Your social media strategy is only as good as the insights you’re building it on

Georgie  Smith
By Georgie SmithSenior PR & Social Media Executive
5 minutes to read

Call it discovery, call it situational analysis, call it research; insights are the foundation for any strategy.

Social without strategy is like shouting into a busy crowd. You might get a few people’s attention, but wouldn’t you get better results going around the room and speaking to people one-on-one or in small groups?

This is the opportunity social is giving your brand. Not only are you opening a channel for you to speak to your customers, but you’re giving them a place to speak back to you.

And knowing exactly how your audience uses social is key to knowing how your brand can get the most from social. That means insights and data, and lots of it.

So, what insights do you need to build a solid strategy? And where do you get them?

Channel performance

If you’ve got social channels already, the first step in gathering insights is channel performance. Measuring metrics like followers, impressions, engagements, engagement rate and click through rate is vital to see what content is resonating with your audience.

Metrics like these always relate back to your objectives for social activity, if you want to reach more people; focus on impressions. If you want to grow a community look at follower growth.

At the core of social activity is engagement rate (engagements per impression). Social is about engaging with an audience but not all posts reach the same number of users, so knowing the engagement rate means you can measure posts equally. It’ll give you an idea of brand advocacy – whether users are going out of their way to interact with you online.

But if you’re using engagement rate – do so with content in mind: competitions can skew this metric massively, and people after free stuff doesn’t equal true brand advocacy.

Using these results, you’ll see what kind of content, formats and topics are resonating with your audience to support the direction of your social strategy. And importantly, you’ll be able to set targets for activity.

Social listening

Imagine if you could know what people were saying about your brand when they think you’re not listening? Well, if you want an accurate strategy that’s what you should be doing.

Whether you use a social tool, or search for your brand name on social channels, you’ll be able to see how often you’re talked about and most importantly how your audience feels about your brand.

Adding engagement and sentiment together are your strongest metrics to prove not only is your audience engaged but they think well of you.

With effective social listening you’ll be able to identify why your brand needs social and how to use it.

If sentiment is negative, there’s a need for reputation management or content that changes perceptions.

If sentiment is high but low impressions, you should focus on awareness.

If you’re seeing complaints you might need to consider more effective customer service interaction on social.

Audience

Combining your channel performance and social listening data you’ll be able to see exactly who is interested and engaged with your brand but more importantly who isn’t. If you know your brand’s target audience isn’t being met on social then you can build this into your strategy.

You can use a social platform’s user stats to inform which channel to use to most effectively reach that particular audience. And don’t just go off presumptions – a survey of US Pinterest users in 2019 revealed that 27% of 50–64-year-olds are active users of the inspo platform.

Take a look at consumer behaviour and social consumption trends, what formats your audience is most likely to respond to, what other brands do they follow and interact with. Ensure your approach to social meets their expectations and the content you share reflects their needs.

Content

Once you’ve got your audience and channels down, content is the next step. Again, using your channel performance analysis, you can look at what posts are resonating with which users.

Facebook’s native insights tab is a treasure trove of information about optimal times and days to post as well as which formats. All of this information should be considered when planning content.

Community

Once you’re up and running, don’t think that sending out regular posts is enough. Go back to the analogy of shouting into a crowd, versus talking to individuals one-on-one: now you’ve got that community, build it by regularly interacting with people, other accounts and brands.

It doesn’t have to be getting into “banter” on Twitter, it can be as simple as dropping likes and supportive comments – whichever suits your brand.

Final Thoughts

If there’s one point to take away for building a social strategy, it's value.

You could have the best-looking content, going out at the right time, targeting the right audience. But if it doesn’t add value, it just isn’t going to cut through the noise.

What’s in it for your customer? What does following your brand’s account mean to them?

It could be tangible like offers, updates or guides. But it could be abstract and objective like entertainment, or a warm fuzzy feeling.

Social media isn’t one size fits all. What works on one channel, won’t work on another and what one brand does might not work for a direct competitor.

Carve yourself a niche on social knowing who your target audience is and giving them something they value on the channels they love most.

If you'd like to know more about our social media offering and how we can help get your brand in front of more people, then drop us a line at hello@enjoy-digital.co.uk

Evolve your experience.

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