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.
Are you using Twitter as part of your business to business (B2B) marketing strategy? For Williamson Foodservice, Twitter is an essential component in their relationships with both suppliers and customers. Selling around 3,000 product lines that represents a number of suppliers and manufacturers, and serving hundreds of customers from hotels, restaurants and cafés to caterers and retailers, Twitter has become an important business communications tool. Marketing Manager and guest blogger, Simon Stewart, shares how Twitter can be used to develop B2B relationships in the food and drink industry.
Sharing customer success
We estimate about 25 per cent of our customers occupy the Twitter space and we regularly monitor their accounts. This helps us celebrate and share their successes from awards won, media recognition, positive reviews from customers or bloggers/critics etc to their involvement in wider campaigns like the North Coast 500. Dishes they are proud of or business growth or expansion projects like new kitchens, extensions or plans for growth also offer great opportunities to shout about it on Twitter and for their businesses to gain from this increased exposure.
The growth in food and drink enthusiasts has also mushroomed in recent years and many of these ‘influencers’ have incredibly large numbers of people following them, usually on platforms like Twitter. They are constantly looking for new businesses like yours to tweet about, visit and/or review.
Suppliers to Williamson’s on the other hand launch new products, update existing ones, provide customer support like recipes or new ideas for using their products as well as promoting their own successes. We in turn help share that news to customers through our own Twitter posts. We know that many of our suppliers follow our Twitter account and we know that they like to see how their products are being used by customers too.
Top food and drink information 24/7
Twitter is the mechanism that can bring customer and supplier communications together in a common space that could only otherwise have happened at a trade show or some other similar personal gathering. Whilst many of us may be able to devote a couple of visits a year to such activities (and these are in fact enormously valuable to both sides when they take place as is evidenced by our popular Walkabout events), Twitter allows this free flow of information at whatever time you want it!
Williamson Foodservice also employ techniques that bring the best food and drink news to us and we share this through Twitter too. So, if you are a north chef who is looking for ingredient inspiration or new ideas for menus, then we’re usually tweeting about something you’ll be interested in. Twitter is in fact a great place for chefs to showcase their skills and we regularly communicate and promote their creations – although this is usually late at night when they eventually get out of their kitchens!
Don’t worry too much about terminology
Yes, there’s a bit of getting used to terminology like retweets and hashtags etc and there’s a bit of a learning curve on how you can post to the masses but also speak personally and privately to individuals, but it’s a powerful beast when you get the hang of the basics.
Twitter enables Williamson Foodservice to support the brands that they sell and helps to improve their relationships with both suppliers and customer. As they have found, Twitter gives you an extra, and cost effective, business tool that can be used alongside other promotional activities, and it can help to put your business under the radar of others. Read the blog post in full here and follow them @williamsonfood.
If a picture paints a thousand words… then a 1 minute video is worth 1.8 million.
On the 23rd of April 2005, just over 10 years ago, the first video was uploaded to YouTube.
Today, YouTube has over 1 billion users uploading 300 hours of video every minute, generating billions of views, with half of those views now coming from mobile devices. Read more here.
Some pretty staggering numbers. The shear amount of growth that YouTube has been able to achieve is testament to the growth that online marketing has seen over the course of the last ten years. And YouTube, although the largest player, is just one piece of the puzzle.
Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Facebook all allow you to create, share and engage with your audience through the platforms’ own video content creator.
So how can you make any impact when there is so much content flooding onto YouTube alone?
Well here are 4 big numbers to take into account:
10 seconds – that’s how long you have to grab your viewer’s attention. 20% of viewers click away from a video in 10 seconds or less.
5 minutes – iPad users last the longest… up to 5 minutes, whilst desktop users stick around for 2 mins or less, mobile 2.4 minutes and Android 3 minutes.
16% – Tuesday mid morning is the sweet spot for content… 16% of YouTube videos are embedded, linked or shared at that time.
15 seconds – videos this length or shorter are shared 37% more often than those 30 seconds to 1 minute. Read more here.
So we have some basic options for the kind of content which succeeds, but what’s next to make your YouTube sensation?
Get the cameras out and get started? No… Even though your iPhone is capable of shooting material that 10 years ago would have been a big bucks production job, the action in front of the lens is what’s more important.
This is where a little bit of pre-production goes a long way. Think about what you want to focus on in your video and who you want to watch it before you even pick up a camera, is absolutely vital. To start with ask yourself:
Who is this video for? Age/Location/Hobbies/Job…
What do these kinds of people like to watch? History/action/sports…
What would success look like for this video? Viewed by 85% of the local community/discussion point for conference/increase traffic to your homepage by 15%?
Making your project measurable allows you to be able to track your success and then review and make changes, with impact, next time around. Impact can be about much more than just the amount of views. This may mean getting some baseline figures, like current views on your website, but will make the whole process more worthwhile in the long run as you can see what works and what doesn’t.
With this information to hand, and following some of the top tips in the “4 big numbers” now it’s time to get the camera out and start shooting that masterpiece!
Don’t forget that when it comes to video, sound is just as important as picture. If you can, get a microphone you can plug in as it will make a world of difference.
If you’re shooting on a phone, hold it horizontally (landscape), not up and down like a portrait! Nothing screams amateur more than unwanted big black bars down either side of your video.
Edit your content including only the key elements that tell the story. You can use apps like iMove or Magisto which allow you to do this on your computer or your phone. YouTube now has a built in editor that is also really handy – www.youtube.com/editor
Before you upload your video, let a critical friend watch it back, and although no one likes hearing that their baby isn’t quite the darling they think, taking feedback onboard at this stage and making changes always leads to a better result.
So there you go. If you haven’t thought about using video before to either promote your services, engage with your users or educate your audience then there has never been a better time; 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future, and as Hanan at Tuminds highlighted previously, online video is expected to account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic in just 2 years. Read more here.
By Thomas Hogben, DP Digital Media