A strategy takes time to form. This is especially true for social media. The most coherent and productive strategy only emerges after some trial and error. It is one thing to think a strategy into being and another to expose it to the often arbitrary reality of the world. A conducive strategy cannot take shape in isolation.
We have executed social media campaigns for companies of all sizes and sectors. What we have found is what works for one may not work for another at all. In some cases, the target audience is easy to guess; in others, you’d be surprised to find who is consuming your content on a regular basis.
Facebook Insights is a very useful (and free) analytics tool for business Facebook pages. It helps us save a lot of time and veer campaigns back on track. The key is to check it frequently, glean important information from it and incorporate it into an ever-evolving strategy.
While this tool can give you a ton of information, here are some key insights that we find particularly useful.
Are you reaching more men or women?
It’s one thing to create content and promote it keeping in mind a certain demographic, it’s quite another to actually reach them.
It is, therefore, extremely important to bring in the metrics early on. Insights’ demographic data can give you the required details.
Are more men or women likely to constitute your audience? What age groups do you need to be reaching? Regardless of whether the content itself is gender-neutral or not, you want to find this out and monitor it over the course of few weeks. If you do get a consistent pattern with either men or women being the primary consumers of the content, you might want to consider tweaking it accordingly.
Conversely, if you aim to get more women readers than men and if you aren’t reaching them in big enough numbers, that too may call for either a shift in content creation strategy or that of content promotion on social media.
Are you reaching the right geographic locations?
In one of the campaigns we conducted, the audience we needed to target was from a particular city because that was the nature of the client’s business. Our content was created keeping that in mind and so was the promotion undertaken after it. But Insights showed us that the majority of the users liking our posts and reading our articles were from an entirely different place – far away from our target area and not pertinent to the client’s business.
We were surprised. The likes we received and the traffic redirected back to the client’s website did not amount to much in the light of this discovery since the audience wasn’t relevant to the local services our client offered.
Though it did spread the name, this wasn’t the traffic we needed. We made a few tweaks to the promotion and the target audience to get it back on track. Traffic means very little if you aren’t getting the RIGHT traffic!
What kind of content is more popular?
So video marketing is huge and you decide to create a few top-notch videos for your blog. But are the videos generating the desired engagement on your Page?
Just because a format is wildly popular does not mean it will always work for you. This is where businesses often struggle – they let trends dictate their content without realizing whether a particular trend plays to their strength or the unique preferences of their target audience.
Maybe your text-based posts do better (and get greater engagement) than the videos, or maybe your most popular post was an infographic.
Paying attention to what the followers like the most and giving them more of that (without overdoing it) helps give our social media as well as content creation efforts a clear direction.
How can you adjust your content to get to the right market?
If you find out that you are widely off the mark, it is time to get back to the drawing board. It could be the case that your content isn’t as specific or local in nature as the client needs. That would require choosing a new set of keywords or bringing on a different set of topics to explore.
However, if your fundamental research into the nature of the target audience was fine, and the content itself is along those lines, you may want to consider boosting certain posts, especially those that have done well and are proven to generate more engagement. Boosted posts appear higher up in the News Feeds, bolstering the chances of them being spotted.
There are a number of other ways in which you can target specific segments of people on Facebook. Facebook collects user data all the time. Make that work for you.
What is the goal of your Facebook Page?
While likes are flattering, reality can be hard-hitting.
A social network is only a medium at the end of the day. Yes, it helps businesses find prospects, nurture leads, and engage customers, but eventually all of this has to drive traffic back to the main product – the company website.
That is the whole purpose of inbound marketing. Is that the goal of your page, too?
If the likes, comments, and sharing are not leading to a substantial and sustained rise in organic traffic to your website from the Page, chances are your content has stopped working for you or your promotion strategies need a shot in the arm. In any case, it’s a reminder not to get social media “success” make you complacent and forget about the main goal of the marketing on social networks.
On social, that which seems to be the case is often not the case
There is no science behind creating a solid and reliable strategy. One finds their way around with a lot of trial and error. I exhort the readers to make use of Facebook Insights more often.
Numbers are a curious thing. We don’t undertake a social media campaign without first defining the target audience. Indeed, a digital marketing effort cannot start unless one has clearly zeroed in on the target audience.
And yet, you could be very wrong about who this audience is, what it likes versus what you think it would like. Take the critical feedback on board and keep refining your social media marketing strategy.
What is your opinion on this? Do you use Facebook analytics? How well have they served you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!