Note: This article contains references to Advanced Web Ranking Desktop, a version that is no longer under active development.
Time always being a problem for me, I often find myself in the situation of neglecting some of my tasks. And so, the one specific segment that often gets left out, is social media.
Therefore, to be able to get the most out of my few social activities, I had to do some research to discover what should I be focusing on to be more efficient.
Should I be working on expanding my circles or focusing on engagement? Would I find more active users on Facebook or Twitter? What is it that my audience is more interested in?
Adding more people
The power of social grows with the size of the built community. So logically, the bigger your social circle is on one platform, the more promising it gets for delivering good results.
Comparing your main accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) you can easily see which is the one you left behind and work to increase the number of adherents.
But taking your other accounts as reference is not enough. What if your competitors are driving lots of fans on Facebook while you are doing a horrible work with your Fan Page? Doesn’t this mean that you are somehow missing a relevant audience on Facebook?
Beware! A high number of followers or fans on a social platform does not guarantee you efficiency for the content you share there.
This number only defines how wide your message will spread socially. It does not say anything about its impact or the response it got from its audience. Was it good, bad or was it just that your audience couldn’t care less about your content?
10k followers on Twitter are useless for your business if no one is actually following your tweets. So, beside looking at the number of users in your social reach, you must also check the level of engagement you drive.
There are two types of social reactions: the reactions to your posts on social platforms and social reactions to your website or blog content.
Let’s take Facebook for example. What would it mean to have a poor engagement on your Fan Page but to generate lots of likes through the Like button installed on your website pages?
In this case, based on the poor reactions you got on your Fan Page, you might have been tempted to conclude that your audience is not being engaged on Facebook. You would have made a false assumption.
So, in order to make a truly valuable evaluation of a platform’s potential, you should analyze both types of reactions:
On Platform Engagement
A constant monitoring of all your social accounts is needed, whether you do it manually or through a tool, to be able to measure social engagement.
For Facebook, the analysis is much easier as a dedicated metric is available, that defines the overall volume of a Fan Page’s generated engagement: the Talking About number.
This metric displays the rate of active users among total fans. The higher this number, the more active your audience is on your Fan Page and therefore the more effective your on-platform performance for Facebook is.
Although Twitter does not provide you with such aggregating number, there are other metrics that are relevant for indicating the level of followers’ engagement: number of mentions and retweets.
Mentions highlight the level of interaction you have with your followers while the number of retweets shows the appreciation your followers have for the content you share.
Although different by substance, both metrics are indicating how active and interested your Twitter community is, allowing you to decide whether you should focus more on Twitter or not.
Google+ is still reluctant to granting access to its data or generating such revealing metrics, leaving us with the unique option of eye scanning the Google+ Profile page in search of engagement signs.
On Site Engagement
Social sharing buttons you install on your website are tided to the page where you set them. If a webpage or blog post you wrote has collected lots of shares, others might not have.
Therefore to get a conclusive overview of these shares for your entire website, you should make a list of your most important pages or those you find most socially enticing, and monitor their shares altogether to be able to get an overview for your entire website:
This report not only lets you see which platform is preferred for on-site sharing, but it is also representative for the type of content your audience is interested in.
At this point it is also extremely useful to run a similar competitive analysis. Setting your competitors alongside allows you to see the platforms they are best performing on and discover their top shared content:
When time is not on your side, you might not afford a social promotion by the book and you do what I do: hop from one platform to another, constantly targeting “social low-hanging fruits”.
Hoping my story gave you new ideas for managing your social tasks and the urge to share your own tricks, I’m looking forward to your tweets and comments.
Photo credit: Matthew Burpee