Social media: engagement and listening

That’s the topic we’ve caught in the Made in Britain Twitter net: 19 August 2021.

EVERY Thursday at 1pm Made in Britain hosts #MadeinBritainHour on Twitter. During that hour Made in Britain asks questions of its 21,000 followers and the results are fascinating. Previously this information was enjoyed by the audience at the time and then left to drift away in the Twittersphere, rarely read again. So, we have decided to capture some of the best comments and re-present them for a new audience and easy reference. Some of the responses have been edited but most have been left in their casual Twitter style.

This week we discuss engagement and listening in social media.

Question one: What kind of content do you find has the highest engagement on social media? Does this differ with channel?

Response: Video & video. Instagram recently announced it's no longer an image-sharing platform & restricts the no. of followers seeing image posts. They want 'Reels' (video) & paid for ads. All platforms are following suit ... lead by, of course, Facebook

Response: The vagaries of using a third-party platform, you have to work to their rules and these can change quickly.

Made in Britain: Does this then mean the number of posts per user might decrease with time? Quality up, quantity down? There are only so many things you can make videos of.

Response: Video is watched for just a few seconds. It's worth remembering that key point: Make a video and post it in small chunks

Response: I find it's the informational and interesting that gets the most engagement - something original. I do a series of interviews with business owners, for example, and that always goes down well.

Response: Interviews are always good. Shining a light on others achievement or growth. I have one at 2:00 today with a manufacturing group in the USA. If you are looking for people to interview please DM me.

Response: I find interviews take a huge amount of effort to do properly but they are definitely worth it. I'll drop you a DM a little later.

Made in Britain: Is that across all channels?

Response: Mostly here on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Not had as much engagement on Facebook and haven't prioritised it as much if I'm totally honest.

Made in Britain: Which do you find gets more engagement out of Twitter and LinkedIn?

Response: LinkedIn by a long way, as the post tends to hang around for longer. With Twitter it's gone as soon as it's out there (or so it feels). LinkedIn is more consistent for me but Twitter has its moments.

Made in Britain: seems a lot more 'noise' on Twitter than LinkedIn?

Response: Yes - there is a lot of noise on both but I find it's possible to put something out to cut through it a little easier on LinkedIn. Not always, but I find I have more success there.

Response: We're still yet to properly get stuck in but we're hoping that videos of our facility, our coatings being tested, and in use, along with personal biog's on staff including their out of 'office' achievements, sponsored events etc. to show the faces behind the brand.

Made in Britain: have you seen what  @JB_SpringsLtd do with their videos? I wonder how much time and effort is needed for each one?

Response: Yes we have and they look great, well done to @JB_SpringsLtd for some great content that helps to inform (potential) customers.

Response: We have two types of videos, one is Springtelligence videos which show spring concepts through animations, and the other are recordings of our machines in action producing springs. The latter are easy enough to shoot, Springtelligence videos take some more work to create!

Made in Britain: Do you produce those in-house or do you bring in specific expertise for it?

Response: We outsource the Springtelligence videos - we provide them with all the spring info which they then work to demonstrate through animation videos.

Made in Britain: How did the idea of Springtelligence start?

Response: We realised how little time schools and colleges allocate to the subject of spring engineering - with it sometimes barely being covered in physics. To overcome this and try to avoid a skills and knowledge gap, we developed our Springtelligence blogs and videos to educate others!

Made in Britain: How long have you been doing that for?

Response: Around 3 years now! We’ve developed a great set of resources in that time which is constantly evolving!

Made in Britain: do you tend to re-use previous material, not as in the same again but as in combined with new films etc?

Response: We’ll sometimes revisit concepts to expand on the information originally provided, but typically - so far - there’s always been a new spring concept to cover in a blog and/or video.

Response: Gaining engagement on SM is very hard (unless with paid4 ads). The average business enjoys low engagement. It's easier if trying to engage consumers. SM platforms need paid4 ads, the odds are stacked against organic engagement. The platforms can't be beaten

Made in Britain: How well are paid for ads done on SM?

Response: In my expereince, it's worth engaging an 'expert' by which I mean someone who does it to pay their bills. With consumer product, FB/Instagram advertising can be highly effective. Otherwise, use (for example) LinkedIn's free account manager support to learn from them ...

Made in Britain: There are many out there who claim to be 'experts' - how do you find a proper one?

Response: We try to match our content to each stage of the buyers journey and analyse how what's worked and what hasn't. We manufacture a nesting brick for Swifts which always receives great engagement across our social media channels.

Made in Britain: Is the key then to know what works best and then use it to drive traffic off the back of it?

Response: Yes, along with creating content that is easy to share for instance 'how-to' videos work well in our sector.

Made in Britain: Do you use those across channels?

Response: We try to! Currently we are trying to get more subscribers to our YouTube channel using exactly these types of videos

Made in Britain: Do you think of YouTube as social media or do you see it more of somewhere to direct to from social media?

Response: According to Statista as of July 2021 YouTube accounted for 2.291 billion users 2nd only to Facebook worldwide in ranking of social media users so I would definitely see it as social media but it can also act as somewhere to direct to.

Response: Posts that include stories about our team members and what they have been working on always performs well! Showing the personal side to the business.

Made in Britain: There is something about an image of a 'real' person doing something. Maybe thats the inquisitive nature of humans you are appealing to?

Response: We find our videos showing our machines in action perform the best on social media by far! This seems to be consistent across our social channels 

Made in Britain: They are very good too. Does the engagement change with time? there are surely only finite number of clips you can have? or do you recycle them?

Response: Actually, engagement is relatively consistent for our videos! It’s true that there’s only a set number of processes to show, however there are a lot of these and we work to show the different angles of them too

Response: After segmenting the audience, we make small variations in the message of each post. This has increased the engagement of the personas on the relevant platform. What works on one platform does not nesseccarily work on another.

Made in Britain Could there be an argument of a cumulative effect too? and therefore timing becomes critical? see it on twitter and ignore it, see it on FB and engage?

Response: Our FB postings are for clients who are directly targeting the consumer market. These do not work so well on LI and Twitter. Whilst a video will attract many viewers, if interesting, we have to ask the question are they potential clients?

Made in Britain: That's the key to all of this - are you actually reaching the potential clients

Response: Surely it’s post a question and ask for answers on a routine schedule with an engaged audience, an interesting topic and a hashtag

Made in Britain: It works for some and the word 'interesting' is key - it's always about getting the conversation started as @NigelTPacker often says. Sometimes it is good to line up some 'loyal wingmen' or women.

Response: Cooperate with suppliers and clients to get a wider audience. Organise it so it is easier for them

Response: Real content about humans, team members, clients, partners, behind the scenes, discussion based posts etc.. This is why I prefer Twitter and LinkedIn because you can have these conversations in a non-promotional way and invite people to come to you

Response: The value to a business of social media differs widely depending on what sector the business is in and whether they are B2B or B2C. Does high engagement always translate to greatest benefit?

Made in Britain: That is true, sometimes takes just one person so see it and if they are looking for your services it can be an absolute winner

Response: On our socials, there's a couple of types of content that perform the best: videos and informational content. Users seem to prioritise content that provides a solution or insight into a particular area or problem. 

Made in Britain: Informational content is always well received, what sort of engagement does it drive for you? comments? clicks?

Response: Clicks through to blog content on the website for sure. Also see more follows off the back of informational content as it's more widely shared.

Response: Do you look at the profiles of those who comment/follow and sign up to see if they have deeper interests in the subject matter? Are you passing these cool leads on to your seals department?

Response: Sign-ups receive automated emails to begin a conversation/relationship, but we do not necessarily take a detailed look at each follower...

Made in Britain: especially with Twitter a lot of it is through company accounts rather than individuals so slightly harder to pinpoint the person?

Response: This is why it is important to understand the customer. In the case of twitter to get the SM officer to pass the relevant information on to the decision maker

Response: Indeed, and with privacy settings on other sites such as FB and IG, it's impossible. I do take a look on LinkedIn, but the rate of follower growth on there is slower so easier to manage.

Made in Britain: It's slower on LinkedIn yes, is the quality of the followers better do you think?

Response: It's a mixture because we do find recruiters and individuals trying to sell polymer stock among the business people who could become potential clients.

Question two: How useful is social listening and is it widely done? How many just focus on social monitoring or nothing at all?

Response: I would say social listening is useful as sometimes our competitors pick up on changes in industry or trends that we may have possibly missed and vise-versa. It is a useful tool for competitor research also.

Response: Have you created lists? 

Response: Yes we have! :) It is something we have recently embarked on.

Response: Makes monitoring much easier

Made in Britain: Is listening is more than that? Monitoring is looking at sources that you know, Listening is finding out which sources you should be monitoring? 

Response: There are tools for hashtag research in much the same way you might use for keyword research - you might see which accounts are performing well under a particular niche and use that as part of your strategy. Do you want to follow them or try something else?

Made in Britain: it's a valid question - what's relevant to monitor today maybe not as relevant next month. How often do you need to revise what you are watching?

Response: The easy answer is you keep doing what you’re doing until growth stops or slows. I think the more time you spend on socials, you get a feel for when things are beginning to shift naturally

Made in Britain: Is that doing socials 'live' or using scheduling?

Response: It’s got to be a mix of both, right?

Made in Britain: I would say so yes. You can pretty much tell who does both and who doesn't. You can also tell who just 'pops' onto SM for a bit now and again by the barrage of posts in a short space of time. No excuse for it with schedulers. Which one do you use?

Response: I think that listening is very important for the reasons that have already been stated. You can't 'be/see' everywhere at once, unless you have a massive team so it's good to listen to other's channels, monitoring them regularly and interacting.

Made in Britain: Have you ever tried listening providers?

Response: We haven't yet, i'm not sure if we would but never say never as we grow as a company.

Response: We all use scheduling apps to make life easier, but it is worth being there when posts go out so you can engage/reply if needed. Also worth seeing what peers on social are posting so you can learn from them.

Response: This is a very valid point and I tend to post in live real time as much as possible for that very reason. 

Made in Britain: It's certainly a balancing act and maybe we will have a conversation in the coming weeks about scheduling/live SM etc

Response: Yes good idea. I think that would spark a good debate

Response: Excellent question. Marketing run SM campaign. SM officer makes many posts No one is there to read and follow up on the posts. Everyone is broadcasting, no one is listening

Made in Britain: How many go beyond that and consistently listen, competitors, hashtags, trending words, regional variations?

Response: In many of the courses on Twitter for business that I have delivered I have never failed to find work for the client company during the training. 

Question three: As a percentage of time how much should be spent social media posting and how much listening and monitoring?

Response: Couldn't agree more with @NigelTPacker comment. The more time you spend monitoring & listening, the more information you can gain, helping to inform the quality and timing of your own posts.

Response: I'd also include replying to in there - 40% creating, 40% replying and 20% listening/monitoring for me

Response: In face to face conversation "You have two ears and one mouth" In social media "You have two eyes and one mouth" 

Response: More time listening and monitoring means better understanding of what content creates more engagement. Therefore resulting in less posting but more effective posting 

Response: Quality over quantity right?

Response: 100% posting & replying if that's how you sell stuff. Social Media is not as effective in the B2B world as SM Agencies would have people believe. That's not to say there aren't exceptions, but in general, it's much more suited to B2C companies.

Made in Britain: Do you see LinkedIn as effective in the B2B area?

Response: It has to be 1 of world's best prospecting tool in B2B sector. Paid-for accounts are excellent value for money; learn to use them effectively (LinkedIn show you how). Free Accounts.. brilliant. You can find new customers for ... free. A no brainer in my view

Response: Creating high quality, engaging content can be time consuming, however, there is little point posting content without effective analysis

Made in Britain: So true. What you think is brilliant may just fall flat. That doesn't mean it isn't brilliant it could be due to many factors. That's the challenge of SM

Question four: What has been your best performing social media post? Feel free to post screenshots.

Response: LinkedIn - video interview for international Innovation group - 4,600 views. Twitter - Answer to a question - 5259 views YouTube - TED talk - 49,000 views 

Response: A snapshot of the last 14 days on our @scarletopus Pinterest account. It's going the right way. https://twitter.com/Phil_Pond/status/1428341327398383617/photo/1

Response: It was one I posted two years ago about my dislike of exclusive womens only events and wanting to open a discussion about whether they were promoting or inhibiting equality in business - nearly 1M impressions and thousands of likes/comments. Bonkers!

Response: Our Sales Director, Alex Driver, shared a pic of our new ITAYA RX when it was unboxed, which received 124 reactions and 6,000 views  https://linkedin.com/posts/alex-driver-jb-springs_manufacturing-engineeringuk-springtelligence-activity-6782958929505742849-P4Fm

Made in Britain: Why did that one fly?

Response: Honestly, I’m not sure what the specific reason was for the response! With social media, responses often seem entirely unpredictable and perhaps even unfounded! I suppose it hit the right people at the right time 

Made in Britain: With LinkedIn it has something to do with the initial engagement rate, if that is high then the post gets into more people's feeds.

Response: Very true, that could well have played a big part with this post

Response: Twitter has the greatest impressions, but Facebook is best for conversions at the moment

Response: Our best performing post on Twitter is regarding a project we carried out for the RNLI which you can see here: https://twitter.com/SycamorePELtd/status/1402271697315659776

Response: Our best performing post was on a project we completed for Saputo, check it out here:
https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6775330463818031104/

Made in Britain: Great post, great images. Why do you think that was so successful?

Response: The ability for us to mention Saputo, which is an extremely large brand name combined with the success of the project!

Made in Britain: leveraging off the back of big names does have some big benefits, that's of course if they permit you to do that. So many NDAs etc get in the way for some.

Response: We find that video content generates higher engagement for our manufacturing and engineering clients. Case studies, testimonials and real time posts also gain more traction as followers enjoy original content

Response: LinkedIn Pulse articles used to have great organic reach:
https://linkedin.com/pulse/3-reasons-why-photoshop-design-dont-go-together-rob-knapp/… At that time Facebook posts were also performing pretty well. Sadly, both platforms are suppressing organic reach in favour of ad revenue. So I don't post on either anymore.

We tend not to edit the contributor's Twitter-speak text so if anybody would like to understand this better, email editor@madeinbritain.org and I will try to get a clearer explanation.

Join Made in Britain on Twitter at 1pm every Thursday for #MadeinBritainHour. We engage with everybody, members and non-members alike (some of whom become members as a result). Hopefully, see you there.

This page has links to all the previous Twitter conversations we have 'caught in the net': CLICK HERE.

By Made in Britain 2 months ago | Made in Britain news

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