Estimated time to audit your channels: 2 - 4 Hours
Understanding your channel approach is crucial to developing your content strategy. A channel determines the media formats and dimensions for content. For example, if you're implementing a video strategy on YouTube vs. Facebook & Instagram, then the length of time, dimension and promotion strategy is completely different. Most of you will have a limited team, so choosing which channels to prioritize first will ensure an efficient content production pipeline.
What are your goals?
Depending on your followers / population metric per channel, you'll have different goals to achieve. For example, if your city population is 500,000 and your Facebook page has 250,000 followers, but Instagram has 10,000 followers, then you might reconsider your objectives. In this case, I'd recommend your goal on Facebook should be engagements and conversions because your audience is much larger whereas Instagram should target follower growth because of a smaller audience size.
Understanding your goals for each channel is the most important, so let's break down the social funnel:
Awareness: metrics that measure your current and potential audience.
This is the attention you are generating across social media. Focus on these metrics if you want to target brand perception.
Engagement: metrics that measure how much and how often audiences are interacting with your content.
Each channel will have an engagement metric that includes a sum of smaller actions (i.e. Like, Comment, Share or Retweet). Focus on these metrics to address poorly performing posts and help optimize future content.
Average Engagement Rate
Conversion: metrics that measure the effectiveness of your social engagement tied with an end goal to take an action
Posts can encourage actions such as signing up for a newsletter, attending an event or visiting your website. Focus on these metrics to drive specific business goals or measure campaigns.
Click Thru Rate
Tracking your audience growth rate across all channels is also one of the most important metrics because it increases the opportunity for awareness, engagement and conversion.
Reporting on all of the above should be tracked on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to track progress and measure effectiveness.
19 Social Media KPIs You Should Be Tracking
Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard
Read more about KPIs to help acheive your goals.
Who is your audience?
Your audience should be a group of individuals who are most likely to engage with your content or who you want to appeal to in the future. Thinking about your audience population in your department and city vs. digital audience is vital in order to distinguish who you're reaching and have yet to reach. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, along with other third-party tools (i.e. Socialbakers, Followerwonk, Audiense), provide insights into their follower demographics.
Who is your current audience? Who are you trying to reach? Who are the most engaged users? How do you currently communicate with them?
Facebook can be a good starting point for your analysis. People Insights will break down audience data by age, gender, location, etc.
Navigate here by going to your page and clicking Insights > People
An important item to consider is your Facebook Business Manager, which helps organize and manage your Facebook Page. If you need help setting this up, let us know!
Similar to the below example, use a spreadsheet to split up page demographics in order to understand how much of your Total Addressable Market (TAM) you're reaching. In the case of a city, your TAM is most likely the greater area. For example, the city of Boston has a population of 694,583 people, but the greater Boston area has 4,875,500 people. To calculate your TAM market share, divide the entire TAM by the total followers that live within your greater area. On Facebook, you can see the data on a county level, however, for other channels you might not be able to do the same.
Facebook gives you an idea of who currently likes your page, but make sure to understand who is engaging.
This allows you to determine:
Who your current content is currently connecting with
Who already follows your page that you can create content for
Which audience demographics you should consider creating content for
For example, based on our demographics from the city above:
25-54 year old females are the most engaged
25-44 year old males like the page, but we can target them with specific content to drive engagement
Depending on communication strategy goals, you might need to target under 25 year olds or over 54 because they are a marginalized demographic with a chance to grow
Instagram provides similar audience demographic insights for business profiles, but it's important to remember user details are not mandatory to fill out when creating an account. If a user does not have a linked account to Facebook, critical information could be missing.
Setting an internal benchmark of how your page is historically performing is critical to gauging the success of your new strategy.
Facebook Insights gives a summary on page performance with the option to change the timeframe between today, yesterday, last 7 days and last 28 days.
If you go to https://analytics.twitter.com, there is also page level data that gives you an overview of how the channel is performing on a monthly basis.
You can define benchmarks based on other similar pages that have the same sized audience in Facebook by clicking Overview and scrolling to the bottom of the page to Pages To Watch. Click Add Pages and search the city pages that relate most to you, along with pages that are performing well to understand their content strategy.
Facebook Pages to Watch
Depending on the size of your city, benchmarks range because of the TAM. For example, comparing San Francisco to New York City is difficult because NYC is larger by a magnitude of 8X. Understand what city markets are comparable to yours, use those markers to set a standard of success, and compare performance side-to-side.
Having motivational benchmarks that look at government leaders or influencers can also help set standards that you aspire to achieve.
How should I prioritize channels?
Ideally, you want to be servicing all channels, but in most cases, the resources available might not be able to accomplish this goal. This is where you need to review your staffing and decide how much bandwidth you have to manage your channels before determining your focus.
Have you defined your audience? Use the exercise above to understand who makes up your current audience before looking at channel prioritization.
If you know your audience demographics, then you'll be able to choose the best channels. Meet your audience on their dominant platform.
First, determine what channel is getting the most action. If you're growing a channel that has significantly more engagement than the rest of your channels, don't stop there.
Second, understand your goals of who you still need to reach in your audience. For example, if you're in dire need to reach Gen Z & Millennials then Instagram is more important than Facebook. If you need to reach business owners, then LinkedIn is your best shot. However, if you want to reach Millennials+ who own homes and are active in their community it might be in your interest to explore NextDoor. In other cases, your community might have a Nation Builder account, so focus your efforts there.
Most general audience except Gen Z
Quite influential and has tastemakers
Large audience, but making YouTube content is costly
Business. Business. Business. Eager individuals out of college looking for a career, wealthier career-established individuals in a higher tax bracket. Economic Development Department?
Mostly campaigns, but some elected officials or governments might use this. Only use it if it's active!
Very strong local community
What’s the point of the Channel/Audience breakdown? Can we be more consistent with the audience explanations? For example, can we be more specific about the audience you associate with Twitter?
Content strategy can also determine channel prioritization. Channels have specific optimization requirements and it might not be possible to use the same content for all platforms.
If you have a video strategy it's difficult to create content for YouTube vs. Facebook & Instagram because your format and dimensions are significantly different.
1:1 or 9:16
1:1 or 9:16
If you need help with a channel audit, let's run a workshop. Sign-up here