We all know it - social engagement gives meaning and value to social media marketing efforts, boosting brand affinity and growing revenue and profit. More than half of people who have engaged with a brand or company in social channels say they are more likely to buy (51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers) and recommend (60 percent of Facebook fans and 79 percent of Twitter followers) than they were before they became a fan/follower, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research.
Posts gain credibility and expand reach with each share, like or retweet. The effect on revenue and profit is profound. The 2009 Wetpaint/Altimeter Group "ENGAGEMENTdb Report" found, "companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference." The most socially engaged companies -- brands engaged in seven or more channels with an above-average engagement score -- grew revenue by 18 percent from July 2008 to July 2009. At the other end of the spectrum, revenue declined by 6 percent for brands engaged in six or fewer channels with below-average engagement scores. Similarly, the most-engaged companies posted net margin growth of 4 percent while net margin declined by 11 percent for the least-engaged.
Further, customers now expect to engage via social channels with the brands and companies with which they do business. "Your customers don't merely want you to understand their needs or pain points," observed Charlene Li, founder of Altimeter Group, in her predictions for 2012. "They want you to know them as individuals anywhere and anytime they engage with you."
The bottom-line is that social engagement has many variables that impact its effectiveness. Knowing when to post so you can reach the most followers or fans, knowing what day of the week to share content so you can get the highest interaction rate, are just among some of these. And the way to know for sure is to apply some science to the social media publishing effort. This is what we at Awareness, Inc. set out to do in our latest white paper, "Social Engagement: How to Crack the Code of Social Interaction". The paper cites research and comments by social media marketing thought leaders and draws upon a recently completed analysis of aggregate data collected across all Awareness clients, including more than 250,000 posts published to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, Flickr and Wordpress, and the 31+ million interactions on those posts over the course of 2011.
The result is an insightful view of how content performs in the social sphere and how marketers can get the most from each post. Here's one tip - the best time of the day to post for maximum interaction is between 1 pm and 4 pm EST. Learn more tips and tricks on the time and day of the week to post (some of our findings may surprise you), how to make your tweets travel further, how often to post on Facebook, and how you can use YouTube and SlideShare to keep the life of a post longer. Get free access to our white paper, "Social Engagement: How to Crack the Code of Social Interaction".
Don't by shy. Let us know what has worked for you. What days and times have been most successful for your team? What posts tend to travel the furthest?