How Do You Know?

How do you know what content is going to work for your audience? Research. We spend so much time during our education researching. We research for assignments. We research units. We research our options. It’s one thing I feel like I’ve truely nearly mastered at university, knowing where to look to find the information I need. However it’s also something I didn’t expect would carry on into the workplace, although in a role that involves social media, that’s certainly the case.

There’s nothing stopping an individual or an organisation blindly posting content to social media and the cites themselves make it simple to gauge some insight into how the post was received. Straight away you can see how many likes, comments or interactions the post has, but to completely understand the impact of the content on your audience, you need to know from the beginning what you’re looking for. Have a plan. 

If you research, then you plan, when your content is online you will be in the best position to evaluate how effective it was at reaching your audience and communicating the intended message. 

So we’ve established the three steps required to best handle social media. Now to discuss the tools available to make it easy and reliable.

Researching:
It’s common knowledge amongst PR and digital marketing specialists that the Facebook algorithm prioritises video content over text or image. How do we know this? Because the information is available online. Social media platforms openly share this information and a number of specialists have taken the time to gather and compose guides like this one. But that’s not all. Standard researching techniques, like questionnaires and survey’s can help determine the type of content audiences want to see on the social media. 

Planning: 
Once you have determined the type of content (usually this is a range of video, text, links or imagery to keep publics engaged), then you are in a position to plan out what goes where and when. Some content is better posted to particular platforms, for example: photographs to Instagram, however these can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter. Some content is better posted at certain times of day, for example: content for an international audience shouldn’t be posted when it’s the middle of the night at the relevant destination. Once you’ve planned out when and where everything is going, there are tools like Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance and make everything even easier.

Evaluation:
Now that you’ve got your plan in place and your posted scheduled to go out, there are an abundance of tools available to help you assess whether your content is being well received and going out at the right time on the right platform. Facebook has an insights feature with a number of tools to tell you how many people saw your post, how many interacted with it and much more. Hootsuite also includes features to monitor the impact of your posts and lets not forget Google Analytics, allowing you to measure more data about your content than you could poke a stick at! 

So there’s some handy hints about the three important steps for utilising social media and a couple of tools to get you started. But there are so much more out there that I’m sure we’ll come across in the weeks to come!

– Cate xx

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