Social Media Strategy: Which is More Important, Reach or Engagement?


When it comes to social media marketing, strategy is the name of the game. There is no such thing as social media management without a sound social media marketing strategy to be able to manage.

But, social media strategy is about more than deciding which posts will go through which channels, and when. Any good social media agency will tell you that social media advertising, at its very core, is about targeting the social media users that are most likely to become customers.

This endeavour often leaves a social media agency with a difficult balancing act between two factors; reach and engagement.

What is the Difference between Reach and Engagement in Social Media Management?

In order for a social media marketing strategy to be successful, social media users need to be put in touch with the brand being marketed. The ability of the brand to find these users is referred to as ‘reach’. It is essentially how far the brand can go to find users who will respond favourably to it.

‘Engagement’, on the other hand, refers to the reaction of the users when they connect with the brand. Do they comment on its posts, like or share them? Engagement begins the customer journey and is thus very important to a campaign.

But, without reach there is no engagement, so which is more important? It is a sort of chicken-and-egg conundrum.

Is Reach or Engagement More Important for Social Media Marketing?

You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. There is always a trade-off. Aiming at widespread reach might limit engagement, and vice versa.

But, if you had to choose, engagement might win the battle. This is because the more people engage with a post, the more their friends are likely to see it, given that it will appear on their social pages. By increasing engagement, it is possible to increase reach as well, though this might be called secondary reach.

In any case, the more engagement a post can generate, the better its performance as far as social media advertising goes.

How to Generate Engagement on Social Media

Different end-goals might warrant different strategies. But, in general, it is important to remember the following:

1. Consider the user – what is important to your customers and what would they most like, and share?

2. Ask questions. These types of posts are most likely to start conversations.

3. Use images. Social users tend to respond very well to visual content, and share these more often than plain text posts.

4. Offer incentives for engagement. Competitions are great for this.

5. Include some form of branding in your posts, but keep it light. Social users aren’t fond of sharing overly commercial posts.

Of course, this is just a basic look at the delicate balance between reach and engagement. Running a truly successful campaign takes a great deal of attention to both. So, for a social media strategy that can offer both reach and engagement, be sure to contact Just Perfect today!


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