Heads up! We are fast approaching the end of 2018.
If you’re like me – or many other business owners – you are looking back at the past year and figuring out what worked and what didn’t work for you and your business.
What could you have done differently? Where were the biggest returns on your investments? Did you follow through on the goals you set for 2018, or did you fall short?
And, you’re likely thinking about what new goals you want to set for yourself and your business in 2019.
What does the upcoming year have in store for you? What changes are you going to make in order to make sure you reach your new goals?
This is all solid thinking for any entrepreneur.
Don’t forget to include your social media marketing strategy in this thinking.
The end of the year is a good time to conduct a social media audit – that is, to look back and reflect upon what went well for your business on social media, and what can be adapted for the upcoming year.
After all, things may have changed between now and the last time you made decisions regarding your social media marketing strategy.
Doing a social media audit before ringing in the new year is a good idea, but really, you might want to do one 3-4 times a year (like, maybe every quarter).
Things may have changed since the beginning of the year. This is normal. Which is why it’s all the more important to take a look back and objectively evaluate how your social media strategies are working.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you get an unbiased look at how things went for your social media marketing strategy, and make sure you are in fine form for upcoming year…
1. Evaluate which of your social media posts performed well
Which of your posts perform well, and which ones didn’t?
Do you see any patterns?
Are there certain content themes that seem to resonate best with your audience? Do you think you should cover those topics in more depth in the future?
In addition to content, evaluate what types of content performed well on each of your social media platforms.
Is it written content? Long? Short?
Or, maybe your audience prefers pictures?
What type of content gets the most likes? The most shares? The most comments?
The algorithms that effect visibility and ranking on Facebook, Instagram, and similar platforms are constantly changing up the game.
Therefore, just because your picture posts were performing better than your link posts on Facebook at one time, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s still true. Investigate to find out the hard truth.
Many social media algorithms favor video content over written content. Is this reflective on your platforms? Do you need to be making more videos?
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the hard question.
2. What times of day and what days of the week were best for engagement?
Sometimes the issue isn’t what you’re posting as much as it is when you’re posting.
Or, how often.
If you search on Google for the best times to post on various social media platforms, you will find a lot of articles on this subject, many of them giving conflicting advice.
It can be very confusing.
Luckily for you, none of these statistics really matter, anyway.
All that matters is when YOUR audience is online and engaging on social media – not what the broad research and data says.
And, they give you this vital information for FREE.
These are the best times for you to be posting content on social media.
This data can change over time, as your audience and their behaviors change.
Therefore, you need to keep tabs on the best times for you to be posting.
3. Come up with a content calendar
Once you’re done looking back, you can start looking forward!
After conducting your social media audit, you should have a really good idea of what type of content you should be producing in the new year.
Take some time to come up with a list of engaging topics you want to cover.
If you’re really ambitious, you can plan out your entire year.
Or, if that’s too overwhelming, start with a couple of months.
Plan the content you are going to produce and schedule the time you are going to take to produce it. After all, writing, shooting, and editing takes time. It doesn’t just happen. If you schedule it, it is more likely to happen.
4. Try a new social media platform
A new year is a good time to try something new – wouldn’t you agree?
Ultimately, it’s a good idea to get your business on all of the Big 5 social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
If your business isn’t on all 5, pick one that you’re not on, and make it a goal for the new year to get established on it.
The Big 5 are social media’s current heavy-hitters because they have proven track records as powerful marketing tools for business owners.
These social media platforms aren’t disappearing any time soon, and pretty much everyone and anyone you are trying to engage is on at least one of the Big 5.
If you’ve been engaging on social media for a while, you’ll have no doubt noticed that there are ebbs and flows when it comes to engagement.
One day, you’re cruising along on Facebook, and things are going great and then all of a sudden – BOOM.
Why? You haven’t done anything differently. Same content, same post schedule… what gives?
A new algorithm, perhaps? Or, some new trend that you have no control over?
In any case, like a smart entrepreneur, you delve into the situation and in time, you course correct and make some changes and all is well again.
By diversifying your efforts across more social media platforms, you would have minimized the negative effects of that temporary down-turn.
Changes are going to happen – they are part of the game when it comes to social media marketing.
While you can’t always anticipate them, you can be better prepared for changes by not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Diversifying across the Big 5 will help you manage changes that are beyond your control.
5. Touch base with your audience.
The end of the year is a great time to touch base with your audience.
Actually, there’s never a bad time to connect with your followers, but the end of the year, when everyone is in the mood to re-evaluate and set goals, feels like a particularly good time.
Write a blog post or create a video that reaches out to your audience.
Thank them for following you this past year. And, ask them how you can be of service in the new year.
In other words, figure out how you can continue to help them. List out their questions and use this as a basis for your content calendar.
Everyone wins – you figure out what you are going to post about, and your audience gets what they want from you.
The end of a year is a period of reflection and looking to the future. Use this time to re-evaluate your business’s social media strategy. Take time to figure out which posts worked well and which did not. Also determine when the best days, and time of days, are best for you to be posting to social media. Put together a social media content calendar for the upcoming year. Make it a goal to try a new social media platform, or improve your reach on one of the Big 5 social media platforms. Reach out to your audience and see what it is they actually want from you in terms of social media content.