May 19, 2020

What Drives Engagement on Social Media?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Publishing content on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a powerful and economical way to complement traditional motivational drivers such as word-of-mouth and reviews.
During the Covid-19 worldwide crisis, people have spent way more time online therefore their buying habits have changed, businesses had to keep up with their online presence while marketing budget was constrained.

Social media allows brands to not only garner attention but also connect with consumers through interactions other than the service experience. Perhaps more important, it encourages sharing, turning customers into brand advocates who significantly increase audience reach. But for content to be successful, it must be compelling. A potential customer might engage passively with a brand to seek basic information, but marketing experts agree that effective CE requires complete engagement—enthusiasm, attention, absorption, and interaction—which can be achieved only through high-quality, authentic content.

Why Authenticity Is Important

It makes content more interesting. Many internet users, especially those on social media, seek either new experiences—inspiration that brightens their day—or familiar ones to feel more connected to others. Either way, most recognize phoniness and will scroll right past it. Only provocative, authentic messages will have them pause long enough to hit “like”—or better yet, click through.

It cuts through the B.S. Due in part to the increasing commercialization of products and the globalization of markets, consumers now rank authenticity above quality as their prevailing purchasing criterion (5). When brands deliver experiences that are relevant and authentic, it increases the perception that the brand is relevant and authentic too. That perceived transparency builds trust.

It influences the influencers. Influencers comprise only around 1% of social media users, but they wield extraordinary power: The Edelman report shows that an influencer’s relatability—or authenticity—is more important to consumers than popularity. In fact, 63% of consumers trust an influencer’s opinion more than a company’s claim. With reputations on the line, influencers prefer content that is original, compelling, and trustworthy.

Why Images Are Important

Studies show that 93% of all communication is visual, which explains why images are so successful online. But don’t take our word for it—just look at these numbers:

  • 95 million: number of photos and videos shared on Instagram every day
  • 78%: percentage of e-commerce shoppers who want to see more product images
  • 91%: percentage of people who prefer interactive and visual content over text-based media
  • 85%: percentage of consumers more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it
  • 180%: increase in engagement for a post with an image vs. one without
  • 40x: rate at which visual content is shared on social media vs. other types of content
  • 2.3x: rate at which Facebook users engage with posts with images vs. those without
  • Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage due to Covid-19, with views for Instagram Live and Facebook Live doubling in one week

For content to be successfully perceived as authentic, it must be original, sincere, and stylistically consistent. Our customers’ behaviors have probably forever changed with the Covid-19 crisis.

Photo credits: ©Yann Macherez / OCUS South Africa.