The social media content calendar is the core of any social media marketer’s strategy. When done well, the content will bring your audience closer to your brand, demonstrate your brand’s personality, and most importantly, support your goals.
But what is really driving your KPIs?
How does your audience feel when they come across your content, which is then converted into a like, share, or link click? Why do you feel this?
And how can you keep creating new content that repeats the success?
The answers to these questions can be found in your social media data. However, according to the Sprout Social Index ™, only 49% of marketers use data to create social media content.
Social data reporting isn’t just about understanding whether you met your goals and knowing what worked or not. At a deeper level, data analysis and reporting is all about gaining insights into creative social media content that will engage your audience more and give you a competitive advantage.
Read on to learn how to create content for social media marketing and improve your strategy using data for inspiration.
1. Determining what worked and what didn’t work is all relative
The content should always be aimed at a specific goal. If you create content just because an idea is fun it might work, but what is your goal? At what stage of the marketing funnel does this content fall?
Justify your content strategy with intent and measurable goals. Without it, it will be terribly difficult to know what data to look for to see if that content “worked”.
Create more effective social media content by first making sure you know which KPIs are the right ones. That way, when reporting on content performance, you can dig deeper into the key data, understand what happened, and examine why.
If you need a little help with content ideas or setting your KPIs for each stage of the funnel, check out our social media metric card!
2. Identify the top performing posts by goal
The starting point for your content inspiration should be your top performing content. As mentioned earlier, success depends on your goals. With analytics tools like Sprout Social, you can view performance data post by post, sort by KPIs, and efficiently determine which content should be used to create more.
Suppose you are introducing a new and improved product or service. Look back at your last product launch and past product content performance on social networks. Here’s how you can break down your rating of this content:
Goal: Drive conversion
Social KPIs: Link clicks and click rate
Analysis of the best performing content:
- Assess the factors that helped your audience engage and promote these KPIs.
- Did you use snappy CTAs or were they more direct?
- What creative companion items have you used and how may they have influenced your audience’s actions?
- Have you tried something new with your content format or stuck to a best practice?
If you can at least hypothesize the answers and establish patterns, you can apply your insights, build a flexible content framework, and replicate your success.
3. Analyze your underperforming posts
It’s easy to focus on being successful, but knowing what types of content could turn your audience off is just as important. If you keep working on content that has little or no value to your audience, this is a losing situation. In fact, 45% of consumers will not follow a brand because of irrelevant content.
If you want to be best in class, check what isn’t working and diagnose why. Is there a CTA missing? Does the content feel off-brand or irrelevant? Has your audience seen the content before? Was the platform the right place for this type of content?
If you have a single post in a month that isn’t up to your standards, it doesn’t mean you should throw that content away entirely right away. Instead, look for patterns over time, just like you would with successful posts.
Concerned about content performance plateaus? Use this checklist to get your content strategy started and recovered.
A social media management tool like Sprout allows you to retroactively add tags to your posts. That way, you can keep track of the posts and content types that are still underperforming. You can then analyze this tag data to find similarities that indicate poor performance and what content to discontinue.
4. Always look for commitment and emotion
Engagement metrics aren’t always an indication that you’ve achieved a goal, but they can tell you quite a bit about your target audience and how you create social media content for them. According to the Sprout Social Index ™, consumers adore brands who know how to get their audiences top of their class on social issues. However, when you go one level deeper, feelings, feelings, and emotions are a person’s reaction to your content.
Social Media Director, Teach for America
On some platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, users can choose reactions other than the traditional “Like” to get a better idea of how and why the post received feedback. Sometimes people even tell you what they like, so always check the comments section.
The engagement rates speak for the relevance of your content and track how active your target group is with your content. If you have a smaller audience, relevance is especially important in building brand awareness and affinity.
You got engaged, I’m excited about the engagement rate. We are not the same.
– OLIVIA Witherite (@Oliviawitherite) December 26, 2020
5. Get inspiration from Google Analytics data
For 52% of social marketers, increasing web traffic is their number one goal. Link clicks are a good indication that your content is driving traffic. However, you can go deeper and inspire new social content with Google Analytics.
GA allows you to see a breakdown of the pageviews, traffic referrals, conversions, page values, and more of any website. If there are high quality pages that you haven’t shared on social networks, use what you know about your target audience and the type of content they are engaging with to develop social posts on that page.
Work with your fellow marketing colleagues outside of social networks to determine which websites, blog content, webinars, and other published marketing content to promote. When you’re ready to post your content, add UTM tracking to every URL you share. This allows you to track the results in GA, report to other stakeholders, and refine your content as needed.
6th Tap Branded Conversations
Also use social listening data rather than just using best practices or performance to formulate your ideas. Social listening can help you find relevant trends, topics and topics that are currently resonating with your target audience and are ripe for content inspiration.
Director of Brand Research, Analytics & Insights, Teach for America
Sprout’s listening tool allows users to create and continuously monitor conversations and perceptions about your brand, products, industry and more using theme templates. Once you’ve set up your themes, filters and keywords can provide you with more detailed information that you can use to create engaging social media content.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a topic on brand health and you find that the positive sentiment on Twitter has increased over the past few months. You can add a positive mood filter to enhance the news that causes this surge and study what exactly stimulates people’s imaginations. Then use the lessons you learned from those conversations to create content that further increases positivity.
Or maybe you find that there are constant questions and misunderstandings about the products or services you offer. This could indicate that you need to develop more educational content to fill your audience’s knowledge gaps.
Director of Brand Research, Analytics & Insights, Teach for America
7. Look at the data of the competitors
To stand out from your competition, you need to understand them first and how to stack up. Here, too, listening can help.
Set up a competitive analytics theme in your listening tool to find key keywords, content topics, and hashtags in conversations about your competitors. With the ability to filter by competitor, content type, and sentiment in Sprout, you can determine what content resonates with your common audience, find customer problems that can solve future content, and discover new ways to differentiate your content and your brand.
Stay connected and stay agile
Your audience’s tastes aren’t fixed, and neither are your audiences. You can always count on them to change. However, if you stay connected with your audience and keep tracking social data, you can continually look for ways to create more inspired and successful content.
You can do more with your data. Download this guide to learn more than 40 different ways to use social media data that you may have overlooked.