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FREE online SMM course: SEMrush Social Media Toolkit Course 

Social Media Strategy (Social Media Tracker tool)

5 lessonsJun 28, 2018


How to Build a Solid Social Media Strategy

Welcome to the first lesson of the course!

Let us start with social media strategy.

Beating our competition online, in the social media space, involves developing a social media strategy that sets realistic goals unique to your business.

Introduction to the SMART Framework

We want to develop SMART goals. SMART in our work stands as an acronym for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Setting Specific Goals

We like to set Specific goals to avoid mission creep. You would choose something like 'brand awareness', or ‘lead generation', instead of ‘get attention'.

When you set a specific goal, you can help contain costs and communicate a vision for the program.

A Couple of Words on Measurability

We often get asked, ‘so what's different about digital marketing?' My short answer is ‘Measurability'. Being able to track every post, click, view, and share of social media contact is essentially what makes digital marketing superior to traditional marketing methods.

Conversion campaigns would optimize for sales and clicks, while brand awareness campaigns might look for brand mentions or more social engagement.

Attainable Goals as a Motivational Factor

You measure social media effectiveness utilizing Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, but once you have decided WHAT to measure, you must set ATTAINABLE goals for how much you want to achieve through those measurements.For example, you would not want to set a goal of getting to 500,000 social media followers within three months for a new brand that presently has only two followers.

Maximizing the Impact on Your Business by Setting Relevant and Timely Goals

You also want to set goals that are Relevant. Your goals should be relevant to where the business is right now and what the current business objectives are. If you want to release a new product quickly, keep that goal in mind because your approach will differ from that of an entrenched brand that is not making big modifications to their product, such as Coca-Cola.

Finally, set goals that are ‘Timely'. Design your goals to be attained within a particular period, e.g., six months or a year.

Be realistic, using your prior experience as a reliable guide.

SEMrush Social Media Tracker: Functionality and Features

Let us say you have set your goals.

You still need to know what your competitors are doing so that you do not waste resources running ineffective campaigns.

Do not get caught short-sighted! Instead, beat your competition! Intelligence is key.

Fortunately, SEMrush has great tools to inform you of your competition's latest campaign efforts.

SEMrush offers you various options for developing strong social media strategies. The first one is to look at your competition's strategy.

The best way to do this is to utilize SEMrush's Social Media Tracker.

Let's imagine that we are running an outstanding campaign for the Showtime TV network. Surely, we are gonna make it with the help of the SEMrush SMM Toolkit!

Setting Up a New Project

To start analysing our competitor's social media strategy, let's go to the Social Media Tracker. You can find it in the left-hand Social Media Toolkit menu.

First of all, we need to create and set up our project by clicking ‘New Social Media Tracker'. Then, we can add a new project by typing in our ‘Project domain' and ‘Project name'.

Now we're ready to set up our project. The tool allows us to connect our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest profiles. It suggests the URLs of these profiles automatically. Alternatively, we can add an account manually by clicking ‘Suggest account'.

We will use our Facebook and Twitter accounts as an example.

After the accounts are connected, we can add our competitors' domains. The Social Media Tracker lets us enter up to 20 different competitors, who we can then track on every social media channel they have.In the last step, the Social Media Tracker asks us to choose and schedule email reports with updated information about our project.

Overview Report: Review Your Performance and Your Competitors' Social Media Strategies

The ‘Overview' report lets us see the overall performance of all the social profiles connected to our project. Let's start by looking closely at our competitors' content strategy. They may have found a strategy that we have not discovered yet, or they may be utilizing certain types of content (like link sharing or status posting) more effectively. We can choose one of our competitors in the ‘Company' list at the top of the report. We can also select the date range to focus on in the ‘Dates' list. By default, the tool shows our main company in the company selector, and the date range is set to the past 30 days.

Social Channels Report: a Breakdown of Main Metrics by Channel

The ‘Social Channels' section shows the numbers of audience size, activity and engagement for each channel. This is an easy way to see where a certain company has a larger audience, where they post more and where they get more engagement.

The green or red arrow next to each metric shows that this metric has either increased or decreased since the previous period - in our case it will be for the 30 days before the chosen month.

Top Content Report: Find the Top-Performing Content

We are also able to see which of competitor's top content is currently performing better, or worse, than ours. This can give us valuable insight into what types of content our audience would rather see and give us new ideas for how to approach content creation. Posts can be sorted by ‘Total Engagement' or ‘Engagement Rate'. ‘Total Engagement' tells us which post had the biggest overall impact, and ‘Engagement Rate' tells us which post had the biggest impact relative to our competitor's audience.

Comparison with Competitors Report: Benchmark Yourself Against Your Competition

The ‘Comparison with competitors' section shows a comparison of the project's main domain with its chosen competitors according to three important metrics: ‘Audience', ‘Activity' and ‘Engagement' - and their changes during the chosen time range. We can customize this graph by adding or removing any social network, and hiding the metrics for a single company by clicking the eye icons on the left-hand side of the graph.

How to Start Growing Your Social Media Presence

After we have taken a closer look at what is working for our competitors, you can examine what is already working for your page and profiles, if they are already up and running. We just have to choose our name in the ‘Company' selector list and take a look at the ‘Top Content' section.

In many cases, businesses will hire a social media expert once they have got their pages up and running because it is only then that they realize they are in too deep and need some help.

The top contents tab can give you a baseline of content for you to analyze what is working for you or your client's social media, along with what is working for other competitors' pages.

The Social Media Tracker allows you to analyze data about the performance of each of your social media channels.

Crucial Metrics for Social Media

There are four metrics that are particularly useful in analyzing social media strategies.

Fortunately, SEMrush is the best tool for analyzing different types of social media activity:

  • Which posts had the most engagement
  • Which posts had the highest engagement rate
  • Specific types of engagement, like comments, shares/retweets, or likes
  • Mentions and top mentioners on Twitter

Let's return to the tool and pick up with Facebook tracking.

Facebook Tracking Section

Here we can also choose a ‘Company' to be analyzed (it could be us, any of our competitors or even all the profiles in our project at once) and set the desired time range.

Posts Tab

The ‘Posts' tab contains all recent Facebook posts of selected profiles and provides us with the main social media metrics related to these posts.

We can choose what we want to see — all types of posts, just links, just photos, or just videos — using the ‘Post types' selector. We can also enter or choose a hashtag from the dropdown list to filter out posts that include a specific hashtag.

To see how a post on Facebook actually looks, click the blue arrow next to the company name.

Audience Tab

The ‘Audience' subsection under the ‘Facebook' section focuses on a company's Facebook page likes. We can see the total number or we can track daily, weekly, monthly trends on a graph. We can also see ‘Activity' and ‘Engagement' on this graph and study the connections between these trends.

Activity Tab

For each social network, there is an ‘Activity' subsection that helps us analyze the frequency and nature of the content our competitors are posting and see how much engagement their posts are getting. You might want to mimic a particularly successful brand.

But these metrics alone will not give us an idea about which days might be best to post.

Discover which days are most popular for posting and the type of content that might be best to post on a given day of the week with the ‘Publishing Trend' graph.

Also, don't forget to compare your data with competitors in last two graphs below.

Engagement Tab

The next subsection allows us to see a company's engagement summary. The ‘Engagement' subsection shows changes in the company's engagement metrics over a chosen period of time. Also, it helps us compare our competitors by ‘Engagement Trend' and ‘TotalEngagement'.

Twitter Tracking Section

Hashtags Tab

Let us not forget to highlight the importance of hashtags. For example, on Twitter, we should consider adding only two or three hashtags to a Twitter post.

A small startup firm might use the SEMrush Social Media Tracker to discover hashtags to piggyback on common searches that will get their posts seen. Alternatively, a large brand like Apple might use the Social Media Tracker to discover which tags are already commonly used so that they can avoid using the wrong tag in their future viral campaign.

The ‘Hashtags' subsection can help you with this by giving you a list of all the hashtags used by a certain profile over a selected date range.

Mentioners and Mentions

Finally, use the ‘Mentioners' and ‘Mentions' tabs to track the number of times the tracked company, for example, your own, was mentioned on Twitter.

The ‘Mentioners' tab shows a list of Twitter profiles that mentioned our page or our competitor's page.

Also, the ‘Mentions' tab of the Twitter report allows us to see all the tweets where our profile or our competitor's profile was mentioned within a chosen date range. These tweets are sorted by their mentioners' number of followers by default, but you can sort them by ‘Total engagement', ‘Likes', or ‘Retweets'.

Tips and Recommendations on Social Media Tactics

Let me close this video with a couple of additional tips and recommendations:

First, be sure to note the differences between engagement metrics and rates. Engagement metrics are not always as important as engagement rates. A brand with 200,000 followers, but 60 likes per post, is not creating content as engaging as a brand with 400 followers and 30 likes per post. Sort your top content by total engagement and engagement rate for a big-picture view of how you are ranking against your competitors, even if they have much more impressive follower counts.

Our second tip is to use the Social Media Tracker to analyze your and your competitors' publishing trends using the ‘Activity' Report.

Social Media Strategy with SEMrush: Lesson Summary

Finally, if you are new to the platform, or even if you are in need of a little refresher course, do not forget to click the Tutorial buttons shown within the various tool pages. They display the latest changes and tips from SEMrush experts.

Now we know the importance of setting a social media campaign strategy, and that monitoring our competitors, with the Social Media Tracker, is an easy way to get marketing insights and boost our social media campaign!

See you in the next video!