How to Assess and Improve Your Social Media Marketing: A Monthly Plan
Is social media working for you?
Want better results?
Regularly analyzing the performance of your social media marketing helps ensure your content and profiles are delivering.
In this article you’ll discover four monthly assessments to improve your social media marketing results.
#1: Review Key Performance Indicators
Most marketers will tell you that if you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen. Before you go running to your dashboard, though, it’s important to know what you need to measure. Determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) actually matter to your business.
B2Cs, for example, often care about engagement and brand awareness. This means metrics such as likes, shares, comments, followers and retweets. B2Bs, on the other hand, put more weight on the clicks, conversions and website traffic coming from social channels.
Look at the numbers to see where your leads are coming from, when and how they convert and what types of content produce the greatest returns. From there, you can determine what to tweak for the best possible performance, and what to discard or modify.
You can (and should) consider both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Quantitative factors are more concrete and easier to measure (optimal time of day and character count). Qualitative factors are more abstract (subject matter and tone of voice) and can be a bit trickier to measure accurately.
Once you’ve selected your KPIs, start with the quantitative analysis.
Pay attention to the best times to post your social content. Many social media tools automatically analyze this for you, but you can also check manually.
For example, look at the top-performing posts based on clicks (assuming that posts with fewer than five clicks shouldn’t be counted), and see if you can identify a pattern in terms of days and hours. Also look at your worst–performing posts and compare their times and days to the successful set.
Find out if your audience prefers shorter, snackable messaging or longer, meatier posts. Look at the character count for Twitter or the word count for LinkedIn and Facebook to see which lengths were most successful for each network.
Although 65% of B2B marketers realize that visual content works, look at whether visual posts are really driving engagement for your brand. Also, find out what kind of visuals worked best: images, videos, slides, infographics or GIFs. For Twitter, despite research showing that tweets with images generally outperform those without, that may or may not be true for your business.
Depending on which social networks you’re posting to, check the impact of hashtags and keywords you‘ve used. If you see that a certain hashtag isn’t getting you results, turn to Hashtagify.me or RiteTag to find new ideas, especially more long-tail versions that your target audience may be monitoring.
There are also some qualitative metrics you need to review monthly:
Identify what topics have performed well. Is there an increasing number of shares, likes and inquisitive comments when you promote blog posts about certain topics, events or trends? The easiest way to assess this is to bucket all of your social posts into “campaigns” when writing them. Then you can see which campaign did the best, and use this knowledge to write similar content.
Assess whether your top posts were written in an educational, humorous or straightforward tone. This one is a bit harder to analyze. Try to find out if people are reading your posts to educate themselves professionally or reading them just for fun.
Keep in mind that while B2C marketing efforts focus on driving traffic and engagement (which are, no doubt, important to any marketing effort), B2B campaigns are focused on leads. Ultimately, you’ll use your analytics will help find out how many of the people you‘re engaging through social channels will contribute to your bottom line.
After you’ve identified and dissected your top-performing posts, the next step is to republish them.
#2: Discover Top Social Posts for Republishing
We all know that Twitter reach, similar to many other social networks, is far from 100%, and the average life of a social post is fleeting. This is all the more reason to save time and resources by rescheduling your best social content.
Before you repost social content, keep a few points in mind. First, don‘t republish time-sensitive content. Stick to evergreen collateral that‘s always relevant and can breathe new life into your marketing campaigns for months to come.
Also, focus on republishing original work featured on your website and not curated content (unless it’s a guest post from your brand). As valuable as curated content is, it’s often more time-sensitive and drives traffic to external sites.
With those guidelines in place, turn your attention to the business of actually republishing your proven social messages. Here’s a simple two-step plan to help you get that done:
Identify your top 20 tweets from last month. As mentioned above, top tweets can be defined based on the number of clicks, retweets, favorites or any other KPI. If you don’t have 20 tweets that performed well, use the top 10.
Then, republish your top tweets across all related Twitter accounts. Take each of those tweets, and schedule them across all of the personal and company handles multiple times for the coming month. Also, spread them out to reach different time zones.
You can take a similar approach with Facebook or LinkedIn posts. However, since these posts have a longer shelf life, don‘t republish them more than once or twice per month on your company pages. Also post to different groups than you originally did.
Republishing your content is essential to moving your social engagement strategy forward, and will save you time and money in the long run.
#3: Identify the Best Content for Repurposing
Take the same thought process you’ve applied towards reposting your top social posts, and apply it to repurposing all of your best-performing content assets.
Which kinds of successful content can you repurpose on social? Consider blog posts, videos, webinars, white papers, templates, infographics and more.
When choosing what content to repurpose, focus on what has performed well in the past month. If you try to evaluate all of the content you’ve ever produced, you’ll end up promoting the same high-performing content month after month and miss out on opportunities to grow your more recent content’s reach.
Before creating a repurposed content campaign, refer to item 1 of this post, and make a list of the optimal days and times to publish, along with character count and profiles. Then use Google Analytics to give you a broad overview of the content types that are generating the most traffic, conversions and ROI.
Use Google Analytics to find your best-performing content.
Combine this information to determine what content would lend itself successfully to other consumable forms.
#4: Evaluate Social Profiles for Effectiveness
If your company is looking to grow and gain an expanding foothold in the marketplace, your social profiles need to adapt over time.
Evaluate whether your existing profiles are working. If your LinkedIn profile is getting lots of engagement, and your Twitter presence is an active conversation hub, you might not need to do much. But if any of your social accounts are starting to falter, it’s a clue that your social campaigns might benefit from updating the fledgling profiles or networks, or removing them altogether.
For example, if Facebook simply isn’t working for you, consider dropping it. It’s a fine social network and the cornerstone of B2C social marketing success, but B2B companies are increasingly finding that the channel may not be worth their lead generation efforts.
Copyblogger’s post on quitting the network gives marketers some food for thought. If B2B leads are neither generated nor engaged through a platform, then despite its popularity, it’s best to leave that platform alone.
If you’re using individual social profiles, chances are you’re posting to groups or communities through them. The popularity of certain groups often changes, so every month it’s crucial to remove the ones that aren’t working any more. Also, put aside some time to research any new groups that might warrant your membership.
In the social media world, there’s no question that each day counts, but what happens at the end of the month? Take the time to analyze your social media results and how you can improve on them.
5 Ways to Use Fan Content to Improve Your ROI
Do you want to increase the ROI for your social media campaigns?
Have you considered fan content?
Using fan photos in your marketing is an effective way to highlight your brand, products and customers at the same time.
In this article you’ll discover five ways to drive ROI with user-generated content campaigns on social media.
Why User-Generated Content Campaigns?
With the proliferation of online channels in addition to those of traditional marketing, you’re in a constant battle for your audience’s attention. Rather than rely solely on your creative team to produce content, consider turning to your customers.
Putting in the time and effort to develop customer relationships typically means that your social media program will consume a large share of your marketing budget. For this reason, you may be asked to justify spending by providing concrete social media ROI. It’s true that it’s difficult to measure the business value of a like or a shared post, but you can successfully run social marketing campaigns and see real returns for your efforts.
Take a look at how these five brands have launched and managed user-generated content campaigns across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
#1: Turn Fans Into Product Models
Charlotte Russe ran an exceptional social media marketing campaign to showcase the #CharlotteLook (how influencers were styling their clothes). Instagram users were asked to upload their favorite Charlotte look and use the campaign hashtag in their posts. The company selected the most on-brand user-generated content from the campaign and displayed it on their homepage.
Charlotte Russe linked each winning photo to the product pages of the items that were featured in the photo. This tactic resulted in viewers who engaged with the customer photos being 28 times more likely to end up on a Charlotte Russe product page.
#2: Reward Your Fans
6 Pack Fitness launched their #LeadThePack campaign with a weekly bag giveaway. They asked users to submit a photo for a chance be featured on the website and win a bag of their choice.
6 Pack Fitness’s social media marketing strategy included displaying the best customer photos featuring their bags on the company’s product pages.The company saw an immediate impact on their ecommerce performance. Customers who interacted with one of the customer photos on their product pages were 2.7 times more likely to make a purchase and had 12% larger order sizes.
#3: Build on Local Pride
The Breckenridge Colorado Tourism Office ran a successful social media campaign that asked: Why do you love Breckenridge? Fans were asked to share their thoughts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Under the tagline #BreckBecause, fans formed an online community that showcased the authentic Breckenridge experience. As a result of this campaign, GoBreck.com increased web traffic from social media by 841% and increased Instagram followers by 93%.
#4: Celebrate Customer Stories
Ahnu has a customer base of active adventurers who wear their shoes. The brand launched its #Ahnu campaign to collect photos of cool things their fans were doing and interesting places they were visiting. The company displayed #Ahnu campaign submissions on their Facebook page, and viewers could vote on their favorite content.
The users who engaged with these customer photos were 12 times more likely to end up on the Ahnu website.
#5: Tap Into Customer Lifestyles
California Natural Products wanted to increase brand awareness about their Svelte protein shakes on social media. Under the hashtag #DrinkSvelte, they asked fans to post photos of themselves and their Svelte drinks.
The best photos were displayed on the Svelte website, and the photos generated more than 2 million impressions online.
How to Leverage Your Own User-Generated Content
The brands featured in this article went above and beyond just collecting content. They dispersed it through a wide range of networks. The right marketing mix is different for every company, so you’ll have to experiment with what works best for your business.
To get you started, here are a few ways that you can put all of that great customer content from your social media marketing campaigns to work for you.
Advertise on Social Channels. Advertising with user-generated content offers an authentic look into your brand. Place your highest-performing customer photos and videos in display ads to avoid ad fatigue and keep your retargeting campaigns fresh. Remember to budget in advance for strategic paid promotion and anticipate where you might want to conduct your content advertising outside of your owned media.
Use Your Owned Marketing Channels. User-generated content can yield significant results when used on your owned media and ecommerce websites. Place real customer photos on your product pages as visual reviews. These visual endorsements help articulate the value of your products or services. Also don’t forget to repost customer photos aggressively on your social media channels and engage in conversations with your customers.
Don’t Forget Print. There’s no reason you have to stick to digital. You can place user-generated content on packaging and on physical and live displays. For example, Apple placed customer photos from their Shot on iPhone 6 campaign on billboards. Package inserts can be a cost-effective and versatile medium for building relationships with your customers. Leveraging your highest-performing user content can significantly bolster your print campaigns.
User-generated content campaigns are a great way to monitor and participate in social conversations as they develop and evolve. Visual user content can increase the ROI from your social media campaigns. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but through trial and error, you can learn how to get the most out of your campaign content and celebrate your loyal customer base.