When evaluating the performance of social media content, user engagement is a key performance indicator (KPI). Specifically, the interaction by the user with the content, such as viewing, liking, commenting, and sharing.
From the mindset of a social media content producer, users with more public expressiveness of their interest have higher impactful engagement with the content.
The reason for this is the network effect of social media platforms which is grounded in the concept of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), where users actively promote a product or service. eWOM is intensely valuable for content producers as it is a measure of the content distribution from the organization’s existing user base to a potentially greater costless audience.
Accordingly, the degree of users’ public expressiveness of interest, from private to public, about content is an adequate theoretical construct to build a framework of user engagement metrics.
The user engagement framework consists of 4-levels: each level indicates a given measure of user engagement, with lower levels, indicating more private expressions of user interest. Higher levels indicate a greater degree of public expressiveness of user interest – the View-Like-Comment-Post (VLCP) Framework for Social Media Engagement.
Definition: Private engagement through viewing social media content
Metric: Number of views
Definition: Exposing user preferences by liking social media posts
Metric: Number of Likes
Definition: Expressing opinions or feelings by commenting, sharing in private messages, or sharing on the same platform
Metric: Number of comments, Number of shares
Definition: Spreading content through public sharing into other public networks or platforms
Metric: Number of external postings
Aldous, K., An, J. and Jansen, B. J. (2019) View, Like, Comment, Post: Analyzing User Engagement by Topic at 4 Levels across 5 Social Media Platforms for 53 News Organizations. International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM2019), Munich, Germany, 11-14 June, 47-57
Aldous, K, An, J, and Jansen, B. J. (2022) What Really Matters?: Characterizing and Predicting User Engagement of News Postings Using Multiple Platforms, Sentiments, and Topics. Behaviour & Information Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2022.2030798