Reach or engagement — two things to strive for in a marketing campaign. In this post I explore the power of engagement.

As a content writer, I get to talk to people more knowledgeable about a topic than me. So, for this post, I spoke with Kerry Ensor and Lynn Wrightson from Social Media Manager.

Reach & engagement

Social Media Manager markets businesses through, as the name suggests, social media. They find many of their clients obsess about reach — the number of people who see their posts. In many cases, though, engagement, not reach, should be the goal.

Marketing isn’t black and white; reach and engagement are both important. So, marketers must balance the two based on marketing objectives.

Lynn: “Reach is about people seeing something. After making the effort to create content, of course, reach is important. However, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all.”

Kerry: “Reach meets the brand awareness objective. Engagement is about interaction and building relationships.”

Many businesses, says Kerry, view reach as the metric to go for. However, she says that’s a simplistic approach, and reach doesn’t provide a measurement of what’s happening. This, of course, is because it’s usually impossible to tell what someone who has viewed a post is thinking.

Creating a sales pathway

Kerry and Lynn say businesses should be more concerned about the sales pathway:

  • Where are your Google ads and Facebook posts driving prospects?
  • What happens when they get there?
  • What is the next step in the sales process?


I guess “social media fame” is pointless if you fail to achieve the most common objective: generate revenue.

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Engagement builds trust

Anyone who knows anything about sales knows people buy from those they trust and like — people they have a relationship with. Lynn agrees and says it is engagement that grows relationships.

Lynn: “Engagement will always be less than reach in relation to numbers, but it is far more valuable … I see the whole sales pathway as building relationships. The first point of contact is like a handshake. But, people are more likely to buy from businesses they have relationships with. So, there needs to be a greater depth of content.”

The art of engagement

When planning a marketing campaign, Kerry and Lynn say be crystal clear about your objective. Reach is just the start. Look at whom you are reaching, what relationship you have with them and what are they doing once they get to where you want them to go.

Kerry: “The more people interact, the more they are relating to your brand. It creates a warm environment for sales.”

Interaction can be in the form of commenting, following links or participating in competitions, etc. The problem with Facebook likes, is they require almost no effort. However, Kerry says Facebook’s introduction of more emotion buttons is helpful for gauging what followers really think.

It seems asking followers to put in some effort can pay dividends.

Kerry: “If you give a yes/no option, lots of people respond because they don’t have to think. Sometimes in a post you might say, ‘Please like this post to enter a competition.’ Lots of people will respond because it’s easy. On the other side of it, you could ask people to tell their story to enter the competition. You’ll get a smaller response, but you’re getting them to take time to interact with you and in some cases you can reply.”

Kerry says engaging with followers enables you to collect information for writing blog posts and providing tips. It is also useful for market research and gaining an understanding of your followers’ language and what matters to them.

Match content with audience

Lynn says that the better you understand your followers the easier it is to create content they’ll be interested in.

Lynn: “Your content should be saying, ‘We’re like you. Our products are for people like you.’ You should be creating reasons for them to engage with you… if you’re running a campaign that focuses on people who enjoy a lifestyle sport, like yoga, for example,  make sure there is lots of useful content at the destination you are pushing them towards.”

Your content, says Lynn, shouldn’t be just about your products or services. Using the yoga example, it could cover nutrition and ways to meditate, etc.

Some examples of content:
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Videos.


Social media is a modern phenomenon. However, its real power stems from something that’s been around since time immemorial: relationships.

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