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Test and Learn: How to Make Your Content Work

Great content is key to the success of any brand’s social media efforts. But what steps are essential toward creating content that works? Read on for some helpful pointers on achieving brand success on social media.

A lot has been written on how creative ideas can make your engagement rates and viral reach sky-rocket on social media. The perpetual challenge for marketing teams is to make sure their investment in creative content is paying dividends, and that they are running the right campaigns.

Understanding Your Audience and Goals is Key to a Great Content Strategy

When planning your social media content, no matter which channel you are focusing on, you should always start with a content calendar. Creative ideas are very welcome at this stage and are the lifeblood of the content calendar, but these should be based on your understanding of your audience and overall content goals. Consider your audience personas, demographics data (from Facebook Insights), as well as content that is performing well for either direct competitors or those competing for your audiences general attention.

Ideally, your calendar should be a living document, covering at least a month’s worth of social content mapped around your business’s key times and events, as well as planned topical activity.

Take the Test-and-Learn Approach

A key thing to remember with the content calendar is that this will never ensure success. Expect some content to fail, especially at first. Your marketing team needs to embrace this, rather than see this as failure. The key is to learn and optimize your creative ideas so they continually improve over time.

Using tools like Socialbakers’ Analytics, your marketing team can continually track your engagement rate over time, and compare with your competitors, as well as receive metrics on the performance of each post and a snapshot report showing the best performing posts of the month.

This data is invaluable for optimizing both your calendar and your creative ideas. From a hands-on approach, measuring each post’s impact allows you to determine your content mix; for example, this may be as simple as saying that, since your photos have had 50% higher engagement than your videos this month, you are going to increase the number of photos posted at the expense of video content.

From a creative ideas vantage, by tracking each post and getting valuable trend data, you may soon find out that your creative ideas on a certain topic are not having a desirable effect and should be scrapped, or you may see that the implementation of some ideas are working but others are not, meaning that you can optimize.

Building a test-and-learn mentality is a must for your business, particularly across your social channels. Your social media audiences provide you with a set of users who want to engage with your brand, and are a prime group to test your ideas on and learn from your mistakes. Socialbakers’ Analytics can speed up this process a great deal.

More About Optimizing Content at Engage NYC 2013

Creating content that works will be one of the key themes of our Engage NYC 2013 event this November. Click here to find out more!

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