5 Types Of Engagement That Matter More Than Likes

by Jenni Boyd May 13, 2016
May 13, 2016

For anyone who has managed a business social media account, measuring engagement is nothing new. Yet, often, the only two types of engagement that we really measure or care about is reach and “likes.” It’s time to measure the engagement that actually matters.

Wondering what other types of engagement you should be thinking about? Here are five we recommend.


Shares are one of the most basic types of engagement on the internet – yet they hold more meaning than likes.

When someone shares a post, they are most often putting their stamp of approval on it. Users are most likely to share content that resonates with them – things that inspire them, align with their worldview, or they want.

When it comes to metrics, when someone shares a post, most or all of their connections will see it. This increases the reach of that post exponentially. The more shares a post gets, the more exponential reach it has.

The best part of all? Shares increase the reach of a post without using paid boosts.


Comments are another common type of online engagement. However, they can be particularly valuable, as they allow users to voice their own opinion.

Comments also have the ability to turn a post into a mini-message board, with multiple users having a variety of conversations. This kind of engagement gives brands invaluable insight into their customer base, and encourages communities to form around a brand.

This is another great way to increase the reach of a post, particularly on Facebook. The more comments a post has, the more Facebook will show it in users’ feeds.

Private Messages

Private messages are another form of engagement, but they are not often considered for measurement. These types of messages between users and a brand may in fact be one of the most intimate forms of online engagement.

When users private message a brand, it gives that brand the opportunity to connect with them one-on-one. Often times, users may message a brand with complaints or detailing a bad experience they have had with that brand. This presents the perfect opportunity for that brand to create a better experience for that user.

Private messages are really a blending of engagement and customer service. In terms of metrics, a customer service card could be created for each private message with a user, allowing brands to measure how many complaints and comments they are receiving through social channels.

Opting In to Email Lists

While email list opt-ins are often considered lead generation, they are also a form of engagement.

When a user takes the action to opt-in to a brand’s email list, they are asking that brand to send them information and engage with them. They are taking the first step to create a relationship with that brand.

This type of engagement is very meaningful, since users are expressing interest in a brand and potential intent to purchase.

When it comes to metrics, most likely email opt-ins will still be considered leads. However, it can be beneficial to consider them as engagements as well.

Attending Brand Events

One offline way to engage with customers is through brand events. These events can range from product demos to experiences for contest winners.

When someone attends an event hosted by a brand, it is one of the ultimate ways they can engage with that brand. Making the effort to get out to an event says a lot about how a person feels about a brand.

If hosting brand events is something you’re interested in, make sure you have a way to measure attendance. Don’t just use the number of people who signed up online – have someone at the door with a counter keeping track of how many people come in.

You also want to be sure to have at least one opportunity for attendees to convert – whether that’s buying a product right then and there, or having them sign up for early alerts on new products.

As new social apps are introduced, be on the lookout for new ways for customers to engage with your brand.

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