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Hi! I’m Lucy. Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
When you hear the word “engagement”, you may think of shiny diamond rings and wedding dates. But as a small business owner, the word takes on a very different meaning. Most likely, you are your own social media marketer, so developing social media engagement strategies is going to be part of your job description!
In this article we will talk about what engagement is, how to measure it, and some tips on how to increase engagement rates on your social media business accounts.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Social media engagement is the comments, likes and shares a post or account receives. You can see engagement for a single post, and also calculate your rate for your entire account.
Many businesses see follower count as a sign their social media is successful or not, but this number really means nothing if those followers aren’t engaging with your posts.
So the better test of an account’s success is engagement. Plus, these are the same measurements platforms like Instagram use to determine which posts will be shown more in users’ feeds.
There are a number of factors that play into the overall engagement rate for a post or account:
So how do we measure engagement on your handmade businesses posts?
The first thing you can track are the number of likes or favorites. These are called “applause rates”. It’s like someone sees your post and gives you a little bit of applause. You know that your post meant something to them, because they took the time to like it.
Let’s say you’re tracking your engagement rates for the week. You can add up all the likes you received on the posts that went live over the course of the week. Then, divide that number by the total number of followers you have. Multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage.
You received 121 likes over the course of the past week, and you have 530 followers. 121 divided by 530 is 0.228. Multiply by 100 and you get 22.8%. This is your Applause Rate Percentage.
For a more complete picture, calculate your Average Engagement Rate, which is the total number of actions (likes, saves, comments, etc) relative to the total number of followers you have.
I suggest doing this for each individual post. It’s a great way to see what kinds of posts resonate with your audience.
Add up the total number of likes, comments and shares for a post, divide that number by the number of followers you have and then multiply that number by 100.
Your post yesterday got 15 likes, 2 comments and 1 share. That equals 18 total actions. You have 229 followers. 18 divided by 229 is 0.078. Multiply that number by 100 and you get 7.8% Average Engagement for that post.
It depends on the platform. “Facebook and Twitter, for example, typically have lower engagement rates (e.g., 0.5% to 1%). Instagram, on the other hand, is known for its relatively high engagement rates (e.g., 3% to 6%).” – source, Hootsuite
The third metric you can review is the amplification rate, which is the rate at which your followers share and spread your post to others.
The process is the same as the other metrics: get the total number of shares for your post, divide that number by the number of followers you have and then multiply by 100.
Take the time to do the above calculations on several posts, so you have baseline numbers to work off of. Then you can begin trying to increase your engagement rates.
And if you use a scheduling app like Later, a lot of these calculations are done for you!
When you think about increasing your social media engagement, come up with goals that are specific to your business. Not every business needs a ton of followers. Some businesses are looking to create relationships with a smaller, core group of people.
The first step is to come up with goals for your business, and what you hope to achieve through the use of social media.
Some goals might be:
Now you can work toward those goals by implementing some social media engagement strategies.
I talk about your Perfect Customer (PC) a LOT, I know. But that’s only because it is SO important that you know who your customer is.
Before you start trying to increase your social media engagement, you must know who you’re talking to – and it cannot be everyone! As much as you think your creations are something every person in the world would want, that’s simply not the case. And that’s okay! Knowing who your PC is will make it easier to speak to them.
Think about what your PC loves and what their interests are, and try to incorporate those ideas into your posts. Not every post should be a “buy my stuff” post!
A little hint – since we make things that we love, usually our PC is very close to who we are as well. So try sharing about the things YOU love and that YOU’RE interested in. You might find that your customers share similar interests.
For jewelry makers, this might look like sharing your inspiration for certain designs. You may want to pair your jewelry with the season’s fashion trends. You might talk about why you make dangle earrings versus studs, and ask your audience which they prefer.
So your posts are related to your business, but not specifically about your items.
Questions, polls, tagging a friend – these are all Calls to Action (CTAs). They are requests you make of your followers to take action after seeing your post.
Try to include ONE CTA in each post. More than one call to action is confusing and will dilute your engagement rates.
Don’t be afraid to comment on current events, although stay away from politics and controversial topics if you don’t want to get into arguments with followers!
Trending pop culture is always fun to talk about, and you can find ways to weave it into your social media world.
If someone takes the time to leave a comment on one of your posts, be sure to respond! If you receive a message from a follower, make sure you respond as well.
Find new accounts that interest you, comment and like their posts, and engage with them. This process is one of the best ways to grow your own account. I encourage you to spend 15 minutes a day looking for new accounts to interact with.
One of the best parts of being a handmade business owner is that your customers want to know YOU as much as they want to know about what you make.
So don’t be afraid to get personal on social media. I don’t mean you need to air out all your “dirty laundry”. But you can feel free to talk about your daily life, what you like and dislike, and other aspects of you and your personality that you’d like to share.
You’ve heard the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind” and it’s most true in social media. To keep momentum, one of your best social media engagement strategies is to post consistently and as frequently as you can.
This doesn’t mean you need to post 3 or 4 times a day. But once a day is a great place to start, if you have the time.
Using a scheduling app makes this MUCH easier, as you can plan out a week’s worth of posts in one work session.
Whatever schedule you decide on, try to be consistent. Your followers will definitely start expecting to see a post from you on a particular day or time if you can continue to show up on a regular basis.
I know we makers sometimes get overwhelmed with “marketing” and the other business tasks that come with running a handmade business. I hope you see that you can do it, if you take the time to set goals and plan in advance.
You might even find you LIKE social media (shocking, I know)! You can certainly make friends through the Internet, people who share your interests and who appreciate what you do.
So if you look at from the viewpoint that you’re creating a community, then building a business network will be just an added bonus.
If you’d like to continue to learn about becoming a Social Media Rock Star, join the waitlist for my upcoming free workshop! I’ll be sharing my top tips for rocking your social media. My live workshop will help you level up in your business, too!
After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!