Is it time to streamline your social media presence?
We’re constantly being told that promoting ourselves via social media is one of the most effective ways to get our name out there and snag some lovely new customers. And it absolutely is – as long as we’re targeting the right audience, and we’re active on the platforms where our ideal clients actually hang out!
As a full-time social media manager, I come across a lot of business owners who think they need to be constantly posting across every platform going. But the fact is, not every network is going to suit their objectives, or attract attention from the kinds of people who are likely to buy from them.
Part of my role is giving these confused, time-strapped entrepreneurs the confidence to abandon certain sites altogether if they are not bringing them great results and increase their activity on the platforms that are destined to deliver a much better ROI.
Deciding which social media platforms will bring the most value to your business
I put together a blog on this very topic a little while ago. Have a read for a run-down of the benefits of working with the top four sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
If you’re just starting out, you can use some of the info in this piece to pick one or two platforms that should, in theory, give you the exposure you’re looking for. If you have been running your campaigns for a while, the best thing you can do is review your analytics data to evaluate how well everything is performing and identify which platforms you’re getting a less-than-impressive response from.
Working out how well each platform is performing
There are a few ways you can measure the success of each social media channel. Generally, you should always consider:
- The size of your following
If you’re only advertising to a couple of old workmates and a handful of family cheerleaders (thanks Nan!), I’d hazard a guess that you’re not attracting much new business from your social media strategy! You don’t need thousands of followers to make an impact, but you do need a certain level of exposure to give your campaign traction. (Don’t ever be tempted to pay for phoney followers, though – all the major platforms are getting very good at spotting bots and fake accounts.)
- The quality of your followers
It can be easy to get caught up in the numbers – but success on social media is just as much about the quality of your connections as it is the size of your network. Are your followers adding value to your accounts by interacting with your posts and showing interest in what you offer? Are you linking up with the kinds of people who you could collaborate with, or who could potentially introduce you to new customers? If the answer is no, it could be time to go.
- Your audience growth rate
The rate at which you gain new followers is just as important as the quality and quantity of people who are keeping an eye on your business online. The best way to calculate your audience growth rate percentage is to tally up how many followers you have gained over a set period of time (for example, a month), divide these net followers by your total audience size on the platform, then multiply this number by 100.
- Your post reach
All the major platforms will give you insights into how many people have viewed your posts. If your numbers are lower than you would like, there are some tricks of the trade you can use to boost your posts’ exposure. For example, on Instagram you could use a better mix of hashtags to help people discover your content; and on LinkedIn, you could try posting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as users tend to be the most active during the middle of the week. But if you have been experimenting for a while now to no avail, you might not be promoting yourself in the right place, full stop.
- Your engagement levels
You could drill down into applause rates, amplification rates and virality rates – all the fun stuff! – but at a basic level, you just need to monitor how many likes, shares and comments your posts are receiving, relative to the number of followers you have on your account. You can work out the overall engagement rate for a post by adding up all of its interactions, dividing this number by your total number of in-platform followers, and multiplying it by 100.
- Your referral traffic data
If you are using your social media strategy to drive people to your website, you’ll need to know just how many actual sessions your hard work has generated. The easiest way to check all your social media signposts is to open up your Google Analytics account, then click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals for all the juicy data.
Taking the next steps!
If you have reviewed your reach, engagement and referrals from a particular platform and found it’s not delivering the stats you’d hoped for, streamline your social media strategy by focusing your energies on the networks that are giving you a better return. It will save you time, it will lead to much less frustration, and it will totally renew your confidence in social media marketing.
If you’re not comfortable with closing your accounts down, you don’t need to pause all activity. Just schedule in a few posts, several times a month to keep these profiles ticking along.
And if you need help, remember I’m always here to chat you through your performance metrics!
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