As we continue to research and dive into the impact of online engagement, we notice two types of posts and the different impact that they have on a group.
Content Posts: These posts share what is happening on a real time basis with others. Typically, a picture, an event, or a happening in the life of a person or organization. On average, posts like this have a large number of likes and receive comments quickly. These posts drive the engagement, the curiosity, and the desire for people to proactively open an app and see what is occurring. People enjoy seeing these posts to see what is new as well as aiding in getting to know others better. This type of content is key for driving rich engagement.
Informational Posts: These posts describe something in the future. Typically, these are calendar events, a reminder to bring something, office hours changes, and other type of general announcements. While helpful, these posts rarely generate likes, comments or responses. They may generate a question for clarity, but that is all. These posts provide crucial info, but people only look for these on a reactive basis – like when they have a question or want to understand something better. People appreciate these posts, but are not compelled to look for them during downtime.
As we work with churches, we see informational posts dominate the social media feed, almost a 4 to 1 margin. This has to be flipped! What is missing are the content posts. Content posts drive 10x the number of likes and engagement. Instead of focusing on information about how to give canned food, share the picture of all the canned food given or the people who appreciate the gift. Allow members to post what they see and drive the content up. Try to have 4 posts showing the life of the church for every 1 informational post. This creates the compelling home feed that people love and are more likely to come back to.
Engagement with a social media feed is driven by content. While an informational post is good and helpful, a content post is great and engaging. Content brings people in. Once in, people can see and appreciate the informational posts. High engagement then ensures that the important information reliably reaches the audience.