A small business owner sits at a rustic desk, surrounded by green plants and under warm lighting, engaging with social media on a laptop. They have a warm smile, indicating a genuine connection with their audience. Behind, a bulletin board adorned with photos and thank-you notes from customers showcases the close-knit community built around their brand. This scene embodies a personal touch in building a social media community for a small brand.

Understand Social Media Engagement Hierarchy

For small brands embarking on the social media journey, understanding the engagement hierarchy is not just beneficial—it’s essential. Look at it as your compass in navigating these platforms, allowing you to connect more deeply, authentically, and effectively with your audience.

What is social media engagment hierarchy?

Since in the first part of this series I already collected the different engagement types on social media, here I do a short recep only. The engagement hierarchy provides a framework for understanding how users interact with content on social media, from the most passive actions to the most active and committed forms of engagement.

Views/Impressions: The initial glance your content receives; a measure of its reach.
Likes/Reactions: A simple, quick way for users to show appreciation or agreement with your content.
Comments: More engaging than likes, comments show a willingness to participate in a conversation or express opinions.
Shares/Retweets: Indicative of endorsement, shares and retweets mean users found your content compelling enough to spread to their networks.
Saves: Marks content as valuable, showing users want to revisit it, a sign of deep engagement.
User-Generated Content: When users create their own content in response to yours, it demonstrates high engagement and brand affinity.
Direct Messages: Personal, one-on-one interactions that indicate a strong interest or connection.
Conversions: The ultimate engagement goal, where users take a desired action like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Why understanding engagement hierarchy is important?

For the first time in human history, small businesses and independent brands can build a global audience and connect directly with people around the world. Deep engagement with your audience is a unique opportunity that didn’t exist before the age of social media. If you’re willing to master the art of meaningful connections, you’ll not only carve out your niche, you’ll build a community that’s engaged, loyal and supportive of your brand.

Crafting Content with Heart

For us small brand owners, every like, comment, and share is valuable, but what matters most is the story behind each interaction. Knowing which engagements matter allows you to focus on creating content that truly speaks to your audience. It’s not about chasing likes; it’s about sparking conversations and sharing parts of your journey that resonate on a personal level. This authenticity not only fosters stronger connections, but builds a community that feels like family for its members.

Looking Beyond Likes

The true measure of success goes beyond superficial metrics. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if those people don’t care about the content you’re sharing. The engagement hierarchy teaches you to value the quality of interactions over the quantity. By focusing on what truly resonates-whether it’s heartfelt stories, user-generated content, or interactive Q&As-we learn more about what makes our audience tick. This insight should become an essential element in your content strategy and help you connect on a deeper level.

Nurturing Real Connections

In the busy world of social media, real relationships are worth their weight in gold. Increasing engagement means fostering a space where conversations flow freely and every interaction contributes to a sense of belonging. It’s about creating moments that encourage our audiences to share their stories, engage with our content, and become champions of our brand.

Investing Time Wisely

If you understand what’s important, you can turn limited resources into meaningful engagement that helps your brand grow. It’s about making smart choices-investing in making content that touches hearts and drives authentic interactions. This strategic approach can not only optimize your ROI, but also ensures that every effort you make strengthens the connection with your audience.


In closing, I’d like to emphasize that for small brands getting into social media, it’s really about connecting with people on a personal level. It’s not just about pushing products or getting likes; it’s about building a community where everyone feels welcome and heard. When we talk about social media engagement, we’re talking about real conversations and real connections. As small business owners, we have a unique opportunity to really listen, adapt quickly, and create content that speaks directly to our followers’ hearts.
While our journey may seem daunting at first, it’s actually a beautiful opportunity to share who we are and what we stand for. We’re in a unique position to respond personally, to get creative with our stories, and to truly connect with our audience. That kind of personal touch is what can really set us apart.

By focusing your efforts where they really matter, based on real interactions, you’re not just chasing numbers. You’re investing in building a community that trusts and supports you. It’s not always about the short-term wins, but about nurturing relationships that can grow with you over time.
Let’s not forget that behind every social media interaction is a real person looking for connection or inspiration. Your job is to meet them where they are, with authenticity and warmth, and turn your social media space into a welcoming community.

So to all the small brand owners out there, keep it simple and sincere. Use what you’ve learned not just as a strategy, but as a way to truly connect. Here’s to building not just a brand, but a community where everyone feels at home, one post at a time.


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