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Posted on Fri 29th Aug, 2014 in: Industry Comment, Influence, Public Relations, Reputation Management, Social Media by Christian Dente

So you've launched your first social media campaign, you've had some successes and strong engagement with your audience along the way, but some content didn't work quite as well as you'd hoped it would. Why didn't it work? Well, there could be several reasons but we can look into that later. The important thing, however, is to effectively evaluate what did work well and understand why your audience engaged with you and endorsed the content you shared. To do this, firstly you need to effectively evaluate all of your content - the good, the bad and the ugly. Use analytics-focused websites and tools such as Sysomos, Hootsuite, Facebook insights or Twitter analytics to crunch the numbers to evaluate your successes. Look at how many clicks your content received, how many people engaged with your content and how many impressions each post received to gauge which posts were the most popular. Obviously, the bigger the figures the better. At the moment all the data you have collected is potentially meaningless unless you put it into perspective. Discard the bad and focus on the good content that drove high levels of engagement. Look at the subjects you talked about on social media - what was successful? Was your content reactive or planned, did you use images or videos to supplement your posts, was it funny or serious, did you offer your audience something, was a competition particularly successful? Make a list of successful posts and use this insight to formulate your social media strategy going forward. If your audience likes images of your product in quirky settings, build on this and continue to create content that your audience will endorse; basically play to your strengths. The more your posts are shared by your audience, the wider reach your brand has on social media, aiding you to build your social community and grow social equity. By understanding who your audience is, and what your audience's passions, needs and behaviours are, you'll be able to create unique content that adds value to their lives and influences what they think about you. It's not just your content that should be led by data. Every part of planning your social media strategy should: from researching what times and days your audience is online and when they are most likely to interact with you, to how many times a day you should post, and finally what content to schedule. By having a greater understanding of what your audience wants and how and when they want to consume it, this data will inform your decisions for future campaigns helping you to maximise engagement and positively influence your audience. But why is it so important to continue to evaluate data to inform, and help mould, your social strategy? Well, as with all good campaigns, your social strategy should allow you to reach your objectives and by using the data you've gathered you'll be able to create a strategy that will increase your audience engagement on social media, helping to meet your goals; be they generating entries for a competition, encouraging social sharing or simply growing followers. By reaching your objectives and creating a social community, you'll be in a position to influence your social audience into becoming customers, turning social equity into brand equity and helping you to meet your overall business goals. But don't be afraid to try new things. Even though your audience may react particularly well to certain posts, keep trying different content. But always be led by insightful data. If a particular post works for your competitor, why not for you? Some posts might work, some might not. Again, evaluate the success and if the data is positive keep doing what you're doing!

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