Keeping your social media profiles updated and interesting to read for your fans and followers is no easy task. I am sure you have dedicated a lot of effort to it. Possibly even hired some folks to assist you with this task.
How do you decide on what content needs to be published? How frequently? What time of day? What metrics do you use to tell if the content you are producing is actually relevant and draws more clients to your business?
Chance are, you, like most others, publish when you suspect that time is right (i.e. business hours) and find content that you feel is relevant to your business or industry. I would also suspect that you would imperially say that couple of posts per day should do the job. I would further suspect that you would judge the effectiveness of the your posts by metrics such as follower/fan increase and perhaps increase in engagement such as likes and comments.
While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this approach – the effectiveness of this strategy is far from optimal.
We’ve decided to put together a check list one would would need to go through to make social media publishing a much more precise and effective process:
1. Establish a clear objective
This is important. You should really remind yourself every day as to what the true goal of your social media precense is. It may be selling products online, obtaining new subscribers, etc. This is important because this will be our key effectiveness metric (not likes, not new followers, etc)
2. Decide on type of content and general style
Content that is published to your social media profiles should of genuine interest to your fans. It would help researching what your fans are like, where they are from, who else they follow, etc. This will drive the selection of topics. Decisions that we make are not going to be perfect. We might have decided to publish about “Entertainment” but perhaps it is the specific niche of ‘Celebrity Gossip’ that interests our audience. Perhaps even something more specific – ‘Celebrity Reality Show Gossip’.
3. Organize publications by topic
The best way of determining which content actually works is to avoid publishing at random. Publish by grouping publications together by topic. “Celebrity Gossip”, “New Movie Releases”, “New Gadgets”, etc, etc. This will allow you to get reporting across content groups and thus quickly analyze the performance of these categories as compared to one another. Find a category that is not performing well – change it, replace it with something else. Watch this short video on how you can do this with Social Report
4. Reposting content of others vs. creating your own content
Understandably writing your own content is the best. Creating interesting and unique content is great for several reasons. It makes your social profiles stand out since the content can’t be found anywhere else. It will make others repost your content thus giving your more exposure. Creating your own content is also expensive and time consuming. Finding relevant content for your audience and reposting is a lot easier and is a great option too. I would advise mixing the reposts and own content (perhaps for every 3-4 reposts – one unique). I would also recommend putting a personal spin on a repost. You can certainly share a link from another site but do change the text of the message to give your users a feeling that the value of the repost is in your explaining to them what the post is about. Learn more about sharing content of others using RSS.
5. Don’t loose your social share traffic
Once the content is posted to your social media profiles. It is there for the user to read and interact with this. Once the user actually clicks on it – he is gone off reading this article on that other site. Such a waste! There are tools that would help solve this problem by framing all shared content with your own custom designed header and footer. Take a look at how Social Report handles this
6. Determine what the best time to publish is
This is not that difficult but will can take a bit of time if you don’t have a tool handy to help you with this. Essentially you are looking for a chart that shows you engagement by hour of day and day of the week. Once you know that you can time your posts according to that schedule.
7. Track conversions
Remember the first bullet in this article “Define Clear Objective”? Well, let’s not forget to get a report on how well we are hitting our goals. Do we get those orders? Did we get extra signups? Install the conversion script provided to you by Social Report and the system will automatically track all orders. Watch this short video on how conversion script work
Publishing to your social media profiles is an opportunity to reach audiences and most importantly get them the appreciate the content your are producing. Unlike the SEO (search engine optimization) where it is not so much about ‘what’ content but ‘how much’ of it you can product, social media is a lot less forgiving. Posting content that is clearly automated or not yours will lead fans and followers to ignore your posts. Posting content at times when your followers are not around – is a complete waste. Loosing customers to that news site once they have interacted with your post is also a waste – waste of time that was invested into producing the content.