Since this is the last post in this series, let’s quickly review that which we’ve looked at so far. In part 1 we built our foundation, identifying our social media objective and strategy. In part 2, we identified our target audience. Part 3 addressed the importance of, and provided some tips on, managing the cornerstone of your social media blueprint: content. Part 4 provided an overview and the basics of using Facebook Ads and part 5 delved into analytics. In this final installation, we’ll use advanced analysis methods to help us identify ways to use social media for identifying growth opportunities for your business.
Discover your Mentions
Finding pages or people that mention your Facebook page brings the opportunity to develop content and nurture that relationship, ultimately leveraging another page’s audience.
By identifying the most frequent posters on your business page or the page of your "mentioner", you can get a good idea of whether or not your target audiences overlap significantly and where your outreach should start. One should look many factors to ensure that the most relevant stories appear in the news feed, including which posts are receiving the most engagement (likes, shares, comments, and link clicks). Also take a look at the posts which are receiving the most engagement from people who like both the person/page that posted and the page that was tagged.
Locate Pages With Similar Interests and Large Audiences
Have your competitors reached potential customers that you have not? There’s a good chance that the answer is yes. So, how do you reach them too? You could run an analysis on a big chain store that would be similar to your business and use the information to tell you the techniques they are using to bring in customers on Facebook. You can also learn the kind of audience they have with whom you could connect as well.
This sounds like cheating, I know, but it isn’t. It’s simple and smart…and it’s the world in which we live now. And it doesn't have to be nefarious, it can be done in a friendly way because you can share your audience with them, if you choose to do so. Competitive analysis is one of the easiest and most under-utilized types of analysis. There is so much that you can learn and leverage from businesses similar to yours.
Conduct a side-by-side analysis in order to determine how you measure up against your competitors or other successful companies. Identify their trends in engagement and track that which is working and that which is failing for them. If you can do this on an ongoing basis you will get a very clear understanding of target influencers, industry friends, how and when to mention them on your page, and how to leverage their audiences.
Once you have identified the pages from which you are looking to pull an audience, pinpoint the peak times that your audience is engaging on Facebook and then cross reference with qualitative research on the industry-aligned pages you are looking to target. Are they active at similar times? Mentioning or tagging other pages during peak times to ensure that your content displays effectively on both news feeds is going to make a huge difference in growing your followers.
Test and Measure
Now, did it work? In order to find out, you will want to determine which posts received the most engagement and analyze whether or not tagging the other pages or brand names boosted your interaction per post. This will help you to qualify the value of engaging with certain pages over other ones. You will, of course, want to conduct a similar analysis on organic versus paid posts or ads.
Don’t forget to take into consideration your ultimate content goals for Facebook. You will want to see not only the post inviting the most engagement, but also the type of engagement. If tagging a specific page led to a lot of picture views, for example, but no actual link clicks it may be time to reevaluate if the goal of the content was, in fact, to get people to click.
By asking specific questions, you can evolve your planning process and social media strategy. Simply Measured says to use a “SWOT analysis”:
Strengths: Characteristics of your social presence that give you an advantage over competitors. Where are you exceptional? Where are you being proactive, not reactive?
Weaknesses: Characteristics of your social presence that put you at a disadvantage in comparison to competitors. What are you not doing that you need to be doing? Which minimum industry standards are you failing to achieve?
Opportunities: Holes in your competitors’ social strategies that you can fill. What are some successful competitive strategies you’ve learned that you can mimic or improve upon? Which social network capabilities are you not taking advantage of fully?
Threats: Possible competitive impediments or encroachments to the quality, reputation, singularity, and overall value of your cross-network social presence. Where is your brand at risk on social? Where do you need to devote resources immediately?
In this day and age, it is imperative for businesses to have a strong website and social media presence. I hope that this series has provided a comprehensive look at all the aspects involved in creating a strong social media and marketing plan from the initial objective to strategy, audience, content, ads management and analytical tools. Now, go forth and build your following!