Post consistent content that your audience loves and your social media will be successful. Is it that simple? Yes and no. Using best practices and tips based on research can help you improve. But if you want to get better results, you need a content strategy, strong creation and curation skills, and a robust measurement process. And the latter is not about gathering data – it is about making sense of it and using it to continually improve.
One technique I use to get insights from my social media data is to do an analytics Rorschach Test. What does the visual look like? This past week, my Facebook insights chart of reach and engagement looked like a pregnant woman lying on her back or maybe a wide and steep mountain. What’s going on here?
For much of June, I was not posting regularly because I was delivering training in India for Packard Grantees – and I didn’t always have reliable Internet access and I didn’t pre-schedule posts. You are only as good as your last Facebook post and if you don’t post consistently, using an editorial calendar – then your engagement and reach drops. If you are just posting any old content, not what your audience loves, then you won’t see much engagement. And, if you don’t bother to look at your data, get insights, and make changes – you are wasting your time.
After returning from my trip and getting over jet lag, I restarted my editorial calendar – drawing on the insights that I have gained over the past three years to identify and share content that I know resonates with my audience. I came across this post called “10 Types of Content That We All Love” and I know from my tracking, that my audience tends to love #2 and #9 (at least on Facebook). I focused on sharing content that they want based on data. In fact, several posts received highest ever in the number of shares such as this one.
In early July, Facebook announced that it will include mobile data. Facebook reach metrics will now include a combined number that accounts for both desktop and mobile reach.
And Facebook added that it will load new stories quickly, eliminating interruption in how users scroll through their news feeds. Reach may be affected in insights, but the way users see the stories will be unchanged. So, it is unclear how much adding mobile metrics has made a mountain out of my mole hill, but it is a reminder to me to post consistently and be highly selective in the type of content I curate and share on Facebook Page.
Because I am developing some material for upcoming training workshops this month and next, I’ve been on the prowl for useful and practice resources for content marketing.
I am a huge fan of cheat sheets, one pagers that consolidate the best practices or tips. I like to them print out and keep by my computer as a visual reminder. I know from my past data that my audience also loves practical cheat sheets too. So, I’m always on the hunt for good ones. I found this posting guide from Top Nonprofits — and really liked it and added it to my Pinterest Content Strategy board. Yesterday, I grabbed a screenshot and posted it to my Facebook Page. I watched as it got hundreds of likes and hundreds of shares and more than the usual comments and double the highest reach ever.
Success is based on knowing what content your audience likes based on making sense of measurement so you can replicate that success.
Here’s a short list of useful links about that I curated this month about content strategy that got high engagement or reach:
- Data on Facebook Tabs: Worth it?
- Are You Taking Full Advantage of the Facebook Timeline Features?
- The Story on Facebook Promoted Posts (here and here)
- Twitter Cheat Sheet based on research from Buddy Media
- Six Types of Visual Content
What insights have you gained from measuring your content strategy? What’s keeping you from measuring and learning?