[Hint: this question is rhetorical ;)]
We all start our social media pages with the best of intentions. We’re going to post regularly! We’re going to innovate with a mix of content formats and styles! We’re going to track engagement at least monthly! Then the reality of running a business takes over and it’s difficult to do much more than post similar types of content on your social media pages, whenever you have the time.
A good way to stop and take stock is to carry out a social media audit. This is a comprehensive review of all your social media pages and their content, with the aim of pinpointing what’s working and what’s not, so you can refocus your strategy moving forward.
Step One: Start with your social media profiles
Before you get stuck into which post types are performing, it’s worth reviewing your profile pages to make sure they present your brand in the best light, and that they comply with the current best practices of each platform.
For example, earlier this year, Facebook significantly cut the character count on “intro text” (the little bit of text at the top left, under your header image) down to just 101 characters. They didn’t announce this change, meaning loads of businesses had their bios cut short, reflecting badly on their brands.
When reviewing your social media profiles, ask yourself questions like:
- “Have I filled in all the relevant boxes?”
- “Is the content up to date and accurate?”
- “Is the picture legible and still relevant?”
- “Does the bio need improving?”
- “Could the cover image be more eye-catching?”
- “Does the profile give a positive first impression of the brand”.
Step Two: Audit your content’s performance
An annual (at least!) review of content posted allows you to see what your most successful posts were throughout the whole year. The numbers are a great place to start: how many likes, shares and comments did each post receive? It also makes a great blog post if you’re willing to share the information – here’s an example!.
Don’t forget, however, to look at your content from the customer’s perspective. Which posts best communicate your brand message, and which are just filler? Do you consistently post on the same themes and topics, or is the approach a bit more scattergun?
Step 3: Look for patterns in your posts
Once you’ve reviewed a year’s worth of content, you should be in a position to spot patterns in which content performs well, or not so well.
For example, you may find that:
- Your video posts get shared more than your text-based posts
- User-Generated Content (UGC) receives better engagement than branded content
- Educational content gets less visibility, but generates more enquiries for your product or service.
Identifying any patterns will help you focus your content strategy on creating more of what your audience finds valuable and engaging. In our experience, posts featuring people (or office pets) are always winners!
Step 4: Refocus your social media strategy
The process in steps 1-3 should give you the insights you need to update your social media profiles and create a content plan for the next phase of activity. If there are content types that don’t perform, eliminate these from your strategy to make room for more posts that resonate with your audience.
One final tip: Don’t be afraid to try new things! If your audit shows there are gaps in your content strategy (for example, you’re not posting any videos), see what you can do to fill these. You’ll be able to judge the results in your next audit!