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Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

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Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

Not long ago, I started a journey to become more productive on social media.

If you've just joined me, you can read Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One, and Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Two.

To quickly bring you up to speed, the QuickSprout Blog posted an infographic in May titled "How to Be More Productive on Social Media".

The infographic was designed to help social media community managers become more productive.

As a personal exercise, I am following the suggestions in the infographic to see what result, if any, it has on our iASP Central social media profiles.

To refresh your memories, the infographic split the daily tasks of a social media manager into 3 groups: Content, Community Management and Growth.

Content includes curating, crafting, posting and scheduling content for social media.
Community Management includes responding, listening, engaging and helping.
Growth includes measuring, analysing, planning and experimenting.

In Part I, I followed the Content group suggestions, which resulted in our content collecting activities being made easier and our content scheduling processes a lot more streamlined.

And in Part II, I followed the Community Management group suggestions, which has seen the establishment of automated monitoring that gathers all mentions of our brand name across the Internet, which has in turn streamlined and simplified and our social media engagement processes.

For the last leg of the journey, I'm going through the Growth related suggestions.

The infographic lists Tools and Steps to help with the daily growth management tasks.

The Tools:

  • Twitter Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • SumAll
  • Bit.ly
  • Google Spreadsheets
  • Buffer / Hootsuite

The Steps:

  1. Figure out the crucial metrics
  2. Log in to the various places where you collect data on your social media marketing.
  3. Put your top performing content and metrics into a spreadsheet, so you have one place to view everything.
  4. Analyse the top performing content to determine what's working so you can further test based on the following elements:
    1. Post Type (image, link, video, status updated, etc.)
    2. Post Timing (over a long period of time)
    3. Post Content (commonly used words, voicing, emotion, etc.)
    4. Post Formatting (link placement, hashtag usage, etc.)
  5. Take the common factors that you found from your popular posts, and integrate them into the future posts and tests.

Wow, this last leg looks to be a doozy. Let's get going.

Figure out the crucial metrics

Second only in importance to simply being on social media, is tracking your performance to gain insight.

Before you can start tracking your performance, you need to map out what to measure, and how.

The easiest way to decide what to measure is to ask yourself: What am I hoping to achieve from social media engagement?

At iASP Central, our current social media goals include encouraging our clients to monitor and participate in our social media community, which is aimed at website owners who share our passion for eCommerce, as well as to create a go-to resource to help our clients grow their on-line businesses.

Therefore, at this stage of the plan, apart from an interest in our audience demographics, one of our primary interests is in the level of engagement we are achieving.

We want to measure impressions (the number of people that saw the post/tweet), engagement (the total number of likes/favourites, shares/re-tweets, or comments/mentions for a post/tweet), engagement rate (individual engagement compared to our overall community size), and audience growth rate (to measure how fast our community is growing).

These metrics give us an idea of how well our content is performing, and how relevant it is to our audience.

It's worth noting that our key metrics are sure to change in the future. As our community grows and we'll look to achieve new goals from our social media activity.

Log in to the various places where you collect data on your social media marketing.

There are numerous websites and services that you could use to collect data for your social media metrics.

The infographic lists a few good examples.

The social media platforms all provide some analytics, in fact the Insights tab of your Facebook page and the Twitter equivalent give most of the analytics you could ever need.

Swayy, Buffer (which we now use courtesy of this exercise) and Hootsuite (we've been a Hootsuite Enterprise Partner for a couple of years now) also provide analytics of the social media accounts you set up in them, although the analytics they offer are more aligned to the content that is shared directly via these tools.

The infographic also lists a service called SumAll.

SumAll is a social media analytics and business dashboard. It's a free service - apart from their reporting tools, which attract a cost.

Without hesitation, I sign up and begin connecting all our social media accounts.

SumAll looks to be huge. You can even connect it to other platforms, such as Google Analytics, Shopify, WordPress, ZenDesk, even FitBit.

If ever there was a place to be overwhelmed with data, SumAll looks to be the place.

After setting everything up, I have a long list of statistics for our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts.

So I now have a short list of websites giving me analytics data for our social media accounts.

Put your top performing content and metrics into a spreadsheet

Now for the really fun part.

To start, I'll add our last 5 Facebook and Twitter posts, and list the number of views/impressions, likes/favourites, shares/retweets each post received over that time.

I get this data very easily from our Buffer dashboard. I then compare it to the statistics on our Facebook Insights page, and Twitter Analytics page.

The numbers for our Facebook posts are fairly similar, but I can see that the statistics for our Twitter post impressions are a little off.

I'll need to look into this a little later on, but for now, onto the next step!

Analyse the top performing content and find what's working

In this step, the infographic is suggesting that I look at the characteristics of each post, to try to identify the types of content that our audience engage with the most (or to put it another way, enjoy the most).

Of the posts that I listed, two were links to our blog articles, two were shared images, and one was a shout-out link.

The two posts for our blog articles had the most engagement overall, followed by the shout-out, and then our Friday Funny posts are receiving the least engagement.

Because I have only just set up our social media accounts into the analytics dashboards, they don't have a lot of historical data to show me yet.

However, if I look at our top tweets in Twitter Analytics, as well as our top Liked posts in Facebook Insights, I can confirm that our blog posts are our top performing posts.

Our shout-out posts get more engagement on Twitter than they do on Facebook, but our Friday Funny posts get more engagement on Facebook than they do on Twitter. 

That's an interesting insight. Which leads me into the very last step of my journey...

Take the common factors that you found from your popular posts, and integrate them into the future posts and tests

In discovering that our Friday Funny posts aren't getting much engagement on Twitter, it is now time to start experimenting.

I know that our posts are always scheduled to be published at the same time, every Friday.

So as a test to see if I can improve that engagement on Twitter, I'll schedule them to post at a different time. I'll try this new time for a month, and then switch back. Over time, I can compare the different times to see if there is a noticeable difference either way.

An alternative test would be to drop the Friday Funny posts from Twitter, and try something different for our regular Friday posts.

And although our blog posts are receiving the most engagement, again I can test out different posting times to see if we get a greater engagement by sharing them when more of our audience will receive them.

I really have jumped into the rabbit's hole now.

The End

At last, I have arrived at my destination.

At the end of the final leg on my journey to becoming more productive on social media, I have:

  • Determined and documented the metrics that I want to track and measure from our social media engagement.
  • Gathered a number of analytics sources I will use to collect our social media data.
  • Created a spreadsheet that I will use to manage our social media data.
  • Identified our top performing posts on social media.
  • Identified some common traits amongst our top performing posts that I can integrate into future posts.

Having embarked on this journey, I'm now a little older, a little wiser; and I can definitely say that I am now more productive on social media.

A thank you to QuickSprout for the inspiration and guidance.

This journey is a worthwhile effort for anyone who is using social media for their business, regardless of the level of your social media presence.

If for no other reason, you will end up with a pocket full of tools and a semi-automated, streamlined process to make managing your social media voice much easier.

You will transform yourself from the chaotic "just-post-it-now" type, to the "its-scheduled-to-go-next-week" type almost over night. And you should also find the quality of your posts increase as well.

I will do a follow up article in a few months to have a look at just how more productive I have become, and how much of an improvement it has made to our social media efforts, to make sure I don't just have the appearance of being more productive.

One Last Part

One last thing I would like to mention.

The infographic has some advice at the very end for the super busy and those that want to maximise their time on social media.

Using just Feedly, Buffer, and the social media sites themselves, it suggests the following:

  1. Start by re-sharing your most popular content.
  2. Visit your most-trusted content sources. (add them to Feedly if you haven't).
  3. Use the management tool to clean up all of your queued content.
  4. Respond to and engage with all the notifications in the social channels directly.

Just reading this part, I can see that these steps listed are fairly similar to how I was managing our social media before completing this three part journey.

Hopefully I have moved beyond this now, but it is good to know that I was already heading on something of the right track beforehand (according to the professionals anyway).

This last piece of advice is great for the social media managers who aren't interested in the numbers as yet, and are purely focused on gathering, managing and sharing content to first establish their own social media audience and community.

I hope you enjoyed following this journey.
If you too have taken the journey to becoming more productive on social media, I'd love to hear from you. Or if you would like to discuss my journey with me, feel free to hit me up on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.

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