Firstly have a look at your current followers on your social media platforms, try to identify any patterns or trends in their interests and how this links to your brand. This will then allow you to create a demographic profile of them. Read more about demographics here
Next, you want to think about the customers you want to be targeting. What are they interested in, what social media platforms are they currently using? This will then allow you to create a second demographic profile of potential new followers.
This information will be critical when you start to define goals and targets later in the process so take some time to investigate and document your findings.
The next step is to start looking at the engagement on these accounts. Nearly all of the major social media platforms offer analytical or insights to account admins. Get an estimate of the average engagement of your followers on these accounts, normally these will be presented covering a 7 day period which is perfect for you at this stage. Social media no matter the size of your following will have natural highs and lows in engagement over the course of a week so don’t get too invest on for example why Tuesdays at 11 am are low, compared to Friday afternoons being high.
If you have access to your website analytics it is work also taking the time just now to note how much traffic each of your accounts refers. Don’t worry if it is none, the point of this process is to set a baseline that will let you track your progress later.
At this stage it is also worth looking to see if there are and off-brand, old or fake social media accounts using or impersonating your brand. These could be accounts set up for a subdivision of your company, accounts that the login information was lost for or even people impersonating your brand online. If you have access to these accounts, then it may be worth evaluating if they are still needed if not then shutting them down is a good idea. For fake accounts, it may be worth reporting them to the social network provider. This will avoid brand confusion and possible lost followers in the future.
The last thing you want to do is roughly rank your social media accounts using the data you have collected. Look at which are performing better than others in engagement rates and rank them higher, it is also worth noting what type of content gets the best engagement on each account at this point as each network will do better for certain types of content.
Record some basic metrics from their accounts similar to how you have done already for your own accounts. How many followers each account has and it's at things like the content type, average engagement (likes/shares/retweets/etc). What content of theirs is outperforming yours and what underperforms? You also want to have a look at their followers, is there a difference in the demographic, if so what is it?
Another worthwhile activity is to look at some popular brand accounts on each of the social media platforms. These don’t have to be in any specific category just look for company profiles that have a large number of followers and engagement. Look at the posts that are doing well, what are they talking about? How are they conveying the information? Note down anything you spot that is making the posts engaging.
Compiling up the information you have collected so far will help you decide your course of action once you start working on your strategy.
There are two simple ways to do this:
Start, stop, continue method
This simply means making 3 lists of actions, one of the promising things that you wish to start doing. Another with things that aren’t working and you wish to stop and a third of things you are doing that are performing well and you wish to continue.
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
This is a more formal approach designed to evaluate you against your competitors.
The main question you want to answer is: What value is my brand adding to our followers now vs the value we want to be adding?
In my next post, we will look at how we can take this knowledge and use it to form a specific set of goals for your new social media strategy.