How to Run a Powerhouse Social Media Content Lab
The best content strategies constantly evolve with the rapid pace of the ever-changing social media landscape. As a social media marketer, you have to constantly evaluate your approach and experiment with best practices.
On a weekly basis, social media platforms are introducing new features, tweaking the user experience and changing algorithms. If you’re not moving with these changes you risk being left behind.
Here’s the 4-step process I use to optimize my approach through content tests:
- Identify a variable to test
- Conduct the test (10+ posts)
- Assess results (against variable & benchmarks)
- Conclude insights & optimize approach
Before you start, calculate your performance benchmarks. Identify the most important KPIs (key performance indicators) for your business and determine the most closely related metrics from social.
For example, if your department’s success criterion is to generate leads, link clicks to a landing page is your social metric. If brand reputation is highly regarded by senior execs, you can analyze audience sentiment. Whatever it may be, calculate what an average post delivers on those metrics.
Benchmarks enable you to quickly assess your test’s performance. Knowing which social metrics drive business can also help you prove ROI and communicate your impact to non-digital marketers in your company.
Now you can start your experiment. Identify a variable you’d like to test – ideally one that can lead to impact on your business’ KPIs.
It can be as simple as testing whether adding “(INFOGRAPHIC)” to your copy on Twitter increases link clicks to a lead gen page. Just be sure that all other variables (time of the day, platform, visuals etc.) that could effect results are consistent when you’re posting.
Once you’ve shared enough posts (10+) you can assess the experiment. Pull your infographic tweets that didn’t include “(INFOGRAPHIC)” in the copy for comparison. Then, based on your benchmarks, gauge whether the results were a success.
Lastly, pull insights from your lessons to optimize your content strategy. You may hypothesize that copy or visuals with eye-catching keywords such as “THIS JUST IN” or “VIDEO”, help drive link clicks. Doing a bit of thinking here can also lead you to your next experiment.
This exercise yields impactful results on your KPIs, drives the direction of your content strategy and helps you allocate your resources effectively by revealing ROI for your efforts. Without it, you’ll have a tough time improving performance.
Your social channels are your test labs and you’re the scientist – just be smart about your approach (think risk vs. reward) and don’t be afraid to run lots of tests!
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