It’s no secret that engagement is important to PR pros looking for influencers to work with their clients. (Or at least it should be.) One the easiest places to evaluate an influencer’s engagement is on Facebook. Before you start shouting at me that Facebook is dead, let’s keep in mind that it isn’t dead for all audiences. For moms and dads, Facebook is still a very viable outlet for communication and popular with the over 30-ish crowd. It is a place where parents can engage in conversations, ask questions and, of course, share photos of their adorable tikes. Likewise, for parenting influencers (bloggers), Facebook is still an important means of communication with their audience.
The importance of Facebook is not a mystery to parenting bloggers. Most serious influencers work hard to cultivate all of their social media channels, including Facebook. There is nothing I love more than an influencer who works hard to engage with their audience. Unfortunately, there are times when influencers “misdirect” their hard work and instead of creating dynamic, authentic and engaging content.
Recently, a client asked me to do a deep “vetting” on influencers they were interested in for a media event. The event was coming at a great cost to the client, so it was of the upmost importance that we not only found influencers with the “right” audience, but we wanted influencers with an engaged audience. As part of my “deep dive,” I looked at each influencer’s Facebook fan page and found some very interesting things.
Huge Followings with No Engagement
I’m not talking a few thousand followers and a like or two on posts. I’m talking about tens of thousands of followers on Facebook with virtually NO likes on posts. As in ZERO. Let’s make something really clear right now: If you have 25,000 followers on Facebook, your posts should get at least a FEW likes–especially given the fact that the posts I am seeing aren’t actually bad. (And those likes shouldn’t be from you, your significant other or the same one or two people every time.)
Huge numbers of fans with absolutely no engagement tells me you have a ton of fake followers OR you got all of your followers by running contests and giveaways to people who had no intention on being your “fan” or reader in the first place and they have all turned off all notifications from your site. (And… again… you probably have fake followers.)
Your posts have likes. Awesome!
Your posts have comments. That’s great!
All of your posts happened to be “liked” by your spouse and other people sharing your last name. That doesn’t count. It takes someone like me a matter of seconds to figure out that you and your significant other are the only ones liking your content.
…And here’s the one that gets me the most…
All of your post are like by other bloggers. No! No! No! That doesn’t count as fan engagement! Yes, bloggers. Those of us checking see that you are liking one another’s posts. We know that you are in groups together asking for likes and comments on your posts. Trust me when I tell you that I get it. Sometimes a post may need a little bit of a nudge for it to take off. But every post?! People like me SEE this and groan. We see the same bloggers liking all of one another posts over and over. I would rather see a small amount of authentic engagement with a handful of fans who might actually provide my clients with a return on their investment, than the likes of other bloggers you personally network with. Am I saying bloggers shouldn’t promote their work? No way! Get the word out there any way you can about your hard work! And again, I DO get it–sometimes you need a little push every once in a while for a post–but by and large, you shouldn’t need a push on every single post if you are writing dynamic, personal, engaging content that is relevant to your audience.
The bottom line is this: Let your content be the key that opens the door to your engagement. Great story telling and authentic content is what people want to read. Take a step back from your blog and ask yourself if YOU would actually want to read what you are posting. Are your posts interesting? Do they engage, entertain, excite or inspire? Are you creating content that is unique? I’m all for networking; in fact, I love networking. But why not network with other influencers to inspire better content and more authentic reader engagement instead?