Spry’s Hierarchy of Social Media Engagements

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The hierarchy of social media engagements

When evaluating the success of your social media efforts, what metrics are you using?  How long has it been since you updated those metrics?  Do you even know WHY you’re tracking those metrics?

Adrienne, our Lead Digital Strategist, is a libra, so she’s always asking these types of questions, and often debates them with herself.  Have you ever watched a libra debate themselves?  It’s impressive.

Even more impressive are the solutions libras come up with while debating themselves.  Not only did Adrienne come up with good answers to the above questions, among others, but she created an entire system to help social media managers understand the current state of social media engagement.

Below is what we are calling Spry’s Hierarchy of Social Media Engagements
(Alternate titles have been Hierarchy of Interactions, and Hierarchy of Touch – this one seemed like it could be interpreted wrong…)

The hierarchy of social media engagements and interations

See: At the very bottom is someone getting on social media and seeing your content.  The content shows up in their feed/newsfeed- they see it but don’t take any action. This happens very often.  This stage represents your content increasing its overall reach, which increases your brand awareness, but the benefit of this is minimal compared to other types of engagement.

Like: The next level up is earning likes/reactions.  This happens when a user sees your content on social media and is moved to like or react to it.  It’s a very easy action a user can take, a single click or a few taps, but that small level of increased investment on their part yields a similar increased benefit for the brand.   When a user takes an action on your brand’s content, it slightly alters the user’s social media algorithm to show your content more often because it brought a trackable reaction out of them.

Comment: One more level up is commenting.  When a user sees your brand’s content and is moved to comment, they have to click or tap, then type a cohesive response back to you.  This takes more investment from the user, showing a higher level of commitment to engaging with your brand.  The social media algorithms reward this increased engagement with your brand by showing your content to that user more often. 

Direct Message: Another level up is direct messaging.  Social media users direct message a brand when they have a more specific question they want answered or when they want to start a more private dialogue with a brand.  This is similar in nature to getting a call from your website or Google Business Listing. 

Share: The highest level in this system is sharing.  When a social media user is converted to your brand, meaning they understand your core values and feel those values represent THEM as well, they will consider sharing your content.  When a social media user shares your content it significantly increases your organic reach.  Also, earning shares is one of the best ways to gain legitimacy through social media.  When users see sponsored content in their newsfeed, they trust it a smidge less than the content they see shared by people they trust.  As a brand, you can strive for shares to get the most out of your social media marketing.

There are certainly other actions people can take on social media that didn’t make it into this example, but these are the most common engagements users can take across social media platforms.

What are your thoughts on Spry’s Hierarchy of Social Media Engagements?  Did we get it right?  Did we miss something important?  If you want to give us feedback on this content, consider joining SprySpace – the Facebook group where social media managers go for education, support, and virtual giggling.

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