How to set up an Effective Social Media Optimization Plan

The Q3 2013 Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe explored the subject of media optimization and found that for most companies, this was just a goal. Dedication and consistency is necessary to make your social media optimization a success. The report was based on a survey of 600 respondents all over the world and came up with the following findings:

  • Only one fifth of surveyed companies said they optimize their media effectively and a similar small percentage of companies said they have a single view of the performance of their campaigns across various channels
  • The three main benefits of media optimization specified in the report are cost per acquisition, reduced media costs and more sales
  • Companies which could quantify improvements from media optimization saw that their performance had improved by about 28%

Social Media Optimization

This report provides a clear insight about the advantages of social media optimization and how it can help improve business. What exactly is effective media optimization and how can it be achieved? Here are some important steps that can take you closer to your goals:

Set Up Objectives

The first step for effective optimization is to set a clear objective(s). Unless you have an idea about your goal, there is no scope for either measuring or optimizing it.  Objectives can be associated to anything from having a clear idea about your aim to taking specific action. You can establish your objective by plan, placement, or a campaign creative.

Specify Your Goals

If you don’t have well-defined goals, you cannot determine whether your optimization efforts are a success or not. Your goals should be related to your objectives. For instance, if your goal is to grow the number and quality of your online followers, a smart goal could be to increase the proportion of your followers by about 5% a month over a year.  Your actions would be meaningful only if you have an established goal. Set up either short term or long term goals and motivate yourself to achieve and exceed them.

Create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Companies use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate their success or to evaluate the success of a specific activity in which they are engaged. So, what are the performance indicators that can help you determine the success or failure of your social media campaign? It may be visits to key pages and/or bounce rates, follower growth, link click-throughs, shares, and referral traffic – all of which indicate interest and potential growth. Setting goals for any KPI needs a proper forecast. Past performance can be used as future indicators. Aim for growth, but be realistic.

Establishing benchmarks or realistically identifying what associates to a success with respect to the volume, conversion rate or any other key metrics points also helps in evaluating success or failure. The decision should be made based on how data points or information measure against the benchmarks and performance indicators set up at the beginning. Let’s look at some data points and what they indicate:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): indicates the interest in message and content
  • Number of impressions delivered: indicates exposure in relation to other data points
  • Volume of conversions: indicates engagement
  • Volume of conversions for specific conversion points: indicates engagement for a particular action
  • Conversion rate: indicates engagement in relation to initial interest (clicks)
  • Cost per conversion: indicates investment with respect to securing conversions
  • Duration of exposure: how long the campaign, placement or plan has been running

Consistent Media Optimization

Once you set up your objectives, goals and KPIs, you can develop your media plan to begin the optimization. You should find your best fit – the best option is to focus on social media platforms where you are already have a presence. Decide on the ways and frequency with which you will engage with your audience – engage consistently and steadily. Create informative and useful content to interest your users and run contests and promos. You can also experiment to see what works best for you like post videos on YouTube or be more active with your Tweets, and then see whether which strategy pays off.

Whatever the type of optimization strategy you plan on implementing, make sure it is done within a consistent timeframe. Based on the timeframe, you can improve the performance, analyze improvement, make necessary adjustments or repeat. Depending on your objectives, goals and timeframes for success, the optimization process may be conducted every week, every two weeks, or monthly. Unless it runs within a very short timeframe, make sure that the optimization is an ongoing process.

A dedicated SEO team can help you achieve your objectives and provide you with a richer and more robust online presence to build your brand.  The right team would have expertise in using tools such as Google Analytics to track the success of your social interactions. Partnering with a professional SEO company is the ideal option.