Our best advice for planning your 2018 social content

Last week we shared our best advice for how to plan your 2018 content calendar, so this week we’re getting into how you can plan your social content to fit around that calendar.

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Look at stats for 2017

Every good plan starts with an audit, because an audit tells you what worked and didn’t work for your brand over the past year (or quarter, or month, etc).

Earlier this year we wrote about how you can make your social audit as painless as possible, and here are some of the main tips we shared:

  1. Start by looking at the platforms that are most important to your brand first. Expect performance to fluctuate some week-to-week and month-to-month; what’s more important are general trends quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year. You want to hopefully see a general upward trend in followers, in engagement with those followers, and in your brand’s reach.
  2. Speaking of the future, you want to design a sustainable measuring system that’s easy to update and to learn. This will benefit not only your future self, but also any future team members you need to train or give access to the data—  as well as anyone who might take over your role in the future.
  3. Most importantly, you don’t want to make this harder on yourself than you need to. Collect your data, do some smart comparisons and write up insights you and your team can take action on. Show wins and losses to your boss(es) and also your plans for how to improve going forward.

Definitely read the full post if you haven’t conducted an audit before, but those 3 main tips should keep you focused if an audit isn’t new to you and your team.

Start asking these questions

Depending on your brand’s specific goals, you might have different questions you need to focus on, but these are good starting points for most brands. Ask:

  • Did one platform outperform all the others? What made it so successful; which content was the most successful there?
  • What elements of that success can you use on the rest of them? Identify key elements of your most successful content across platforms and decide how you can repurpose or use it to inspire content elsewhere
  • What goals did you have for 2017? How did your content support them? Did you meet/exceed them, or fail? Did they turn out to be unrealistic? Did you have specific content goals?
  • How will those goals shift for 2018? Ideally your team has sat down to map out your goals for 2018, so decide how your social content can support them. Also decide what specific goals you have for your content, social and otherwise.

Plan your next steps

Based on the answers to the questions above, it’s time to reevaluate the time you’re spending on each platform and how much content you’re creating there. If one platform is consistently underperforming for your brand, it might be wise to cut back on your presence there or even quit it entirely in order to test a new one. Do some preliminary research to see if it’s a place your audience spends time and would like to see updates from you before you dedicate resources to it, though.

Review your brand voice and values and how they’re communicated in your social content. It could be that content that didn’t perform as well for your brand felt like it was off from your brand’s voice, or deviated from your brand values. Schedule a retraining for your team if necessary to minimize these kinds of issues in the next year.

You also want to be sure to leave room for experimentation: Your industry will shift over the next year and new ideas will come to your team as you watch influencers and other brands experiment and as platforms release new updates and features. Always leave a little room to take advantage of those moments!

Final advice

There’s no substitute for having a comprehensive measurement plan in place for your brand. If you need help setting one up, we can give you a demo of exactly what our analytics can do and find the plan size that’s perfect for you. Get started below.

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Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash