Tips on how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy

I recently attended a really interesting webinar about how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy.

Although some of the information in this post may not surprise you, you will definitely learn a thing or two!

So, let’s start with the Social Media Strategy agenda points. You can then decide to deep dive into what you feel you lack information about.

 

The first presentation was delivered by Tilo Kmieckowiack from @quintly who talked about:

Social Media Strategy

  • What excellent social posts have in common in terms of length, content type and hashtags
  • How to write the perfect Social Media post.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention who dived into Social Media Strategy:

  • How to and Why focus on engagement
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Monitor your campaigns.

1. Let me share with you a bit about Tilo’s background

Tilo is the Brand/Product and Communications Manager of Quintly for the German-speaking markets, i.e Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He works from Cologne, Germany.

His daily job is to create a Social Media Campaign analysis and case studies to optimise the company’s social media strategy. One of the perks of being part of this company is access to a big database. Indeed, the Quintly Marketing team analyses over 10 million posts from Facebook and Instagram per month. In this presentation, he shares his findings of how the perfect social media post looks like.

Social Media Strategy

2. So, let’s start with the Facebook Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 239,327 pages
  • 11,472,559 posts

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag Social Media Strategy
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Interactions
  • Reactions
  • Emojis Social Media Strategy
  • Hashtags #⃣

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users most commonly post links, however, videos and also photos receive much more interactions on average
  • The Post volume is highest during the week but posts on weekends get more interactions
  • Most posts contain either 0 or 30-150 characters. According to the findings, a text of 1-50 characters receives the most interactions
  • A large number of posts does not contain emojis. Nonetheless, moderate emoji usage of 1-8 shows higher interactions
  • Hashtags are seldom used on Facebook, besides posts without hashtags receive more interactions.

Consequently, what does the ‘perfect’ Facebook post looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Doesn’t use hashtags
  • Is posted at weekends
  • Uses videos and images wisely

⚠ Bear in mind that content quality is important, too! This analysis only covers objective technical factors. Analyse your own performance and compare it to the presented results, in order to optimise your own strategy.

3. Now let’s move on to Instagram Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 41,389 Instagram profiles
  • 1,019,978 posts.

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Interactions
  • Emojis
  • Hashtags

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users post images most often, yet videos get the most interactions
  • Most posts are published during weekdays. However, posts on weekends receive more interactions
  • Most posts contain between 0 and 150 characters, but posts with up to 50 characters get the most interactions
  • Many profiles don’t use emojis, yet posts with 1-3 emojis show most interactions
  • Most posts contain no or few hashtags. Posts with 1-3 hashtags receive most interactions. Note that with Instagram, you can up to 10 hashtags but you need to ensure that they are relevant to the post.

So, what does the ‘perfect’ post on Instagram looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Reduces hashtags to max 10
  • Is posted mostly at weekends
  • Uses videos and carousel wisely

Additionally, you can also check his presentation with graphs on Quintly’s Website.

All in all, Social Media Analytics can help you benchmark your content performance against our analysis.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention.

Social Media Strategy

1. Now let’s move on to Patrick’s background

Patrick is from New Zealand and works in Paris, France. He is the Digital Content Marketer of Mention. His presentation focuses on Social Media Strategy around the following topics:

  • Engagement
  • Social Listening 
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Data Tracking.

Patrick started off his talk with a fun quiz to make a point about engagement.

2. Do you know the answer to this quiz question?

Q: Who is the most re-tweeted musical artist of all time?

A: BT K-Pop Group with:

  • 252 000+ re-tweets
  • Winner Billboard for ‘Best Social Artist’ in 2017-2018
  • More than 10 million followers
  • Performed at 2017 American Music Awards.

3. EVEN SO, why should you care?

This data proves that social media success is closely linked to engagement.

Mention’s Twitter Report 2018 -Top 5 hashtags (for engagement):

  1. #Love_Yourself
  2. #Jimin
  3. #BTS
  4. #DNA
  5. #THELASTJEDI

Amongst these hashtags, the top 4 are coming from this K-Pop band.

4. YET, how do they do this?

It’s all about engagement. They engage with their fans by:

  • Holding contests. They ask their fans to draw, respond, and tell stories about their faves
  • Rewarding fans for their re-tweets. They send personal ‘Thank you’ messages
  • Creating their own emojis.

Their success lies in the creation of online communities, mainly on Twitter, but also a bit on Instagram and a lot of forums, where fans do all the stuff for them.

5. then, why engagement matters?

It is important to emphasise engagement in your social media campaign because of:

a) The Snowball effect

Indeed, Social Media is all about connections: your followers, their followers…Your message reaches much further if shared with all these connections

b) Platforms reward engagement

Organic Reach is about winning in ‘the feed’. The more likes, shares and comments, the more likely Facebook, Twitter, etc will promote your post for you.

c) Respond early and often to foster a community. This is valid for viral campaigns or simple customer support

  • When a social media user gets in touch, you need to be there to help
  • Build momentum for key posts and campaigns
  • Catch issues before they get out of hand.

d) Social Listening comes in handy

Social Media Strategy

Here are the reasons:

  • You can’t respond to messages you don’t know to exist
  • You may not be able to stay glued to all your social media account at all times
  • Social Listening tools tell you when you (or your keywords) have been mentioned and let you respond directly.

A good Social Listening tool such as Mention saves you time and efforts. It also lets you focus on creating winning campaigns.

6. SINCE SOCIAL MEDIA IS CONSTAnTLY EVOLVING, WOULD YOU CONSIDER a Bot AS PART OF A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY?

In short, the answer is ‘No’ for Social Media and here is why. On Social Media, bots aren’t necessary or advisable. Unless you are a very big brand, you are not going to miss too many things. However, Social Listening will help you not miss all these little things and details.

Still, if you build or use a bot for your website, make sure you set it up with narrow parameters, it can be a good thing. Though, don’t show too obvious automated responses.

7. CONSECUTIVELY, The next step of YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY success is to work with influencers

Social-power users help build the brand by:

  • Expanding your reach (because their customer/fan base is engaged)
  • Increasing buying decisions for your products/services through their audiences thanks to their advice
  • Making you look good! When you hang out with the cool guys, it makes you look cool, too!

8. NOW, How to get started?

  • Find influential users relevant to your business (similar brands/topics within your network). They can be macro-influencers or micro-influencers. This article will help you find cost-free micro-influencers
  • Figure out what you can offer: free product, exposure, money
  • Reach out to influencers and kindly suggest to work together. Many will say ‘no’ but not everyone.

9. AFTER ALL, Why should you care about what your competitors do?

Social Media Strategy

Because a competitive analysis helps you solve your problems, understand and learn from your prospects and customers.

It will allow you to easily find out:

  • What your customers are interested in
  • What content or marketing strategies might be effective
  • Possibly even find new customers this way by interacting with them.

10. BESIDES, How can you track campaigns? And why would you bother?

Simply because you need to evaluate with tracking tools for the success of your campaign.

Indeed, the best campaigns are data-driven:

  • Learn from your last campaign to optimise the next
  • Influential people and outlets talk about you (eg on public holidays when your business may be closed)
  • Find out key events in the campaign that affected your performance
  • Assess the overall response to the campaign based on factual evidence to build engagement (eg top 10 content pieces per month or year).

11. Last but not least, Patrick shares his top tips

  • Use unique and branded hashtags for brand awareness and engagement. Why? Because non-popular branded hashtags are easier to track
  • Watch for sudden changes (spikes and dips) and understand why
  • Identify your most and least effective content
  • Measure key metrics such as volume, reach, countries, languages…

Finally, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY presentations were wrapped up with Questions and Answers.

Social Media Strategy

Q: Can 15-30 hashtags work?

A: No. You need to concentrate on using relevant hashtags. Bear in mind as well that some hashtags are banned, temporarily or permanently. Let me give you one piece of advice: relevant hashtags in Instagram captions (descriptions). You may add some other hashtags after the description following blank spaces but they may not be as relevant.

Q: Do you think it’s good practice to post the same content on multiple platforms?

A: No. Every platform is different. Cross-posting isn’t recommended. Besides, consider that Twitter has recently changed its rules. They do not allow anymore the same content posted on different Twitter accounts or similar channels. Furthermore, hashtags aren’t been used on Facebook. As for the message length, Twitter restricts messages to 240 characters, which is lower than most other Social Media Networks.

Q: How to better utilise Instagram for stories?

A: Keep an eye on trends and news and be aware of the new features and tools. As discussed previously, stay engaged with informative or funny content. Another important news recently surfaced on Later, the exclusively Instagram scheduling app. They said that the algorithm prioritises people’s different content. Indeed, Instagram can tell and promote brands and people who use all of its features and have varied content (not only the same format or type of content over and over). Thus, they will bring further up your content into the feed. An interesting feature that has been rolled out is Instagram ‘highlights’ on your profile page. You can highlight a particular story to be viewed over and over again without any time limitations.

Q:  What channels do you advise to focus on?

A: That depends on the market(s) you are working for. You need to adjust your strategy to the country/market specifics. For eg, in Germany, there are very few people using Twitter, while there are 30 million users on Facebook.  Twitter is quasi-exclusively used by journalists and politicians. However, journalists can pick up topics to write about, which will be brought to the mass media. So, Twitter shouldn’t be completely written off.

How to generate business growth through Facebook advertising funnel

Facebook advertising funnel

I signed up for a Learn Inbound Marketing event a few months ago and I must say the content of the Facebook Advertising funnel presentation was outstanding! It also complements very well my previous blog post on Instagram organic and advertising growth.

Facebook Advertising funnel

This presentation delivered by Susan Wenograd is divided into 4 topics:

  1. Mistakes advertisers do with Facebook Advertising
  2. Facebook Advertising funnel
  3. Creative Ads
  4. Beyond selling: messenger and bots in a new era of service & growth.

If you prefer listening to a podcast than reading, please find the presentation recording below.

If you have a more visual memory, you will find the podcast transcript and powerpoint presentation further in this article.

PODCAST transcript

1. ADVERTISERS MISTAKES WITH FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

  • The first error advertisers do is to open an account and go straight into the conversion campaign.
  • Then, the target population told by Facebook is probably more than what you are trying to reach. I’ll explain to you what I mean. When you pick the actual targeting, for eg 1.4 million people, in reality in that pool of target audience they are not all likely to convert. Indeed, some may prefer watching videos, others engaging with your posts and a portion will convert into customers. Consequently, when you select that ‘conversion campaign’ target, you are actually selecting a very small subset of that 1.4 million people.
  • Besides, the conversion rate has the highest Cost Per Mille (see this article for more information on C.P.M). Indeed, they are the most expensive adverts you can run on Facebook.
  • Furthermore, by selecting the conversion campaign, you are trying to optimise towards the very high-value action, for which Facebook wants you to have 50 conversion events firing per ad set per week. That’s a lot!
  • In addition to the expensive adverts with limited audience data, people usually need more than one experience to buy and convert.

Remember that on Facebook, people have no idea who you are, why they should buy your stuff. So you have to convince them like pretty much in any other sales cycles. It’s different from Paid Search (SEO), where people are looking for you.

2. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING FUNNEL

Why an advertising funnel? Funnels are used in marketing and advertising to think about the long sales cycle.

The funnel follows 3 stages:

  • Awareness:
  • Consideration
  • Conversion.

So, you need to complete one stage before moving to the next when you get started with Facebook Advertising. Make sure to run one campaign at the time.

  1. Awareness: this is the lowest cost phase of them all. You use cheaper campaign types to cast a wide net and identify interested users through:
  • Video views
  • Reach
  • Website Clicks
  • Post Engagement

2. Consideration: this is when your audience is warm, has started to know you. You can use campaign types such as:

  • Website Clicks
  • Reach
  • Conversion

This time, you will measure more their reaction to your advertisement such as users who:

  • watched 10 seconds of your video
  • interacted with posts
  • submitted lead ad.

3. Conversion: this is when the audience is accustomed to you and ready to convert. During this phase, you will use retargeting strategies.

To manage complex funnel cycles, let’s use a good methodology.

3. CREATIVE AUDIT

A creative audit starts with the brainstorming of ideas for posts. For this:

  • make a list of things to offer or sell to your audience. Think about the content to repurpose. Go through the list from top to bottom. Now you have enough of content to get you started.

Facebook Advertising funnel

4. Campaign types

Let’s talk about them. Pick an asset and find a good and cheap way to run it.

  • Got videos:  Video view campaigns
  • Downloadable content: Lead ad campaigns
  • Healthy conversion data: Conversion campaigns.

5. AUDIENCES

Aligning with audiences, email list and website traffic are generally the two main ways for people to create custom audiences.  You can do so by, for eg, uploading your email list, specifying certain URLs…)., like in any other types of remarketing.

In the last year and a half or so, Facebook released ‘Engagement Audiences’. This is meant to get people to stay on Facebook and consume content within the platform. Most people don’t want to click and be re-directed to another site.

Consequently, Facebook created ways to retarget these people based on what they did on Facebook like:

  • video watching time, i.e engagement
  • lead form fill out
  • interaction with/on your page…

When you create a custom audience, you tell Facebook ‘I want you to find more people like these’, which Facebook calls ‘look alike’.

When you do that, consider how much percentage of the population you want to match to the audience you specified. If you are on a restricted budget, select a small percentage. Contrarily, if you have a large budget, pick 5+ % or more of look alike.

Then, start testing:

  • exclude people/interests or include others
  • Facebook feed or Instagram
  • mobile vs desktop

Think about what you are optimising for, so don’t pick a conversion campaign unless you have 1.5 million followers or more.

5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS

Auto-bidding does most of the time a better job because Facebook has more data than we do and bid more strategically.

There’s a new feature rollout for e-commerce, the optimisation to value, i.e optimising return on spend. It works very well.

Don’t generalise too much about creatives. Follow these tips to get a better ROAS:

  • Video: high engagement, low conversion
  • Static image: cheap, still has a decent conversion
  • Slideshows: generally don’t do great
  • Carousels: generally get great results from them, high interaction. However, testing is crucial (ensure it picks the correct images)
  • Canvas: expensive and can be difficult to get results.

Why creative matter to your media cost?

It is because it’s highly related to ‘relevancy scores’. A relevance score measures how relevant you are to people you are targeting to. You can add it to your campaign. The higher relevance score rewards you with low media cost/spend.

Relevance scores are based on social interactions (likes, comments, shares, loves…), in other terms to the virality of your posts.

6. PRO TIPS TO GET INTERACTIONS

Start A/B test ads assigned to post IDs. If you duplicate that ID, it gives another ID number but it’s the same ad. You can cumulate social proof by ID. Stack that proof in a split test with two IDs/posts having different types of interactions.

When you create an ad. follow these steps:

  • Click on that ‘preview’ arrow and then view your Facebook post with comments.
  • Look for a URL at the top, that’s the ID you want.
  • Copy that ID to your other ad.
  • For that, you go to your other Ad set B, select ‘create an ad’
  • Click on the button for ‘use existing post’ in the post ID
  • Paste that ID there.

Now everything that cumulates on that ID will show up in every ad set that you put that ID into. It makes your social media proof stack up way faster than having to run several ads in silos. You only have to do it once. You can do the same with another ad by adding your ID.

Warning: A/B testing is hard on Facebook because:

  • you can’t have multiple ad units in the same. They will always add more relevance to video campaigns than any others. It will only select that type of campaign
  • Rotation 50/50 picks the campaign with the highest social media proof because Facebook doesn’t want people to leave their platform.

7. SOLUTIONS TO A/B TESTING ISSUE

  1. Create a split test with two different targets that do not overlap. Choose what you want to split test. The issue with split testing are:
  • it must remain within a set budget
  • the ad has to end, it can’t run continuously with your winning test ad.

2. Facebook recently invested in ‘dynamic creative’. You can add up to 5:

  • headlines
  • text
  • line ads
  • calls to action
  • videos…

It will automatically test and rotate all that for you.

Warning: It won’t tell you which is the best picture, it will only provide you with the best combination. So, you won’t know what’s the ad winner.

8. The FUTURE OF FACEBOOK ADVERTISING FEATURES

Facebook is currently running out of Advertising space in the newsfeed.

So, here are few solutions to remedy this issue:

  • Place ads in Messenger. That’s a better way to monetise.
  • The chatbot is becoming a thing for e-commerce with its automatic responses walking customers through all the way to purchase. Its virtual assistant also guides and advises people and offer a free shipping voucher at the end. Facebook, with its chatbot, is leveraging itself as a customer service platform.
  • You can also buy and sell in the ‘Marketplace’. It has a lower reach. Nonetheless, it is less crowdy and competitive. But most importantly, it’s a very cheap way to advertise as it costs only 1$ per CPM (1$ per 1000 impressions).

Keep an eye on new features as there are new things rolled out every month. I would deter you from using third-party. Indeed, the can’t keep up with what is going on.

For those who would like to download the Powerpoint slides containing more visuals and her contact details, click on the link below:

Facebook Advertising funnel Powerpoint presentation