What is reach? What does it mean? How does it affect your social media strategy? These are some of the questions that you should be asking when deciding what your strategy and budget is.
Let’s start with some simple definitions (in the context of social media)
Reach: (noun) – the extent or range of something’s application, effect, or influence.(verb): Attain or extend to (a specified point, level, or condition) (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/reach).
Applied to social media, your reach is the extent or range of your posts, advertising and messages. Your reach is extended by the number of shares, comments, and likes that a particular post attracts.
Great, you say, I’ll use the app promotional tools to boost my post, advertise within the medium. It will increase my reach, lots of people will jump on board. Business will boom! Unfortunately this is not necessarily so. For your reach to have any meaning, you must have engagement.
Engagement: the traditional definition of the word refers to a formal agreement to get married or an arrangement to do something or to go somewhere at a fixed time. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/engagement).
For social media, engagement has a different meaning which has been neatly summarised by Mary Green, Social Media Fuze. Mary defines engagement as getting your fans to do something in response to your post. This seems pretty straightforward doesn’t it?
It would seem then that as long as you ask your intended audience to do something, you will get your engagement. Well, maybe not. Is the content that you are promoting relevant to the broader audience. Is your product or business something that they care about? It brings you back the first question that should be asked – WHO are YOUR customers? The answer to this question should lead you to what type of content you should be posting.
Increasing your reach can be achieved in two ways. The organic reach is where your current fans have engaged with your posts and spread it through their networks. The other option is the paid / sponsored reach. Paid / sponsored posts will certainly increase your reach but no guarantees on the engagement.
Your post is not successful without engagement, you might as well stand at your front door and shout into the street.
It appears to be obvious that the organic reach is likely to provide the most engagement but do not rule out a paid campaign. Look at what your competitors are posting, see what their audiences are engaging with, see if this style works with your business and design your posts around these parameters.
If you do decided to have a paid campaign, trial your post with your current customers, see if they engage or share with their networks. It will give you an indication of whether your promotion is relevant to your intended audience.
This post is meant to explain the difference between reach and engagement when you look at your analytics. You may get excited when you see your post has reached 400% more users than the week prior, but has it brought you any new business or referrals. That is the true measure of success in your social media strategy.
What do you think? Your comments are welcome, it lets us know that you have engaged with this post.