Social media marketing is an enormous opportunity for businesses, but too many end up squandering it by not treating it like a true, strategic platform. Many of the same marketers who spend thousands on Google Ads campaigns or SEO optimization will struggle to develop strategies that give them real results.
Part of the problem is that a lot of marketers are going off of generalized best practices without testing to see what would actually work best. In reality, social media marketing strategies must be customized for each business. You can do this by interpreting the data already available to you from your campaigns.
In this post, we are going to look at 4 data-driven ways to get more out of your social media marketing using information that you can find in just a few minutes.
1. Find Peak Posting Times to Maximize Content Visibility
A common misconception in social media marketing today is that the different algorithms mean that posting time doesn’t matter. That is actually far from the truth; even with algorithms like Facebook and Instagram showing users content out of order and based on priority, managing to post at the right time will give you an edge.
If you can find your peak posting times, you can upload content during the times of day where your audience is most active and therefore more likely to engage with your posts. An initial surge of engagement can give you the momentum needed to keep your post towards the top of more users’ feeds, getting you more engagement and extending the organic lifespan of your post.
When you want to ensure that your content gets maximum visibility and you have a great post you want to share, use SEMrush’s “Fans online” feature designed to make posting a more data-driven process. It will show you when your followers are most active on Facebook, giving you a solid idea of a good time to post for heightened reach.
You can also use Instagram’s native analytics to see when your audience is most likely to be online. All business accounts have access to the analytics, which has a section showing you what times of the day and days of the week your audience is most active.
How To Use This Information
Once you find your peak posting times, it is a good idea to use scheduling software so that you can ensure that all of your posts are published during those periods of heightened activity. This way you will never miss an opportunity to get results.
You can also make a mental note of these times, and save them for when you decide to host a live broadcast to engage your audience. Since the majority of views and engagement in live videos will come from the actual broadcast (not replays), getting the time right will give you a huge advantage.
2. Find The Posting Frequency that Works for You
You never want to treat social media marketing like you have been given a megaphone and a manifesto, and just shout out into the abyss and see what sticks. Some brands benefit from posting slightly less than standard best practices, while others may benefit from posting more frequently.
To get a decent idea of what might work for your audience, look at your Social Media Tracker. Then click to the platform of your choice, and look at the 'Activity' tab. You can review different periods, assess your posting frequency in each, and see which yielded the most results. You can also use this tab to see how often your competitors are posting on each channel, and perhaps draw some inspiration from them.
How to Use This Information
If posting just four times a week will help you better connect with your target audience and stop you from competing against your own posts, great. If you need eight to keep up with a fast-paced audience, that works, too. Remember, the goal here is a customized strategy for your business. Look at your posting frequency compared to your competitors, and if they have higher engagement rates, consider matching their posting frequency.
3. Create Targeted Content for the Audience You Have
If you want to see the results, the best thing you can do is to create targeted, relevant content for the audience you have. You won’t be able to grow your following, after all, with no engagement on your content. And to create content for the audience that you have, you first have to understand who your current followers are.
SEMrush’s Social Media Poster can help you here again. You can use the ‘Analytics’ tab to see the demographics of your Facebook audience. You can look for demographics like gender, location, and languages spoken (with more to come in the upcoming months).
You should also look for the content that’s getting you the best results on each platform because clearly, it is working well for your audience. The Social Media Tracker will show you the performance of all your recent posts so you can see what is working on each platform, and what isn’t:
How To Use This Information
Look at who your audience is, and what content they are responding to; this will give you valuable data that can help you create content that gets results. When you are looking over content for results, make sure you look at the details; likes can be great, but getting a share or a retweet or a click is even better if you are trying to drive leads, site traffic, or sales.
Create content similar to your most high-performing posts, and make sure to do this for each platform; what works well on Instagram might not get the same results on LinkedIn or Pinterest, and vice versa.
Pay attention to the language and location of your audience. Using news stories from the UK to try to appeal to an Australian audience likely won’t get you the results you’re looking for, and it definitely won’t help you connect with a Mandarin audience who doesn’t even speak the language.
On the same note, dialects can be important to consider, too. American football is not the same as what the rest of the world calls football (and what Americans call soccer). Someone writing for a UK audience calling their football “soccer” would confuse them to no end.
4. Poach Your Competitor’s Best Strategies
Most businesses would give an arm and a leg to get an inside look at their competitors’ marketing strategies, but when it comes to social media marketing, it is all right there out in the open; you just need a little help to compile all the data.
Our Social Media Tracker allows you to add multiple competitors to your analytics to track, making it easy to see how your content and performance is measuring up. By viewing your competitors’ best posts in the 'Overview' tab (and the top-performing posts for each channel), you may be able to identify different strategies that work well for them.
How to Use This Information
When you uncover different strategies that your competitors are regularly using, take note, especially if you see high engagement on their content. They are likely using these strategies because they are getting results. Don't be afraid to test out the strategies yourself.
Similarly, you can also look at your competitors’ top performing content to look for ways that you can stand out from them. Can you put a twist on one of their top strategies to make it work better for you? Or is there a different strategy that they are missing that you could use to differentiate yourself? Get creative here, and use the data available to you to shape the tactics that you test and use moving forward.
Some businesses will benefit immensely from weekly Facebook Lives, while others will thrive with private, branded groups. Ecommerce businesses may have better luck with Pinterest than their B2B counterparts, who will likely dominate LinkedIn.
Each audience is different and responds to different things, so creating a custom-for-you social media marketing strategy is the only way to get the results you want. Use the information and analytics on the marketing strategies you have already run to look for concrete ways you can get more results. With these data-driven approaches, even a few small changes can make a huge impact, making it a worthwhile investment all businesses should make.
Are you interested in getting everything you can out of your social media marketing campaigns? Sign up for your free trial of our Social Media tools today!