Tips for increasing your Social Media marketing success this yearByClaire Fuller |DigitalFundraisingMarketingCreative |23 January 2019
The beginning of a new year presents a great time to analyse your social media activities and work out where you’ve seen the most success, what you want to repeat, what you’d like to develop and whether you’d like to change your approach at all.
Begin by analysing 2018
Looking back at the year that’s just gone can help you to develop your future plans even more effectively in a way that will bring your current audience “along for the ride” with you. It’s important to bear in mind that if you try and change too much too quickly, your audience may feel confused and may even choose to move away from following your page(s) if they no longer feel that they identify with you.
During your analysis, consider:
- What does social media success look like for your organisation – i.e. lots of followers, people liking your posts, posts being shared, comments being made, people visiting your website to take action etc.
- Was your strategy successful last year?
- What changes could you make this year?
- Was there anything that worked really well?
- Did anything produce a reaction you weren’t expecting – do you know why and would you like to try and repeat this?
- What sort of messaging did your audience respond to the most?
To look back at previous social media performance it’s useful to do the following:
- Speak with your audience (consider a survey) to find out what they think
- Talk to the people who manage your social media accounts – what are their observations
- Use the analytics aspects of your accounts (within Facebook and Twitter etc) to view useful statistics about reach and engagement
Having analysed the last 12 months, you’re in an even stronger position to plan for the next and to work out which strategies will be the most successful for the campaigns and content you’ll be sharing throughout the year.
Does your plan include video content and if so, how much?
Video is slowly moving to the centre of social media marketing - are you ready for this in terms of the content you’re planning to create and share?
Studies have shown that people are more willing to watch a short video than read a long piece of text, so will you be creating posts to keep your audience as interested and engaged as possible?
With smartphones making it even easier to capture, edit and upload video, this year could just be the perfect time to explore the use of video on your social media channels. It’s a great way to share your stories and to celebrate your supporters, thanking them for their help and showing the impact that they are having.
For tips on creating videos to share on social media, check out our blog at https://www.weareyeomans.co.uk/blog/social-media-video
Remember that you don’t have to be on every social media channel
Just because there are lots of different social media channels, it doesn’t mean you have to be represented on them all. This can rapidly exhaust your time, energy and resources and even mean that you miss opportunities to engage with your audience as you’re “spreading yourself too thinly”. Instead, focus on the channels that are successful for your organisation and bring you the engagement and interaction you are looking for.
Use a strategic approach when it comes to your best-performing channel, focus on the channel where your audience is, not where your competitors are.
Of course, if you focus on where your audience is, you may need to explore a new channel if your target audience is switching to different channels and moving away from the channels you currently use.
If you’re considering switching to a new social media channel and/or stopping use of a current channel, it’s important to carry out your research first and consider questions such as:
- How will your current audience react to the change of channel – will they move with you?
- How can you communicate the changes with your audience?
- Is the channel you’re considering switching to appropriate for your organisation?
- How will you launch your new page/account?
- Do you have appropriate resources and experience available to manage a new account on a new channel?
Plan your content
It’s easy to fall into the habit of creating content for the sake of it, rather than only producing valuable content, however this can be a way to weaken your relationship with your page followers. Before posting any content, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve from posting, and what you want your audience to get from it. Does it fit with your brand, values, mission and any specific campaign messaging etc?
If you had a particularly popular blog or article in the last year, it’s often helpful to re-read the content and update it to make it relevant in the next year, or to file it away for reviewing again in the future. Not only will you be reusing valuable content, but this can also help with your SEO, which will make it easier for your audience to find your content.
It’s good practice to create a schedule of the main content you want to either reuse or create during the year so that you can plan your research, production and scheduling of posts. This will help you to create timely, relevant and valuable content to keep your target audience informed and interested.
However, it’s also important to leave space in your schedule for:
- “Ad hoc” posts to be added when situations arise which you would like to comment on/share with your audiences
- Engaging in conversation with your audience – ensuring you have time to respond (as appropriate) to any interactions received on your posts
Think about your audience
It’s important that when planning your social media messaging you put your audience first and consider their needs, motivations and desires.
Carry out research to discover the behavioural patterns of your target audiences and what they are most likely to respond to in terms of the type and style of content they see.
Find out what channels your audience use and their reasoning for being on the channel. Do they want to engage with your organisation and will they do so on a particular channel?
For any more information on planning your social media marketing for the year ahead, why not get in touch with our experts. We’d love to work with you and help you develop your social media voice even more in 2019.