You need only look at the findings of The #DigitalPR Challenge to realise that the role of a comms person has come a long way since the dawn of online media.
At the time of the survey, back in April 2015, 92% of the comms professionals we spoke to said that “managing social media channels” was now a part of their role, and they felt that they were facing an increasing challenge to create “engaging content”, up the number of followers and yup, you guessed it - boost reach!
While we’re not going to sit here and fib through gritted teeth that “reach is really easy”, what we can do is give you bit of a better idea of what “reach” means, what metrics matter, and how to give yours a boost.
#1 Think beyond reach
74% of the survey respondents said that they looked at social shares as a metric, while 40% reported on engagement figures and 85% took Twitter mentions to be an indicator of the brand's level of success. And everyone’s talking about reach...but what does it really show?
Social “reach” refers to the total number of people (across all networks) who saw your content. Sounds important, right? But one thing we’d encourage you to do, when thinking about reach, is consider what you want those people to do - share it with their followers, comment, engage, convert to a customer, buy your product etc - keeping this in mind will help you tailor your content accordingly.
#2 Report on meaningful measurements
There is no right or wrong way to measure reach, per se. But what is important is that what you’re measuring is aligned with your KPIs.
“Increasing reach” is a vague and ambiguous task if growing doesn’t result in an increase in traffic, sales or conversions. Sure, you could say that reach means more brand awareness, but is that resulting in revenue? If the answer is no then you may need to rethink your goals and strategies. Again, think about what you want people to do once your content has reached them.
#3 Know who & where your audience are
In an online world where paid marketing seems to be an ever-present force, it can feel almost impossible to spread the word of your company/offering without spending a penny. Well, let me tell you, it’s totally do-able, but you need to ask yourself two key questions; who is your audience? where is your audience?
To make a super sweeping statement, there are some brands who work best on Facebook, whereas other industries are more suited to the style of Twitter, LinkedIn and Goog’...okay, no one works on G+! Which leads me onto my next tip...
#4 Test, test and test again
There was a time when we were all guilty (myself included) of scheduling and blasting out posts willy-nilly. We’d replicate posts across every platform and schedule them for 9am, 12pm and 5pm every day. But does the content of a Facebook post work well on Twitter, and will the same Tweet resonate with your LinkedIn connections? And what time of day are your fans online? Is it the same across every channel? You’ll only know if you test, evaluate and re-evaluate your content over time.
#5 Invest in your tests
Once in a while you may need to dip your hand into your marketing budget to allocate to a PR tool that'll make your life one heck of a lot easier. Alternatively, you might need to put money behind your social posts, giving them a bit of extra exposure. Twitter and Facebook are both pretty cool for this, allowing you to select the types of person you want to target (based on their interests or who they follow/like).
Well, we hope these social media tips have given you clearer guidance on boosting your social activity and reach. But always remember the golden rule: consider why you want reach and what you want these new found people to do with your content! If you keep this at the forefront of your mind then we’re sure you’ll be reaping the reach rewards!