The pursuit of social media engagement has become a focal point for businesses and content creators alike. Engagement Rate (ER) calculates the effectiveness of the content by measuring how involved the audience is. A higher ER usually indicates better engagement.
TikTok is exploding with higher ER scores than its competition by at least 15% and it is the reason why many businesses and content creators use TikTok as part of their social media marketing strategy.
The Dark Side of Social Media Engagement
A recent experience from 1st Avenue Constructions, a local Construction Company is Gippsland, Victoria, shed light on the different levels of social media toxicity. 1st Avenue Constructions has 334 TikTok followers and 1490 Instagram followers. As shown in the image below, the ‘completed homebuild’ TikTok video blew up to over 110k views on TikTok alone and over 1000 views on Instagram.
TikTok sounds great for brand awareness and engagement… right?
Well, in the above TikTok, the comment section seemed to be rife with body shaming remarks from global keyboard warriors, which then raises questions about the true value of engagement metrics.
In contrast, the same video on Instagram received little to no negative feedback, even though it has three times as many people following.
Brand awareness v Quality Leads
Do businesses want to attract engagement for the sake of engagement or is it better to focus on quality leads? This is the question! The stark difference in the quality of engagement should demonstrate to businesses, which social media to place their time and effort into and to prepare to have a thick skin if the strategy is to be on TikTok.
The owner of 1st Avenue Construction has since posted another video discussing the comments on his personal TikTok page, as shown below.
A growing trend among social media users is to prioritise mental well-being over the pursuit of engagement on platforms that may harbour toxicity.
WIth over 2.5 million small businesses in Australia, most would be running their own social media or creating the content themselves. Therefore, creating authentic, educational content, with the intention of gaining positive engagement, may inadvertently lead to negative feedback. And the negative feedback could also affect the business owner’s mental health, as explained in @tj_eccles TikTok post.
Not all engagement is created equal. The platform of choice significantly influences the type and level of engagement, with different social media platforms attracting varying degrees of negativity. The more visibility you gain, the more trolls you attract. This paints a sobering picture of the harsh reality of online engagement.
As a business owner, you should carefully strategise what your goals and objectives are. In a digital landscape where online presence is crucial, the emphasis should be on genuine leads rather than a superficial pursuit of engagement.
After all, not all engagement is great engagement. So, choose your evil wisely.