10-MINUTE READ · By Tina Arnoldi
Many people make the mistake of jumping into social media without a plan. You hear about the audience size on a channel and automatically think “We need to be there.” That’s not the case – with the exception of Facebook in my opinion. With 1.47 billion daily active users on Facebook, your customers and prospects are probably there which is why this is one channel the majority of businesses should be on.
But you do need to think about your goals and your content – your strategy – before your channels. And you need a budget because you will need to put some money into paid posts.
But what is the “best” channel?
If you still want to think about channels first, Facebook is a go-to channel regardless of market. However, do not determine the “best” channel strictly based on demographics. Let’s say your audience is primarily in their 40s and located in the US. Sounds like the right segment to target since they are interested in what you offer, right? Not always. That is your audience, not your prospects. At some point, people in their 30s will be in their 40s, so why not reach them now? Or if you want to test the global market, it’s time to talk to prospects outside of the US on their preferred channels. Whichever direction you use, aim for a multi-channel approach and consider your whole funnel.
Content Strategy or Social Media Strategy?
Your strategy should start off social media and with a focus on your business. Think in terms of developing a content strategy rather than a social media strategy. Instead of asking “What should we post on Facebook/YouTube/etc?”, brainstorm some of the below questions.
- What do people like about you? It may not be your product. It’s possible your product is a commodity. Do they like your personality? Your approach to services?
- What do they not like about you? Maybe your brand personality is what they do not like? Think about your tone and your existing content that may have bombed. Revisit that before you post it!
- What are your customers trying to do? “Use our product” is not the answer. Save time? Save money?
After you have worked through a content and reviewed how content has performed, then you can ask questions relevant to social media.
- What are trending topics on social that are relevant to what we do? Note: You cannot make a trending topic relevant to you by throwing in a hashtag. That serves only to annoy people because it is clearly clickbait.
- What is success? If it is a lower funnel campaign where your goal is conversions, vanity metrics such as a website traffic are not the best measure.
Paid versus Organic
Organic reach is low. Facebook alone has changed dramatically. The announcement earlier this year implied that you have to pay to be seen as a brand. “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” The organic reach may be as low as 2% on Facebook. Do you have 1,000 fans? Maybe 20 of them saw your post. But Facebook does have a high ROI and as mentioned earlier, it has a very high reach.
Even though organic reach is low, people will still go to an organic channel for specific questions or information about your brand, which is why a mix of organic and paid is important across all your networks.
A few tips for organic posts
- Channels favor content on their platforms. If you have a great video on YouTube that you want to link to from Facebook, do not link. Instead, upload it to Facebook so it is on Facebook’s platform.
- Use images or video, especially on Twitter. This invites people to be more engaged than a simple text post. Not sure what engages people the most? Look at what worked with people in the past
- Take advantage of relevant hashtags and keywords to increase your fans and followers.
- View your analytics for your organic traffic. Has the frequency of your social posting remained the same but visits are trending down? Then it is definitely time to do some paid posts.
A few tips for paid posts
- Paid posts can be used both to expand your reach and optimize for conversions, as well as to get quick results with any tests. I recently ran a small paid Twitter campaign which resulted in engagement of 2% compared to a less than .5% on comparable organic posts.
- Use paid social posts to reach a new audience and increase your likelihood of reaching existing fans and followers.
- Look at your best performing organic content and boost it with paid ads to grow fans and followers, and ideally drive leads.
- Use paid posts for retargeting. People who have already interacted with you may respond to a lower funnel conversion goal or a stronger ‘ask’ than people you bring in at the top of your funnel.
It goes without saying that Supermetrics is all about measurement! You need to measure everything you do so you know if it works. Use UTM tagging to distinguish your organic and paid social traffic in Google Analytics. And use a Supermetrics template to track your social performance across several channels or view your Facebook ad performance only in Data Studio.
About Tina Arnoldi
Tina Arnoldi is Analytics and AdWords Qualified and one of the few people in the United States recognized as a Google Developer Expert(GDE) for marketing. Her agency, 360 Internet Strategy, is also a Google Partner. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn