Influence. There, I said it. I will not mention it again in this post.
Simple. Engagement is the heart of social media…for brands and for individuals.
Engagement paves the way for connections and relationships.
It ‘pumps the life’ through your social media presence.
So, with this in mind, I’d like to share a three-part post with you that includes:
– Part one: Measuring / benchmarking your current engagement levels;
– Part two: How you can increase your level / quality of engagement; and
– Part three: Maintaining your ‘improved’ levels of engagement
Let’s get to it…
Part one: Measurement / Benchmarking
Instead of taking the obvious route and directing you to the plethora of Twitter influence tools that include some engagement measurement metrics, I want to take you through a more ‘manual’ approach that blends both quantitative and qualitative data.
This will give you a better understanding of what engagement entails, from the bottom up, helping to shape the improvements you can make (outlined in part two).
Metric 1: @ replies / mentions
Twitter is about conversations, giving and sharing…and the same goes for engagement.
This can initially be gauged by how often you ‘reply to’ or ‘mention’ other people in your tweets (‘re-tweets’ are also an element of ‘mentions’).
The simplest way to do this is by using TweetStats.com – which is a great source for all types of information relating to your tweeting patterns – but the section of most interest is the example featured below:
In this example, more than 50% of @EmilyCagle’s tweets are ‘people-orientated’ – which is great – in other words she ‘interacts’ more than she ‘broadcasts’ – this should be your aim.
The simplicity of this statistic / graph is the key – it is also worth checking out your ‘re-tweet’ percentage which features in the same results page.
2. Metric two: ‘Actual’ conversations
A ‘conversation’ is an exchange of thoughts / opinions between two or more people.
An actual conversation is ‘several’ exchanges – this is where real relationships develop / grow.
A simple ‘manual’ way of seeing how conversational you really are is to use search.twitter.com.
Just tap your username into the search box and look for a result that contains the ‘show conversation’ drop down box.
Here’s an example:
This is an ‘actual’ conversation – not just one exchange, or a ‘via @joebloggs’ mention.
Obviously, not every exchange needs to evolve to this stage, but have a poke around your results and see how many ‘long’ conversations you have participated in – it’ll tell you a lot about your Twitter mentality / approach.
Metric three: Cross-platform migration
Sorry, but more manual investigation is required here.
Take a look at the people you follow and select a sample – say 50 or 100 people – and ask yourself this question: Have you solidified your connection elsewhere?
By that I mean, have you connected on Facebook? Linked up on LinkedIn? Exchanged emails? Commented on that person’s Blog? Met in real life?
If you’ve been able to ‘develop’ a good portion of these relationship by taking them to other ‘places’ you are taking engagement to a very important next level.
If you can’t say you’ve taken things further with many people from your sample, it’s a good indicator that you aren’t engaging that well.
You can, and my advice is to use those tools as well, to compliment this process.
But, the beauty of taking this approach is that YOU’RE doing the work.
YOU’RE actually discovering how you engage by looking at raw data / information.
After you’ve conducted your ‘manual’ assessment and coupled that with one of the automated tools in existence you’ll have two things:
1. A more tangible feeling for how you interact online
2. Some benchmark scores which will come in handy down the line, especially for part three (maintenance)
I think you’ll be quite amazed at what you learn by taking the more manual approach – it may simply reaffirm your casual estimations, or shed some real light on what you are doing well and what you can improve on.
How you can ‘enhance’ your engagement is what lies ahead in part two of this series.
Until then, get digging…and let this process reinforce one more key lesson: social media is a marathon, not a sprint, and the more gently you tackle the initial stages, the stronger you’ll be in the long-term as a result.