When you think of engagement on social media, what immediately comes to mind? The number of likes, shares, comments your post generates? These are the standard metrics, but why do they matter so much?
Of course, there is a psychological payoff for taking the risk and putting our thoughts out there for the world to see. Every positive comment or click is validating. But there is also a neurochemical reason why those numbers mean so much to us. Every positive interaction with a post activates the reward center in the brain and gives us a little boost of dopamine. That dopamine is what keeps us coming back to get more dopamine, more likes.
But is it an accurate measure of engagement? If we focus on the visits, likes, and shares, it’s just about the numbers. But if we focus on contributing meaning content through our own work and the work of others, it’s real engagement in the form of making meaningful contributions, building relationships, and being thought leaders.
Editor’s Note: We are excited to now be collaborating with Melissa in our eternal quest for a return to “real” engagement. Beyond the psychology so eloquently presented above, we believe that it’s time to not only re-educate the “Like” generation but to demonstrate what authentic engagement looks like – quoting from Melissa; “… making meaningful contributions, building relationships, and being thought leaders.” Please join our journey by adding your observations, comments, suggestions, below. Melissa and I thank you in advance! Dennis J. Pitocco, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief.