Unfortunately, setting up some beautifully designed and quality-content-populated social media profiles doesn’t guarantee an immediate army of loyal followers. If it did, marketing wouldn’t exist and establishing brand awareness would be a simple as assigning a witty Twitter handle and occasionally retweeting an industry face.
Small business owners are regularly faced with the same dilemma; they want to utilise social media, but don’t know how to make the most out of their campaign or how to target their audience effectively. You could panic and enlist the help of an agency, but social is something that can be perfected over time with the right tools and a little gentle persistence.
It is possible to make your campaign perform on even the most modest of budgets using free analytics tools to determine when your audience are most likely to be interacting and which posts attract the most engagement. As well as monitoring success, I’ll also be highlighting tools you can use to determine unnatural competitor spikes and schedule posts at optimum times.
Settings > Insights
The most obvious of the analytics tools, but well worth utilising as if you have a Facebook business account. Insights are pleasantly detailed and will allow you to see which of your posts perform well (images, text posts or links), external references, audience insights and the time periods when you attract the most engagement.
If you’ve had a Facebook business page established for a while and have never used insights then give it a try and sample the variety of insight options, you’ll find you have a wealth of data at your fingertips. Choose Start Tour or Watch video to see a new video showing the recent changes.
Once you’ve established your existing audience you can then use this information to target relevant groups through any paid Facebook advertising. If you don’t use advertising then you can use this information to schedule posts when your audience are most likely to be interacting and tailor your content plan to include more of the ‘popular’ posts.
Twitter Counter only gives limited free stats, but it allows you to compare your account against those of your competitors and will send you emails when you reach certain milestones. For anything more detailed, such as reporting, you will be required to pay, but it’s worth using to track your milestones.
A fantastic free Twitter analysis tool, Followerwonk allows you to analyse your followers’ tweeting habits according to the time of day, allowing you to schedule your tweets at the times people are mostly likely to interact and retweet.
Those who manage multiple social media accounts often use Sprout Social to schedule tweets, but this comes at a monthly cost, so use Tweetdeck instead if you only have to manage one or two Twitter campaigns.
Once you’ve scheduled your tweets (i.e. 7pm at night may be an optimum interaction time for your brand), it’s always useful if you can spare a little time to respond to any interactions, unfortunately social media, like your small business is rarely about clocking off at 4:30pm!
Social Bakers Fake Followers App
The Social Bakers Fake Followers app is more a ‘peace of mind’ tool. If you’ve enlisted the help of a marketing agency and have found likes have suddenly rocketed or your competitors are showing unnatural spikes, then you can use this app to determine any potentially ‘fake’ followers.
It isn’t fool proof but combined with a little manual checking, you can get a good idea of which of your followers are valuable and real and which are fake. Look out for competition hunters, bioless and imageless profiles and anyone who seems to have no followers, a high number of these profiles may indicate bought followers.
If a competitor seems to be showing huge numbers of uptake and you suspect they’ve bought followers don’t worry – this will ultimately add no value to their brand.
Bitly may be the useful URL shortening tool, but if you’re trying to gain a greater insight into your followers then Bitly successfully kills two birds with one stone and allows you to gain insight into how your Bitly links are performing.
See when people are clicking by time of day and geographical location and view where your Bitly link was shared. Creating an account is simple and once you install the plug-in Bitly will automatically store the link to your account.
These tools will allow you to tap into your audience and respond to their interests more effectively on a non-existent budget, perfect for making your marketing campaign work harder without enlisting extra staff to lend their expertise.
Tie these tools into your marketing campaign and see how they perform for you, with a user-friendly layout across all of these resources, even those unfamiliar with marketing will be able to utilise them to the full.
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