End of Year Social Media Review – Where to Start?
by Sonja Jones
Thinking about your social media for 2018 but not sure where to start? This blog post sets out a four-step process that will help you get a better understanding of your social media landscape. Explore the suggested tips and tools and start planning for 2018 with confidence.
1. Objectives: what worked and what didn’t
Ideally you’ve had clearly articulated objectives front of mind all year, and if so, you should have a good idea of what has worked. But for some of us our objectives will have been gathering dust and it’s time to get them out again.
A clear set of objectives will help guide you when reviewing the whole year, and even better if they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attributable, Realistic, Timely).
Although this exercise may seem time-consuming it will help you focus your effort and budget more effectively next year so it’s really worth doing.
2. Analytics: what the numbers tell you and what they don’t
A bit of number crunching is essential to understand the impact of your social media activity. Ask yourself the following questions and jot down your numbers – if you have last year’s numbers to compare, even better.
In this step you are aiming to determine the volume and reach of your social media activity.
- How many brand mentions have you gained across which channels?
- Which channels have had the most engagement? (% Increase in followers since previous year?)
- What type of content has had the most engagement? (Likes/comments/shares)
- How often did you post on different subjects? Which were the most popular?
- Did any promotional partners share your content with their audiences? How many new users could these posts have reached?
- Did you run any competitions, promotions or ad campaigns? Did they increase in followers/referrals/sales?
- How many positive vs negative comments? On which topics?
- How did your social media support e-commerce? Google Analytics will show you which social media channels generated referrals and sales.
But the numbers alone will not tell you what to focus on next year. Armed with this data move on to the next step…
3. Identify themes: discover your stars, duds and surprises
Next we’ll interrogate the statistics to find some hooks that caught the attention of your audience. In this step we are aiming to determine the engagement and quality of the interactions you had with potential customers:
- Which topics garnered most interest?
- What do these popular posts have in common?
- What actions did you ask or expect your audience to take? Could you improve your call to action?
- What type of content was most popular? How long did they watch/read for?
- Which topics produced negative or positive comments – why? Could any new content solve these issues or could you respond better next time?
- How active or passive were you in having a conversation with your audience? Did you effectively manage any negativity? Did you respond quickly enough?
- Did you get on board with trends or notable dates? If so how relevant were they to your business?
Identify those Stars, Duds and Surprises and create a dashboard or mindmap so you can use it for planning.
4. Using your analysed data for 2018 Planning
Now you know what worked well for you, you can incorporate these lessons into your 2018 plan. First consider how social media will help you achieve your overall marketing objectives. What else can you do to enhance your content and extend your reach?
Some final thoughts to help you shape your plan:
- Research topics with Buzzsumo.
- What are your competitiors doing? Did they get engagement on subjects that were Duds for you? Why might that be?
- Can you repurpose or update any content for the new year?
- Have you varied your content types?
- Could you encourage user-generated content?
- Would a social media publishing platform help you manage your activity better in 2018? Try Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social.
- Remember social media is both incremental and cumulative so not everything can be measured or controlled.
Understanding everything going on in your social landscape isn’t an easy task but completing a review like this can deepen your understanding of your audience and help you make focused decisions.
If you’re looking for help or support with your social media review, get in touch.