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How Engaged is Your Community? The 5 Levels of Social Media Engagement

2011 August 17

If you manage social media outposts for your business or organization, then no doubt you’ve heard the word “engagement” numerous times. It isn’t enough for people to simply follow or like you, the goal is for them to interact and participate in a way that keeps them engaged with your brand. But because we’re talking about “social” media, we have to consider and accept that different people are social in different ways. Not everyone will engage in the same way, but you can help them to increase their levels of participation so they are more engaged with your brand in a meaningful way.

How engaged is your social media community? There are 5 levels of increasing engagement we’ve identified through our social media research and campaign work, which will help you to segment your community members:

  • Level 1: Observing – watching the conversation from a far & simply “lurking” to decide if it’s interesting/valuable enough to join.
  • Level 2: Following – following the brand in some way, i.e. following on Twitter or Liking on Facebook.
  • Level 3: Engaging – interacting in a limited fashion, such as clicking through to read your content, viewing a video, or Liking a wall post.
  • Level 4: Endorsing – actively sharing your content with others, i.e. retweeting, sharing via Facebook, etc.
  • Level 5: Contributing – actively participating in the conversation and interacting with your brand, i.e. tweeting to your brand, posting on your Facebook wall, or commenting on a blog post.

Notice that the circles in the graphic get smaller as the level increases. This means that the number of people decreases as they become more and more engaged with your brand through social media. This is to be expected, and those Level 4 and 5 folks are the ones you should ultimately focus on building relationships with – they are your brand advocates. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to the people in Levels 1-3, because there are steps you can take to move them up the ladder and convert them to Endorsers and Contributors.

What are those steps? Stay tuned…that’s another blog post!



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