We’ve all been there. Your boss asks to see how the company’s social media accounts are performing. We both know he doesn’t know what he’s asking for, but now you’ll have to show him some social media benchmarks. So before you take that first step, make sure you do these three things:
Set your social media benchmarks.
You need to know how he measures success, and then you need to set achievable targets. If you don’t know the goal, you’re not going to know how far you are from it or even when you achieve it. Is it gaining leads? Building your brand? Increasing reach? Changing sentiment? More engagement? You need to understand not only what you’re trying to do but also what’s actually possible.
Ideally, these benchmarks and the definitions of success, or KPIs, would have been set before campaign/program kickoff, but let’s be honest — that doesn’t always happen. So, make sure you have something to show progress against. (And next time set the goals beforehand AND get your boss’s buy in. You’ll thank me.)
Are you looking to increase reach, specifically? Going from zero to 5,000 Twitter followers in a short time is probably not a possibility. So, set realistic goals and stretch goals. If you set the bar too high you might spread yourself too thin; set it too low and you’ll risk losing potential customers.
Know what the numbers actually mean.
It’s great to report out on impressions, engagements, and followers, but are those numbers going up or down? And how do they compare to industry benchmarks? Your competitors? Are you seeing growth with your intended audience?
When it comes to analyzing results, I always advise setting a baseline summary of where the program is at inception. This way you’ll have something to compare numbers against as you move along. This will help you know what the numbers mean and how they tie to the results of the business (ideally revenue).
The payoff from all of this work? Once you’re able to set benchmarks, measure, and analyze, you’ll be able to optimize your social media or blog content because you know what the team should keep, stop, or start doing. And this is the way to get true results out of your content program.
Understand the real purpose.
Every organization, no matter the type or industry, has something they’re trying to improve on. To that end, I customize my recommendations based on where our clients are today and where they want to be in a year, three years, and so on.
Focus on strategy once you know the objective. You want to drive leads? You need to build the type of content that will take contacts through a gating system, which means it’s going to have to be super-enticing and topically on point.
Now, you may think generating the right content is easy. After all, you know your business and your customer. But just because you’re an expert at your organization doesn’t mean you’re the best person to write or create content. Sometimes it takes seeing your organization through the lens of a third party to really help create something truly impactful.