instagram.
This formula may not work for all social media platforms because people engage with different types of content online so the measurement may be different because metrics may be different.
As for you, implement the same steps I do to determine what your engagement rate is. Determine your engagement rate and aim to maintain it online.
You receive many comments
This point is pretty obvious but it's the type of comment that your audience leaves that makes it meaningful. With so many spammers online and so many lazy people who only want to leave non related emojis, a well-thought-out or meaningful comment goes a long way. For example, a comment that explains, agrees, or applauds your post is a great sign that your audience is engaged.
Comments that leave emojis that you have no idea how it relates to the post don't count. Also, comments from spammers don't count. As a matter of fact spam comments such as “click the link in my bio” or “follow4follow” should be deleted immediately. I like to take it a step further to go ahead and block accounts like these. You don't have to do that, but it's definitely how I roll online.
Your content is shared and reposted
It's a big deal if someone shares or reposts your work and gives you credit. It's common courtesy to give credit when reposting content from other creators. However, not everyone honors this courtesy. So, when someone takes time out of their day to either repost, schedule, or share your work on their social platforms and with their audience it's a great sign that they are highly engaged with your content. It's another sign that you should create more content like it.
I bet some of you are thinking “well I don't get any comments, posts, or shares”. That's totally fine. Just keep posting useful content and keep asking open ended questions. Your audience will respond. No matter what, you have to create diversified content.
I bet some of you are thinking “well I don't get any comments, posts, or shares”. That's totally fine. Just keep posting useful content and keep asking open ended questions. Your audience will respond. No matter what, you have to create diversified content. Quotes and positive affirmations are nice but you can't deposit encouragement in the bank (Tweet that). You have to ask questions, take notes, and create content that your audience likes to lead them to their next step. That next step can be to sign up for your email list, buy a product, or invest in a service.
Your brand is thoroughly audited
Another way to determine if your content and brand message is effective is by investing in a brand audit. Brand audits are thorough evaluation of your brand’s image online. Most brand audits are from an unbiased, third-party perspective. They are highly effective in understanding how other people view your brand online. There are several strategies used to determine how effective your content is in the digital space. When I perform brand audits, I watch a brand for 72 hours to a week online. I look at captions, blog post headlines, comments and responses, posting schedules and much more!
If you're highly concerned about your content in the digital space, invest in a full brand audit with me. Your intended brand message should a line across all platforms including your website. My full brand audit will determine what you're doing well, identify improvements, identify missed opportunities and actionable growth strategies to explode your brand online.
Don't forget that you can always guide your audience and help them engage with your posts by practicing reverse reciprocity. This means taking time out of your day to engage with their content. Leave meaningful comments on their posts and liking their pictures. Requote them and repost their content (with credit) to share with your audience.
All of your posts should have call-to-action (CTA) prompts no matter what the CTA is. You can ask your audience to comment below, to share the post, to retweet, to repost on Instagram, and to pin on Pinterest!
Remember, if you're just starting out on social media, do not get it discouraged if people aren't responding to your content right away, if they aren't answering your questions, or if they aren’t commenting on your posts. People watch for a very long time before they feel comfortable engaging. Eventually someone will be comfortable with commenting and engaging with your posts. This will encourage others to do the same if they see others commenting on your posts as well.
Did I miss a strategy? How do you measure engagement for your brand? Please add to these tips with a comment below.