Posted: 23 May 2016 Contributor: Kristina Petrick
Developing a Social Media Strategy for KPIs that Count
Staying current, relevant and connected in the era of Social Media can be a challenge for businesses of every scale. The lightning-fast nature of the landscape evolution can have even the most equipped marketing teams reeling for answers to the questions “How often should I post?” “What should I be posting,” “Do I need Snapchat??”… The list goes on.
Developing a Social Media strategy is key for not only managing the day-to-day functions of Social Media in record time, but also to outline a long-term strategy with a cohesive package defined to reach your business goals and measure KPIs.
Ready to lift the load? Here’s how you can get started.
WHY A SOCIAL STRATEGY?
A Social Media strategy does many things to aid you in the uphill battle of maintaining your Social Media channels and reaching your goals. It will help you to track your progress and pain-points. It provides a structure for scheduled media and a plan with a wider scope.
And most importantly – you’ll be able to clearly note which areas aren’t performing and channel your efforts accordingly to maximize your resources and minimize wasted time and efforts.
DEVELOPING A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY – DEFINE YOUR GOALS
The most crucial and often overlooked first step to developing a successful Social Media strategy – clearly define your goals.
Planning content around whom you believe your target audience to be is great. Content is king – and you need it. But without defining your goals and having a way to track them – your efforts are being largely wasted.
How do you expect to be able to say, “we made it!” if you don’t know where you’re going? Define what Social Media is to your business or organization. Of course it’s a connection with your audience, but to what end? Is it to establish brand awareness? Get feedback from your consumers? Provide information? A customer service tool? The list goes on.
Get your goals in line; then determine the best KPIs to track.
IMPORTANT KPIs TO TRACK
Keeping your goals in mind, develop and measure your strategy in a way that’s built to meet them.
Building up a large following is great. But if customer service is your primary goal – targeting non-customers of your business is a waste of time. Need to get consumer feedback? Make sure you’re asking the right questions, and strive for a high engagement rate on posts that can receive comments.
If you’re goals are multi-faceted (as most strategies are) it may be a good idea to track as many KPIs as you can. Just be sure you’re making not of which are the most important to your business, and base your future posts around the successful posts meeting those requirements.
Here are some of the major platforms and major industry KPIs that you can track in each.
Facebook offers a great standing built-in analytics tracking system called “Insights”. If you’re not taking advantage of the free wealth of knowledge you can gain from your audience here – you’re missing out. Track-able KPIs including actions on page, number of views, likes, reach and engagement per post, and much more. Plus, the adjustable date sliders make it easy to view stats for a week, month, or period of your choosing.
LinkedIn offers on-post analytics which can be seen in your feed if you’re logged in as an admin, as well as back-dated information on their Analytics page. For business leads, the follower demographics by industry, function, and company size can be especially beneficial to see if you’re reaching the right target audience with your Social Media strategy. If not – adjust accordingly.
If you use Instagram and have the need to monitor analytics – you’ve probably already noticed that this platform is severely lacking. Instagram does not currently offer a monitoring system to measure your success. Tracking in-app is tedious (and 100% manual) counting followers and likes on each photo. Instead, try Iconosquare. As the leading solution for analytics and measuring KPIs in Instagram, they offer standard KPIs including growth analytics, performance, and demographics.
One shortcoming that still exists – Instagram’s interface makes “reach” almost impossible to track. So for this application if reach is your measure of success – don’t expect to have any capacity to measure that here.
Like Facebook, Twitter’s built in Analytics services are more than sufficient for most KPI needs. The great thing about Twitter analytics – they have an easy-to-monitor monthly highlight form making it a quick stop to compare month-to-month on your most recent performance. Tailoring your schedule around your success is one sure way to grow your following, reach, and brand/business awareness.
Pinterest is amongst the top referral social media platforms and a great channel for businesses to take advantage of. Pinterest provides in-depth analytics including impressions (reach), repins, clicks, likes, and more.
So how do you measure your results? Remember that section above outlining the importance of clear business goals? Make sure the KPI’s you’re measuring are in place to support those goals.
Based on those goals, your business also needs to maximize leverage on those platforms which best provide that measure of success. If reach is your only target goal – Twitter is great for maximum exposure, but if you’re looking for conversion rates – it may not be your best option.
If your resources are limited for Social Media, focus on 2-3 platforms on which you can really shine and grow to best reach your goals.
Whether you’re at entry-level stage in Social Media on a few channels or supporting a full Social Media campaign across multiple channels, having a clear Social Media strategy is an integral part of success – and certainly the only way to confirm you have indeed reached that success.
Need help implementing your strategy? Check out our list of Social Media services from calendar management, strategy, and content creation to help your business connect with your target market.