Engagement Metrics That Matter
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Mashable, in 2013, declared that engagement is a “big word that means very little” (Hockenson, 2013). That attitude has changed dramatically in the past six years. For many newsrooms, publishers and content creators, engagement plays a key role in publishing, strategy and business decisions. It is now common to see positions like engagement editor, audience development editor and director of audience in journalist biographies.
For decades, the thought process behind engagement, even if it was not called that at the time, was to count page views as the main source of information regarding what the audience was doing with content. Thankfully, newsrooms, brands and publishers now have myriad ways to measure, track and use data about audience behavior - and not all of it is based on social media.
With that said, what is engagement? Which metrics truly matter? What skills do journalists need to work in this dynamic field? The answers to those questions depend on who is asked.