How is your social media strategy working out for you? Are you gaining followers, fans, tags or pins but can’t figure out why your ROI has not increased? Are people returning to your site but not converting? Is your blog receiving a lot of engagement but your conversions have not increased?
You might already command a significant online presence and receive many hits. You know your content is receiving attention, and is being viewed, but how do you calculate, or – explain to your boss – how effective your content strategy is on social media?
This article focuses on refining your social media strategy, urging you to understand the nature of social media relationships and social sharing sites first, then what analytics to examine so that you can understand how effective your strategy is. After this, then you can focus your efforts on optimizing your content.
Understanding Your Audience from a Social Media Perspective
To understand how effective your social media strategy is, it simply makes sense to analyze each network separately. Consider the characteristics intrinsic to each social network. Think about the nature of the connections that are formed on the three major social media websites – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Rather than focusing on the type of content that is shared on each network (there are enough articles written about Twitter limiting posts to 140 characters, how to grow engagement on LinkedIn by joining industry groups or how to promote your company on Facebook), perhaps you should try to focus on the network itself in order to determine how much revenue each site is drawing in, and which sites you should focus on.
Reciprocated and Non-Reciprocated Relationships on Social Media Sites
The social relationships formed on Twitter are non-reciprocal. That is, you can follow someone, or have someone follow you without having some sort of agreement or acknowledgment of a social media relationship. Therefore, you can follow celebrities, or thought leaders in your industry, and receive their updates and thoughts without necessarily having some degree of real-life relationship – intimate or casual with the people you follow. Similarly, on a site like Twitter, anyone can follow you and consume your content.
Twitter therefore, has a larger potential reach because the follower – followee relationships are more casual – the probability that your network will be larger is exponentially larger than with a site like LinkedIn. Are these leads likely to be as qualified as a LinkedIn lead? Probably not. Is Twitter, then a channel you shouldn’t be putting effort into optimizing with content? Not necessarily.
Twitter has the potential to drive a large amount of traffic to your site or blog. The fact that your networks are larger and more casual makes this a reality. Facebook is likely to generate the most leads – probably colder leads to lukewarm leads because there must be a mutual agreement to have a social media relationship. On the other hand, LinkedIn will probably drive less leads, but the most qualified leads to your site because of the business context and the higher level of familiarity you must have with your network.
So you need to determine what is driving the most revenue for your business – traffic, leads, or qualified leads, and focus your efforts on the network that is helping you make this revenue. In order to determine what your priority should be, turn to your social media analytics.
Look at your traffic, engagement and conversions through history. How do these KPIs fit in to your overall marketing strategy? What role is each social media network playing in your lead generation efforts, and how much of a priority is how warmed up your leads are?
How much do your social media customers cost to acquire, and how much are you spending on each network? How long does it take a social media lead to run through your sales cycle? How can you decrease this amount of time? Then, after you understand your social media analytics, examine your website’s analytics. Where do your leads enter your page from each network? Where do they leave, and where do they spend time on the site? From here, you can refine your content strategy, looking at your content and determining how to better address your prospect’s needs.