February 8, 2018
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR POSTS ARE UNDER-PERFORMING...
Many businesses and social media managers have experienced the frustration when a post doesn’t quite seem to capture your audience’s attention. Even if the long-term trends of your content marketing look positive, you can’t guarantee each individual piece of content will be successful.
If a post falls flat, many marketers will quickly move on and classify the post as a one off. Not many will go back and try to revive their post or even take the time to learn from failure. However, there are so many factors that affect the success of an individual post that you can always learn to improve. Here are some of the top tips to take note of when your posts are under-performing:
Use your influencers!
The use of influencers cannot be understated. It is reported that 49% of consumers rely on product recommendations shared by influencers for their purchases. Influencers are the “heavy hitters” of the social media world...they can reach A LOT of people and perhaps more importantly, people connect to what they post. Influencers act as a liaison between businesses and consumers. An influencer marketing survey conducted by Collective Bias, with over 14,000 respondents, revealed that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity than a celebrity.
If you already have scouted out some brand influencers that you can call on, great! They will most certainly be able to help boost your next post to the get the quality of engagement your business or brand is seeking. If you have not yet managed to find an influencer in your niche, well there’s never a better time than the present! A new birth of positive word-of-mouth advertising is upon us.
2. Best time to post on social media?
Ask 5 different marketers when the best time to post content is... you’ll most likely receive 5 different answers and will be stuck back at square one. In an analysis of 20 different studies on the best post times, CoSchedule found that the best times to post on Facebook were between 12PM - 1PM EST on the weekend, whereas the best times to post on Twitter were 12PM and 5 - 7PM EST on Wednesday. For email marketing, Kissmetrics found that people were more likely to open promotional emails during the weekend. You’re probably wondering, “Well that’s all fine and dandy, but how does this help me? I already know all this and my posts are still lagging behind where I want them to be.”
The key is knowing your market, and in turn, your audience. What are the times that are most beneficial for your business? You may have to do a little digging into your social media engagement data and see the trends for yourself. Take Facebook for example. You’ll want to start with Facebook Insights. Click on the ‘Posts’ tab, and you’ll be shown which days and times your followers are most active on the platform. The data is completely manipulable -- you can compare different days and times of the week to find out what the optimal time to engage your followers is. Twitter and Instagram have similar services available, and using this data is key to finding that ‘sweet spot’ for when to post your content to have the maximum impact.
3. Make it easy to share!
In order for a piece of content to generate maximum engagement, you need to make it as easy as possible to share it. We recommend including bright, visible social sharing buttons directly beneath the post -- and, if possible, in your sidebar. When a post is shared by a site visitor, this will also increase your page authority and Search Engine Optimization.
You’ll also want to consider emphasizing the most important quotes or statistics in your post and consider using a plug-in or add-on to turn them into tweetable links. These kinds of tools usually provide full analytical data, so you can easily compare the performance of your links. If your content is an infographic or some sort of visual, include an HTML code to embed the object directly below it so that other bloggers can easily insert it into their site -- a tactic that will only drive more traffic to your content!
4. Promote your posts!
If your content is not getting the engagement that you want, consider using promoted posts on your social media platforms. Facebook Ads, Promoted Tweets, and Sponsored Ads on Instagram are all extremely useful tools to help get the right eyes on your content! Fully customizable with filters including age, gender, location, demographics, and interests, these advertising tools can be useful for any business.
For example, if you own a bar, you probably want to target more of the young ‘going out’ crowd than the older ‘stay at home’ crowd. You can “boost” your post so that it appears in the feeds of your business’ target market demographic mentioned above, perhaps ages 21-30. Or maybe you want to promote your line of women’s clothing -- so make sure mostly women are seeing your content!
If you’re reading this article, then you probably already know what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, however just on the off chance we have some newcomers to the marketing realm, we’ll quickly explain it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art (and yes, believe us, it is an art) of increasing the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your content and web site.
However, just knowing what SEO is and utilizing it properly are two completely separate things. If your post is under-performing, you may want to go back and review the key terms for SEO in your industry or niche. There may be new and improved nomenclature that you are missing, or perhaps a simple rewording of a favorite phrase or quote you are using that can sharply increase your engagement.
6. Know your audience!
If your engagement numbers are not making sense to you, and you’re not able to accurately predict which pieces of content will be popular, it’s possible that you just don’t know your audience well enough. Many times, marketers may think they are giving their consumers what they want -- but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes when delivering unpopular content, you aren’t delivering what your followers want. For example, perhaps you are advocating your personal workout plan a little too much, and what your followers really want is to be educated on new, healthy diet plans. It’s all about perspective... put yourself in the shoes of your consumers.
One way to do this is to engage with them! Read your direct messages and feedback on your posts, even if you can’t get around to responding to all of them. This can give you invaluable insight into what kind of followers you have, and even what kind of vibe your blog posts are giving off. Don’t assume you know what your audience wants, find out for certain! In this age of data and analytics, there are no excuses for basing your marketing strategies on assumptions.
However useful quantitative analysis is, sometimes qualitative data is needed to compliment your perspective. One such way to gather qualitative data is through surveys. Ask your customers about their favorite types of content and more importantly, what they want to see in the future. When sending out a survey, it is always important to remember that your consumers are doing you a favor by responding. No one likes answering surveys, and they usually are passed over if given the option. So, make it worthwhile! Offer a discount code for 10% off their next purchase, or free shipping, or another related incentive. A little goes a long way when it comes to surveys. This qualitative data from your target market can be crucial feedback for your business and will often times indicate how you should adjust your posts.
If you’ve published a new piece of content and it underperforms, it doesn’t mean that the content is bad. A plethora of factors are in play; it could mean that you posted it at a suboptimal time, or that you didn’t promote it to the right demographic. Or perhaps it just needs a little more tweaking in the form of SEO.
Don’t get frustrated when a piece of content under-performs. The tips in this article are the beginning of a path to more engagement and success. Do your research, investigate your methods, look to understand your audience more, and persevere to find the magic formula for your posts!