How to Validate Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

How to Validate that your Social Media Marketing Strategy is Working

Validate if Your Social Media Marketing Strategy is Working (portrait)You’re pumping all that content out on social media channels but do you know what is working and not working?

Are your tweets reaching the right audience?  Are your Facebook updates driving relevant traffic to your site?

And more importantly……

Is this driving revenue for your business?

Every so often it’s useful to take a step back and assess if your strategy is working.

And of course….

There are some tools that can help.

Always think strategy first before tools
Always think strategy first before tools

Useful Resources – Social Media Strategy

Before we go into the 4 steps to identify issues with your strategy we have found some useful resources if you are looking for help to create your social media strategy.

1. Jay Baer – Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Jay Baer is one of the smartest social media people globally. He has created an 8 step process for creating a social media strategy which looks like this.

social media strategy
Jay’s 8 steps

Follow these steps if you don’t have a good strategy to start with.

2. – Social Media Strategy Infographic have this cool infographic which helps you understand the elements that go into creating your social media marketing strategy. As you can see there is a lot to building your strategy.

Social Media Strategy



3.  Hootsuite Social Media Strategy Template

Hootsuite have created a useful downloadable template for creating your social media strategy. It’s a 5 step plan.

Hootsuite social media strategy template
The Hootsuite template is worth downloading

After you have implemented your strategy you will need to review it on an ongoing basis to see how effective it is.

4. Content Marketing

An important part to your social media strategy will be a content marketing strategy. This is a short video from Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, about the importance of a content marketing strategy as part of your overall strategy.  

4 Steps to Validate That Your Social Media Strategy is Working

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If you want to validate your strategy here are 4 steps:

1. Are You Attracting the Right Audience to Social Media Channels?

If your follower and fan count is increasing, that could be great, but it may also be useless to you if they are not your target audience.

You need to work out if you are attracting the right audience before you get excited about a big follower number.

Example 1: Twitter

When was the last time you did an analysis of your Twitter followers?

Twitter provides a free, analytics tool, which shows really useful details about your Twitter account.

Here’s an example that breaks down your audience.


Twitter analytics
Profile analytics


The interests of my audience are primarily technology, marketing and entrepreneurship and that makes perfect sense.  My whole focus is technology marketing for social media and we help a lot of entrepreneurs.

Based on this audience breakdown, I’ve decided to do some more entrepreneurship-type content, because my audience will be interested in this and I’m happy to attract entrepreneurs.

This tool also shows you the location of your followers and the accounts your followers also follow.  If they are not in the same region as you, or are not competitors, then maybe you’re attracting the wrong followers.


Example 2: Facebook

Facebook provides Facebook Insights, which gives some information about your followers, for example where they are from and whether they are male/female.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide you with a breakdown of the profile of your followers.

Facebook Knowledge Graph is an advanced-search facility that you can access at the top of your Facebook news feed.

Tip: If you don’t have Facebook Knowledge Graph enabled, go to your Facebook settings and change your language setting to English (US).

Type in the following: ‘Pages liked by people who like <name of your Page>’.

This will show you which other Pages your fans typically follow.  If you’re getting the right type of fans, you can expect to see your competitors in this list and/or very similar Pages.  If you don’t, then alarm bells should start ringing.


Facebook knowledge graph
View pages similar to yours


Tip: If your fans are also following these Pages, then they will probably like the content from these Pages, so share some of it!

You can also type in – ‘favorite interests of people who like <name of fan page>’

I’m on a winning streak… for my Page, the favorite interests are social media and marketing.

Facebook favorite interests
See what your fans are really interested in


Example 3: Pinterest

Have you registered a business account with Pinterest?  Have you checked out the analytics on your account?

Using a business account, you can get analytics such as:

  • Impressions, repins, clicks
  • Pins from your website
  • Demographics
  • Interests of your audience.

The interests of your audience will show you whether you are attracting the right type of people to your Pinterest account.


Pinterest Audience Interests
A breakdown of the categories your audience is interested in


If you look at the audience interests and they don’t align to the people you are trying to connect with, you need to change your strategy.


2.  Are You Attracting Social Media Traffic that is Converting?

When you go to a networking meeting, it’s hard to measure its value.

Sometimes, that is the case with social media.

You can interact, build relationships and increase awareness of your business, but you can’t always measure all of that.

However, you can measure activity from social media channels back to your website and see what happens as a result of that traffic.

To really measure this activity, you need to set up goals.  A goal could be a product sale, an email subscriber, a sign up to your product trial or something else.

When you have your goals up and running, you can go to Google Analytics -> Acquisition -> Social -> Conversions and see where the last 250 conversions came from.


Social Media Conversions
How many conversions per social network


In the example above, my conversions are coming more from Facebook and Twitter than the other channels, but I’m more active on those channels.

But what’s interesting is that, if I look to see the average pages per session and the session duration, I see that Google+ visitors stay longer and visit more pages (this is available under Acquisition -> Social -> Network Referrals).


Social Media Pages
Time on Pages


It’s always great to get engaged users, so I should be spending more time on Google+.

Now, you’re starting to build up an understanding of your social media traffic.  Where is it coming from?  Who are the most engaged users? And where are most of your conversions coming from?

I noticed that quite a bit of traffic is coming from Pinterest and we are not active at all on that channel.  Conversions are also ok, so this is a channel we should be doing more on.


3.  Are People Engaging/Liking and Sharing Your Content on Social Channels?

If you are attracting the right type of audience, you want those people to engage with your content.  This could be liking the content on Facebook, retweeting the content on Twitter, repinning the content on Pinterest etc.

The tools provided by the platforms will be able to provide you with this type of information.


Twitter Analytics

You’ll want to see the analytics for the content you are sharing. Are people engaging with it?  Favoriting?  Retweeting?  Twitter provides useful analytics for this.

In the example below, you can see the engagement rate for tweets.


twitter analytics dashboard
Part of the dashboard


Identify the content that is resonating with your audience and produce more of it!


Facebook Analytics

Facebook provides similar reporting, where you can find out how engaging your content is.  Analyzing this will help you with your content strategy going forward.

Another useful tool is Fanpage Karma.  In the top part of the image, every dot references a post and, the higher the dot on the image, the more interaction it got.  The different colors represent different types of posts.

You want to start identifying the type of posts that typically get a lot of interaction and the posts that don’t get a lot of interaction.

Fanpage Karma
View detailed analytics


Pinterest Analytics

Using your Pinterest business account’s analytics, Pinterest will show you if your audience is pinning, repinning, liking or commenting on your content.

One other interesting area is whether people are pinning content from your website.

We use a tool called SumoMe, which displays a Pinterest icon when you hover over images.  This makes it very easy for people to share content to Pinterest.  It also shows a Twitter and a Facebook icon.

Social Sharing
You can see the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sharing icons


Here’s the content pinned from our website that gets the most attention on Pinterest:


Popular Pins
View the content that is most popular on Pinterest


The first two posts are infographics.  If we want to get more attention on Pinterest, this is going to be the direction we need to take.


4. Is Your Audience Growing?

If you are attracting a relevant audience, you want that audience to increase consistently.  You should see some natural growth to your fan base if you are sharing engaging content, but you may also want to use tools or tactics such as social advertising to build momentum for the growth.

There are various tools that will help you analyze the growth of your followers and look at how they compare to your competitors.

  • Twitter – You can use a handy tool called Twitter Counter.  You just enter in the details of the Twitter account and view the growth/decline over the last month.  You can then compare this with your own account to see if you are doing better or worse.
  • Fanpage Karma – This allows you to check your Facebook Page against other competitors.
  • Pinterest – Tailwind provide useful competitor analytics where you can benchmark your follower growth against your competitors’.

All of the platform tools will provide you with details related to your fan/follower growth.  Track this to see if you are gaining fans and followers, or to find out if you are losing supporters so you can take action.

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Every so often, it’s great to take a step back so you can move forward.

Analyze what is working/not working and make relevant changes.

Can you add anything to this post?  What am I missing about validating a social media strategy?

What could you do from the information above?  I’d love to hear from you.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock