Now that you know where your audience is and why they’re invested in your organization/cause/project, you need to determine where they are on social media.

How can you do that? Turn to your current social media channels. By answering the following questions they’ll help you determine which channels your audience is the most popular on.

  • Where is the most engagement on social media?
  • Where is the most interaction?
  • Where are most of your followers at?
  • Where do most of the conversations that you have with your followers take place?

But where can you find this information? It’s time to dig a little deeper into your social media profiles to find those answers.

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Step one: Look at engagement. Go to your social channels and over the past six months record the number of engagements that you’ve had on your posts?
What are engagements? Likes, comments, retweets, shares and more. Engagements are anything that has caused your audience to click on or interact with your post.

Facebook engagement:

Twitter engagement:

Same you can find on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google+.

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Step two: Determine where the most interaction is happening between your brand and your audience. This process involves a bit of math and a lot of back-tracking but the information you collect from this process will help you flesh out your social media strategy.

To find your top engagement channels, you’re going to go through the last six months pile of posts and add up the number of engagements per channel/divided by the number of posts you sent within that six month period.

For example, say your Facebook page over the last six months has pulled in 2,356 engagements over 35 posts. Your average interaction per post is 67.

Instagram on the other hand gathered 6589 engagements over 20 posts, making the average 329 interactions per post. You might have more followers on Facebook but by doing the math you can see that you’re actually gaining more traction on Instagram then on Facebook. While you can focus on both channels it would be better to pay more of your attention to Instagram.

Picture No. 21. Table for determining an average interaction on social media channels

Check in on your competitors / fellow organizations / projects / causes. It seems a little weird to turn to your competitors so early in this process. Why would you look at what they’re doing? You’re not them. However, you are fighting for their same audience. Understanding how and why they’re pulling in their fan base is part of the key to your success.

Look at what they are posting Before you start, make a list of 3 to 5 of your top competitors/organizations. You’ll be observing their social profiles, so knowing who you’re tracking will be a key to begin. Make a list of your top three social profiles and those are the channels that you’ll be tracking your competitors on. It could look something like this:

Picture No. 22. Example of competitor research table

But what if you don’t know who your competitors are? You might be new in the NGO or non-profit field or you might think that you are covering a specific topic, that has no similarities to any other organization.

There are a couple different ways to look for your competitors but the easiest would be to do a keyword search on one of your top social media sites.

Picture No. 23. Search your competition

You have a list, now write it down. Facebook yields a ton of results and you may suddenly realize you’re fighting for the same audience as a lot of other people. So how do you find your top competitors?

Look for the top number of followers! Write down the top five brands that have the most followers in of your top three channels.

Scope out their content. The next part of your competitor research process involves looking at the types of content that they are sharing on their social media channels that are attracting a lot of attention from their fan base. If they’re posting different types of content which type is garnering the most reactions, the most conversation, or the most engagement? Look for posts like the following that are grabbing the attention of your competitor’s fans.

Picture No 24.Example of a Facebook post

Is it videos, blog posts or a combination of things that are causing that type of interaction? Go back six months (your available period) into their posts, which seems like a long time but, it will give you a better look at the patterns occurring on their channels.

The opposite also applies. What types of content aren’t getting a lot of reactions or engagement? What topics or strategies are causing conversations to dip? Look also for posts that have a lower interaction rate, or that have none.

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Step three: Determine your budget. The next step in creating your social media marketing strategy involves determining your social media budget. This is probably one of the most crucial points in your strategy development because your budget will help determine what you can and cannot execute on your social channels. So what exactly does your determining your budget do?

Your BUDGET will decide your resources: The amount of money that your marketing team is willing to spend or invest into social media will determine how far you can go with it. In order to make amazing photos and videos like McDonald’s, you need a McDonald’s sized budget.

For example, say your Facebook page over the last six months has pulled in 2,356 engagements over 35 posts. Your average interaction per post is 67.

Instagram on the other hand gathered 6589 engagements over 20 posts, making the average 329 interactions per post. You might have more followers on Facebook but by doing the math you can see that you’re actually gaining more traction on Instagram then on Facebook. While you can focus on both channels it would be better to pay more of your attention to Instagram.