Four Step Process
- Set Goals
- Develop Your Content Strategy
- Review, Rinse, Repeat
You can’t move forward if you don’t know where you’ve been. Much like any marketing strategy, it’s important to review what worked and – sometimes more importantly – what didn’t work from the past year. Get comfy, put on some tunes and conduct an in-depth audit of your social media marketing program.
Decide how often that you are going to review your social media (EX: monthly, quarterly, yearly). Ask yourself:
1. What worked?
a. What were your best performing posts?
b. What type of content did your audience connect with?
c. Which platforms performed best?
d. Were there any promotions or campaigns that really moved the needle?
2. What didn’t work?
a. What were your lowest performing posts?
b. What content did the audience ignore?
c. Which platforms showed little growth and/or engagement?
d. Did any campaigns or promotions fall flat?
3. Channel Growth
a. What was the growth during the time frame you’re reviewing for each social media platform?
b. What drove your growth?
c. Which channels represented your brand and your goals the best?
d. Are you still engaging with the right audience for your product or service?
a. What was your marketing and advertising budget?
b. What resources did you have at your disposal? Did you have an internal team in place to reach your goals? Contractors?
Have a good understanding of the past? Let’s move forward to the next month, quarter, or year.
In order for a plan to work, you need to establish clear goals to work towards. Social media is no different. Align your social media plan with your core business plan and goals. Make sure that all social media goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) and that they support your overall business goals. Be careful with listing too many vanity goals, such as increasing likes or retweets as often these metrics are only scratching the surface of what it means to be successful online. Think in terms of traffic, leads, sales and other metrics that the rest of your organization are working towards.
Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll want to focus on getting your content mix right. One exercise that every brand should do is to plan out their Content Mix. It’s a great way to organize your team’s social media activities, and also ensure that everything you share online is on- brand and valuable to your audience. Some items to think about:
1. Content Pillars
a. What topics is your brand an authority on?
b. Which topics fit in nicely with the overall messaging of your brand?
2. Content Types
a. What types of content do you want to share? Educational, Aspirational, Salesy.
(Hint: Salesy content should make up only about 10% of your content mix).
3. 3rd Party Content
a. Not everything that you post online needs to be original content written by your team. Think about other people’s/companies’ content that you can share.
b. Think about what percentage of content you want to share that is your own original content vs. others’.
Just doing this simple Content Planning exercise can be really beneficial to keeping a consistent voice, and providing real value to your followers.
Review, Rinse, Repeat.
We love reports, but numbers and data don’t mean much without analysis and application. Strategy and analysis go hand in hand. Analysis allows you to have a clear understanding on whether or not all of the work you’re putting into your social media marketing plan is actually moving the needle. Analysis should go beyond reading numbers off of an excel sheet. You analysis should allow you to track metrics, make recommendations and make actionable tweaks to your strategy.
Ready to review your progress?
1. Put tools in place to measure your results. There are a variety of social media monitoring and analytic tools ranging from free to enterprise level. Don’t discount the level of detail you can get from a platform’s native insights tool.
2. Report findings and adjust goals. Develop a reporting structure that makes sense for your business – even if you’re the only one seeing the report. Will you report on smaller goals weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? What insights should be included in your reporting? Adjust your goals as you complete each reporting period.
3. Review the goals you’ve set. How are your campaigns matching up? What is working? What needs tweaking? Adjust and repeat.
written by Nailah Blades, CEO for Wylie & Co.