Social media experts are everywhere and there are many varying opinions on what's ahead in the constantly changing landscape.
In this post we're going to look at setting your goals based on what you've done so far and how you should adjust it so you're getting the most out of your content marketing.
If you've never taken stock of your social media or set goals, then this is the article for you.
It's important to measure the successes and failures honestly and to set your ego aside and admit that some of what you did may have been wasted effort.
For tips on how to improve your social media try our article: How to Incorporate Content Marketing into Twitter
1. Check Your Reports
Do you keep reports? You definitely should so you can assess the efficacy of what you spent time putting online. A report can look any way you want but if you need direction Smartsheet has a free social media report template to get you started.
Look for metrics like engagement instead of impressions. With impressions and low clicks, you're doing more harm than good. Look at how your content performed and create categories for it all.
This information is like your potential leads all telling you what they liked or didn't. Take that into account when planning out 2018's content.
Each social media platform offers free analytics on the profile's performance, so you can see what you've shared that resonated and what fell flat. Look for patterns and topics that show users had consistent interest in something you can then repeat.
You can even take the step of starting paid promotion for your business if you're up for a challenge!
2. Study Your Website Analytics
Google Analytics is a great free tool provided by Google that is essential to planning your social media in 2018. Why? This is where you find out how much of what you did actually drove traffic to your business.
If you do have it set up, then check your Acquisition section for Social and then Network Referrals. You'll be able to see the past year by selecting the previous year as the date range.
This will show you just how many people have clicked on your social media posts and landed on your website.
This won't matter when it comes to what you shared but it does matter if you've done posting that points people toward your website.
You should always incorporate some sales-oriented messaging that shows your client's your business so while you don't want to be a serial self promoter you don't want to be absent any self promotion entirely.
3. Set Your Goals
The first two steps should give you an understanding of where you are and now it's time to take that information and plan where you're going.
What drew clicks? What got shared? What worked and what didn't?
If something looks off and is clearly not working then assess whether your time would be better spent elsewhere. Another issue might be the audience of a platform dwindling. Genuinely look out for platforms that have lost their audience because, while rare, it has happened in the past.
Are you spending a lot of time posting to Facebook? Try putting some of that effort into Instagram if your target market is also on that platform. On average the approximate Instagram brand follower growth is 6 – 8% per month. You may not be able to recreate that, but you should see some solid numbers if you're posting good images regularly.
When were your posts most effective? Pinterest trends show increased usage in the summer and around Christmas with spring and fall seeing big dips. Look at your reports and if you used Pinterest see if your stats align with this. Plan a posting schedule so you know when what you post will have the most effect.
When you set your goals keep in mind you may not attain them and that's fine. As long as what you're doing is honest then you're in better shape than most.
Post genuine content about your business and share content you see as having sincere value to people interested in what you do. You'll not only grow your followers and friends, but you'll grow them with people who have value to more than the possible optics of high numbers on a profile.
The most important stat is your bottom line. You are spending your time marketing yourself on social media for a reason and if you have professional social media experts helping you then you're spending your money too.
Your main goal out of all of it is: did this help my business? If the answer is no, then take into account that your previous goals (or a lack of them) were incorrect.
Don't fret doing any of this by the way. The biggest mistake you can make is to allow this to become a chore rather than a positive part of your business. When you're enjoying yourself, you'll find you share better content and you convey that emotion through to potential clients, which is much better than putting out a perception that you're agitated.