Ever since we launched EpicBeat early last year, the ‘applause’ feature has received a lot of attention. We’ve had more than a few people writing to us, eager to know what we mean by applause and how it’s calculated.

With the coming of EpicBeat Plus, which brings all the goodness of EpicBeat with an additional booster shot, answering this oft-repeated question seemed like the most logical thing to do.

But then, why not take it a notch higher?

This post doesn’t stop at why applause, it goes on to show you why any analysis that fails to include the entire gamut of engagement metrics is an incomplete account of engagement.

Shares Don’t Tell All

Most networking sites offer multiple reaction options to their users. A moving video may inspire a viewer to share it with his audience while a hard-hitting commentary on climate change could enrage a reader into commenting. Different kinds of content are created with different end goals in mind and getting a large number of shares is just one of those goals.

Shares <> Real Engagement And Why That Matters To You_EpicBeat Screenshot

Here’s a great example illustrating this point. This video by Toucan was originally published on YouTube. Though the total number of views it received on the publishing channel doesn’t look very promising, the video did really well on Facebook owing to the applause it got on the channel.

What We Mean By Applause

For EpicBeat, every like or favourite and its equivalent on other networks, falls under the purview of applause.

Shares <> Real Engagement_what constitutes applause in EpicBeat

Bonus Tip: Finalizing the objectives from a piece of content helps not only in gauging its effectiveness better but also serves as a guide for future content. Find content that has worked well across all parameters: shares, applause and comments. Use these learnings as inspiration for new content.

If it’s applause you are after, sort your search results accordingly to identify the form, structure and even length of the content you should be creating. Learn more about finding content that has scored high on applause, here.

Myth Busting: Most Shared Doesn’t Always Mean Most Read

Defining the purpose of the content not only helps in guiding format, length and place of publication, but also helps in identifying the kind of engagement you can expect from it. However, social is only one aspect of this engagement and not nearly a complete one.

Tony Haile of Chartbeat, touches on the issue of measuring content effectiveness on the web, in this Time article. Quoting him, “ We looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content.

When we combined attention and traffic to find the story that had the largest volume of total engaged time, we found that it had fewer than 100 likes and fewer than 50 tweets. Conversely, the story with the largest number of tweets got about 20% of the total engaged time that the most engaging story received.”

In such a situation, the truest measure of social engagement is one which takes into account all aspects of social engagement: shares, comments and applause.


EpicBeat allows you to refine your search by different parameters of engagement: shares, comments or applause. You can even sort your search results by channel to find the kind of content that has proven to work on it in the past. To find the latest content, insights and influencers across networks, sign up for a free EpicBeat account here.