This isn't news, especially since it's built right into Facebook's EdgeRank algorithms: a page like has less 'rank' than multiple post likes (at some point), and a share is worth more than a comment is worth more than a like.
Which ups the strategery, makes it all about the 'engagement.' Are they commenting? Sharing? That's Edge Juice. Digital capital.
If folks engage, they are more likely to see my future content, and that's a win for me and my brand.
It does not help the rank of my future posts if I share stuff no one wants to talk about.
Knowing this, I'm sure I'm not the only one to push things out into the virtual world hungry for that validation.
So what if it doesn't happen? Recently, hearing the crickets, I did a slapdash piece of market research. Having posted about once a day for a week regarding goings-on in Turkey (which feels REALLY IMPORTANT to me by the way) I decided to count up those posts (7 of them) and see how many likes and comments there actually were.
I then compared that to the last 7 posts I've made about anything else. The mix of text, image and video was about consistent.
I said slapdash, guys, this isn't real science. Just a quick pulse check.
Out of 7 posts, I had 28 likes and 9 comments. (I'm not a super popular guy.)
Out of 7 Turkey-related posts, 3 likes and 2 comments.
Getting say ~15% my 'normal' engagement on the Turkey posts than the rest?
|The hot cakes really aren't moving.|
How to interpret this? I could get judgey and decide that everyone's so jaded and uninformed. Why else don't they care? (Easy to feel this way. Why should kitty photos trend more than revolution?)
But I take this "data" with a grain of salt. All I know is that the topic of Turkey is getting poor user engagement among my Facebook audience. Without access to more complicated analytics, I couldn't even tell you who's clicking through this stuff.
It has me wondering: are there times when user engagement is a bad metric to rely on? What if some topics get seen, even clicked -- but not liked or commented on? Does that always mean I should post something else? That I made a mistake? Do I just need to position the content differently? Try a different platform? Seek a different audience?
Does the user engagement metric drive us to preach to the choir? There is always the case of strong disagreement (flaming and haterade are still user engagement, I guess), which suggests at best that digital discourse is likely to polarize.
Probably yes, some of those things. But also I think maybe user engagement isn't always everything. Some things we need to see even if we're not ready to talk about them. How do we measure that?