Evaluating Your Success Story: Understanding Audience Feedback

In our last blogChief Creative Officer Chris Hoke discussed approaching digital content creation through the lens of your brand’s unique voice and personality. Understanding where your followers consume media and how their habits are shifting during COVID-19 are important first steps in developing rich and impactful content.

Part One: Searching for Deeper Connections During Times of Change
Part Two: Supporting Your Brand Outposts Through Content and Channel
Part Three: Evaluating Your Success Story: Understanding Audience Feedback

But in a time like we’ve never seen, how can you gauge your content’s success when there are no benchmarks?  While developing social content in this turbulent climate may seem like throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks, there are ways to evaluate performance. By doing so, you equip your team with the information needed to know if, when and how to pivot your strategy.

Start with Social Listening

US Adults Social Media Usage During the Coronavirus, March-May 2020, via Business Insider

A Harris Poll found that half of U.S. adults have been using social media more since the outbreak began. Its purpose has evolved from being entertainment to serving as a megaphone for communicating opinions, sharing information and engaging with brands. Monitoring engagements on your own page only scrapes the tip of the iceberg. Now more than ever, active listening is vital to navigating the evolving digital landscape. To keep a better pulse on your audience, be sure to track keywords, competitor brand activity and industry influencers, keeping an eye out for emerging trends, concerns and overall sentiment. Although these engagements are not on your page, they may reveal larger themes worth incorporating into your own content, allowing you to stay ahead of other brands and win consumer loyalty.

How to Measure the Message

So, you’ve been actively researching and reading what consumers are saying both on your page as well as across the digital landscape. Based on these findings, you’ve been proactively posting insightful and engaging content. But how do you measure the success of these messages?

It boils down to the purpose of the post. Was your goal to raise awareness of your updated store hours? Or was it to drive people to your new e-commerce website? Each goal has unique Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will reveal if your post hit its mark:

Website Conversions = link clicks

Awareness = reach/impressions, shares

Engagement = video views, comments, reactions

According to Social Media Today, three of four consumers have engaged with content more frequently since the onset of the virus, making vanity metrics a valuable tool in measuring the success of your post. And while digital marketers are often encouraged to look beyond the likes, retweets and comments for deeper metrics such as click-through rate and CPM, these KPIs provide important insight into your audience’s perception of your brand. Several “haha” reactions on a serious Facebook post reveals unlaying sentiment concerns, something to investigate.

Also note the trends on your page. Are videos performing better than usual? How about Facebook LIVE? More than half of people are watching more videos on social media since the outbreak began, making vanity metrics such as video views or clicks worth watching.

To effectively evaluate feedback from your audience, a combination of page monitoring, social listening, and audience interaction is key. Social media is a tool for conversation, not just a one-way monologue. Staying aware of your audience’s concerns and needs will help your brand stay agile and successfully navigate the evolving COVID-19 situation.

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