The end of the year is the perfect time to review your social media resolutions and plan. Evaluating the success (or utter failure) of your social media plan requires more than counting the number of likes you received and comparing it to last year.
What’s Your Goal?
Before reviewing the results of your year in social media, think back to your social media goal. Did you achieve it? Fall short?
In social media, you can have a hard goal or a soft goal:
- Hard Goal — Increasing your followers by 25% before the end of the 1st quarter and comparing it to total sales
- Soft Goal — Improving your engagement with followers.
Regardless of what goal you’re pursuing, you must have a set objective in order to lucratively follow a social media strategy.
How to Review Your Social Media Strategy
You can examine your social media results for the year on a quantitative and/or qualitative basis.
When reviewing your strategy from a quantitative perspective, look at your various social media analytics and review the change in likes, reach, and other relevant stats such as demographic information over the course of one year. Check for increases, decreases, and other relationships between these results and your goal.
Once you’ve crunched those numbers, take a look at your sales for the year. Ask yourself: was there a dramatic difference? Can you associate the change in your sales directly to your social media strategy? While it may be difficult for certain industries to correlate the social media results with the annual sales, many see a positive relationship between the two efforts.
If you choose to qualitatively review your social media strategy, it’s best to take a look at the engagement you received online. Did you notice an increased amount of mentions over the past 12 months? Were customers actively talking positively about your company and conversing with your brand? A qualitative view of your strategy will help you understand how people feel about your company.
Looking over your social media results from a qualitative and quantitative perspective will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the success or failure of your strategy. Once you understand the results, you need to set new goals and social media resolutions for the New Year.
Realistically Increase Your Likes and Followers
As a business owner, naturally you want the maximum number of likes and followers in the shortest amount of time. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to accomplish and a terrible social media practice.
Okay, so it’s not entirely impossible. You can rapidly increase your page “likes” and “followers” with the help of loosely targeted advertising, paid likes, click farms and other methods. While these methods will accomplish your goal of increasing likes, these likes are worthless. Yes, worthless.
You run a business, right? How does your business stay afloat? Through sales. How do you complete a sale? With the help of an interested customer in your target market.
When you choose to increase your following on social media in a short amount of time, you end up with fake accounts, robots, or customers far outside your target audience.
Having a gigantic number of followers and likes may look amazing, but it’s not helping your business earn revenue and foster growth.
“Likes” are not sales. Sales are sales!
Instead, it’s in your best interest to increase the number of followers authentically using the proper ad targeting criteria and other ethical and effective social media strategies.
Creatively Engage Your Followers
We’ve all experienced it. You follow a brand on social media, and all of a sudden you become bombarded by overly pushy advertisements and junk content. If you plan on only sharing content related to your latest discount, sales offering or deal, good luck having a prosperous social media presence.
This year, make it a priority to follow the 80:20 rule — balance your social media posts with 80% informational and engaging content and 20% promotional content with specific call to actions. You’ll have better results that way!
Hopping On the Social Media Train
Think about this — are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social networks just because everyone else is? News flash: not every social media channel is right for your business.
Each social media channel has a purpose. For example, LinkedIn is geared towards the professional crowds with the intent of informing and networking. Pinterest is ideal for highly visual content worth sharing. Some social media networks may make perfect sense for your business, while others may not.
Don’t hop on the social media bandwagon for the sake of joining the crowd. If a certain social media channel and its purpose doesn’t make sense for your business, do not feel pressured to join it.
Be Active This Year!
What’s worse than having no social media presence at all? Having social media pages that have been abandoned and quiet since their inception.
Abandoned social accounts lead potential customers to think that you are no longer in business or that, as a business, you are not interested in informing and/or engaging your customers. An active account providing value to online users shows that your business wants to help, engage and get feedback from customers.
If you’re going to use social media to market your business and extend your brand, stick to it. Once you gain an active following, your audience will want updates and content related to your business and brand. You can’t just ignore them or feed them a pre-written response.
Many brands want to have an active social media presence but forget to regularly post content. Make it your goal to continually update your audience by creating and following a content calendar. Remember to make sure the content you share is relevant!
Sharing Relevant Content
While I’m on the topic of relevant content…
One of my personal pet peeves is when brands share content that has nothing to do with their company, and are trying to gain a mass amount of likes. They share the latest viral cat video in hopes that it will generate engagement and likes for their page.
In reality, this just means the company is being lazy. Sharing viral videos, funny GIFs and other unrelated, but popular, content tells your audience that you do not care enough to craft your own related content. If you’re interested in having a successful social media presence, share content that’s not only relevant to your brand, but that your audience also wants to engage with.
Improving Social Media Design and Following Channel Formats
Have you ever noticed how some social media accounts have pixelated images or cut off cover photos? It’s because they didn’t follow the specific channel image format. Also, have you ever seen a branded page share a piece of content that just looked, well, awful? It’s best for your social media pages to not follow their lead.
Make it a priority to improve the quality of your social media designs and always follow the image formats for each respective social media channel!
Why Does This All Matter?
Your social media presence needs to have a strategy, a purpose and a goal. Without a strategy, you won’t get very far. Without a purpose, what’s the point of using social media in the first place? Without a goal, you can’t review your progress.
Social media is no longer an option for businesses. This marketing method is slowly but surely becoming a need. Take time this year to focus on your social media resolutions and accomplish your online goals.
If you have lofty social media resolutions, but no idea of how to accomplish them, give our team a call at 615-890-3600.