How many followers you have used to be the benchmark of how well a company was doing on social media. Now the true measure of success is how engaged your audience is with your content. Learn all about engagement in this blog post.

Once upon a time, the measurement of social media success was the number of followers you had. Brands and celebrities would obsessively track their follower counts, announcing and celebrating each milestone hit. This led to a number of negative things – including a flood of fake followers on all social platforms, bots, and posts from people with tens of thousands of followers with almost no comments or likes on them. With algorithms on every platform constantly changing, simply having a high number of followers doesn’t guarantee success – or even that many of your followers will see your content.

Enter Engagement. Simply put, engagement (at least when it comes to social media) refers to the number of interactions that a post has or the number of times a post has been seen. While impressions are technically engagement, they’re passive engagement because the user doesn’t need to do anything. Active engagement is what we’re aiming for and what this article will focus on. In terms of what constitutes active engagement: a like (or other reaction), a share, and a comment are all forms of engagement. 

All of these types of engagement are measurable, which can help a business evaluate and refine their social media strategy. Tracking and monitoring engagement will help your business assess how your content is perceived by your audience based on their interest in and subsequent reactions to what you are sharing. If a certain type of post consistently garners more engagement when compared to a different type of post, it makes sense to prioritize the one that people are engaging with.

Why is Engagement Important?

Engagement is important for several reasons – first it’s a measure of interest by your audience in what you have to say. If your content isn’t engaging, then people will scroll on past without stopping. Social media is not a silo – or a one way conversation. It should be give and take – so companies need to be putting out quality content that resonates with their audience and drives conversation. The audience should then engage by liking or commenting on the post, and the company should reply to any legitimate comments (where appropriate) and delete the inevitable spam comments that will appear.


Next, we have the issue of visibility. For the purposes of this section, we’ll be dealing specifically with Facebook because they have been more transparent in recent years about their algorithm and visibility of posts. Engagement affects visibility in 2 key ways. First, the more people that are positively engaged with your content (reacting, sharing, commenting), the more value the algorithms on the various social media platforms will put on your content – which means the more feeds it will show up in. As of 2022, the official word from Facebook is that a user’s feed will prioritize posts with a lot of engagement, especially from people they interact with a lot. So the more a post is seen and engaged with, the more likely it will be to show up in the feeds of their friends on Facebook. 

The second way that engagement affects visibility is through negative engagement. Facebook gives users an opportunity to disengage with content they don’t enjoy. Simply click on the three dots at the top of a post and a menu will appear including Hide Post (See fewer posts like this) and See less from <Poster / Page name>. There are also options to snooze posts from a source for 30 days or even unfollow a page. All of which leads to the post being shown to fewer people who like your page.


Whether you’re selling a product or providing a service, building a relationship with your client is key. One of the easiest ways to build that relationship is to provide content that is meaningful to your audience. High quality content will earn engagement and help you grow your audience organically. This is where it’s important to reply and respond to comments on social media posts. From a simple “thank you” when a customer praises your business to a “we’re so sorry about your experience, can you contact us offline (either through phone or live chat or a contact form) so we can help solve your issue?” when there are issues. Do not simply delete the posts and pretend that only the good posts exist – it’s a very bad look for a brand.

Engagement is important because it allows you to track that your content is aligned with what your audience wants, and because engagement is the main driver of the algorithms on the various social media platforms it’s vital that companies understand how to increase engagement and best practices for engagement on social media. Both of which will be discussed in part II next month.

If you want to increase engagement on your social media channels, but don’t know where to start, we can help! Contact us today to see how Y can help you increase engagement.