Welcome back to Content Amp Camp! Today we’ll be talking about an essential tool you should always have in your marketing backpack…. social media.
A study by IBM states 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process. Which means, if you don’t have a clearly defined social strategy that addresses customer’s needs—then you’re behind the times. And growing further behind every minute.
Let’s start with what you should already be doing right now, and then we’ll dive into how to analyze your competitors and fine tune your strategy.
Social Media Best Practices:
- Be on the channels where your customers are.
- Regularly publish on those channels.
- Regularly monitor mentions of your brand, and respond quickly.
- Regularly listen for trends in your industry.
Here are four key things you need to do to have a strong social media presence.
It all starts with being on the right channels for your audience—If you’re not sure where your target audience is hanging out, survey some of your top customers and ask them where they’re consuming content on social media.
The second key component is regular publishing. It’s easy to fall into the “social media shiny object” syndrome and bite off more than you can chew. Also, there is no magic number for social post frequency since each platform is different. Find that sweet spot of publishing frequency where you’re providing your followers enough to keep them engaged.
The third thing you need to do is understand your brand’s social media footprint, which is the reach of conversations happening about your brand on social. For example: people might mention you without tagging you, or be talking about you on channels you’re not active on. By auditing your brand mentions, you can figure out common questions people have, common frustrations with your product or service, or identify opportunities for engagement.
Lastly, you’ll not only want to listen to what’s being said about your brand specifically but you’ll want to monitor what trends are happening in your industry in general, and what your competitors are doing on social. This could give you content ideas and further insight into what your target audience is looking for.
- Sprout Social
If you’re not yet doing those 4 things on multiple channels then you have a lot of work cut out for you.
There are some efficiency tools that can make things easier as you get started such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Hubspot and Buffer—
ATTENTION: there’s been a flash flood in your area…of social media mentions. Remember—a social media tool isn’t going to solve your social media problem. You can’t automate engagement, and you need to have a dedicated resource to social media management whether that be an internal employee or team, or an agency. Make someone accountable for your social media success.
We now return to your regularly scheduled broadcasting.
And we’re back! Now let’s jump into how you may do a simple competitive analysis to fine-tune your strategy and identify opportunities for improvement. Please note, that this is just one way you might go about auditing your competitors, if you have access to social analysis tools such as Sproutsocial, or Hootsuite then you may be able to do this more easily. But if you don’t here’s a good place to start.
Number of followers total (across all platforms) / Number of active social platforms = average following across all platforms
You should have received a competitor analysis worksheet that includes an example equation for conducting a competitor analysis. You’ll first want to look at a competitor in your space that you feel is getting good engagement from your audience.
Find their total number of followers across all platforms, then divide that number by the number of active social platforms they have—this is their average following across platforms and can indicate what type of reach on social they have. Do the same exact thing for all of your available social channels and compare—do they seem to have a higher reach?
If so, you may have an opportunity for improvement! If you’re at the top of your industry as far as following, then you’re in even better shape! Keep in mind—not all reach is created equally for your industry, and you may want to measure reach of platforms individually.
Reach isn’t the only important factor though, quality plays a huge part in engagement—next look at some quality and engagement metrics. Score your competitor from 1-10 (with ten being most effective and 1 being least effective) in the following areas. Ask yourself questions about your competitors:
On a scale of 1-10 rate the following (10 being most effective, 1 being least effective)
- Engagement (likes, shares, comments)
- Use of video content
- Use of images
- Use of contests/giveaways/incentives
- Posting frequency
- Calls to action
- Relevancy of content
- Reviews and customer service
- Consistency of voice and tone
- Consistency of branding
Are they seeing consistent likes, shares and comments on all their posts? Do their posts seem to see a lot of engagement from their followers?
Do they have video content that is helpful and engaging?
Are they using images or visuals to support all their posts?
Are they running contests or giveaways?
Are they posting frequently, at least twice per week?
Are all their calls to action clear?
When you do click through, is the content relevant?
Are reviews and feedback being left? And is customer service responding quickly and appropriately?
Is there a consistent voice and tone across platforms?
Is there consistency of branding across all platforms?
Once you’ve rated these 10 questions on a 1-10 scale add up the total points. This is the quality score of your competitor out of 100. So if your competitor scored 80/100 possible points they have an 80% quality score. Now, be honest with yourself and do this analysis using the same criteria for your social platforms.
Did you identify any areas that your competition is outperforming you in? Seeing how you stack up to competition can help you get new ideas about how to engage with your audience, and manage your social profiles.
You’ve now earned your “social butterfly badge”—keep up the fantastic work on social and use that competitor analysis to identify opportunities for your brand. We recommend running a competitor analysis quarterly so that you can make sure you’re always ahead of the curve on social strategy.
We’ll see you next time to talk about how to re-engage leads throughout your buyer’s journey with effective lead nurture strategy.