A Journey through the life of a post
Social media marketing efforts extend beyond creating and posting on social media. The pandemic taught us the importance of monitoring and making optimised judgments. The same has to be done for social media posts as well.
When you are shopping for products, one of the important things you look for before making the purchase is the shelf life. Optimum or favourable conditions of the surroundings will help in maintaining the shelf life. The same goes for social media posts. The concept of the life of a post is centred around following up on the post for a time period to analyse the interactions on the posts, results and learnings. There is no shortage of content on social media and for a post to stand out in the crowd, managing the life of the post is one of the important steps.
It would be the biggest understatement of the century to say social media is fast paced. Typically, the lifespan of posts varies from one platform to another. Typically a Facebook post has a lifespan of around 5 hours, Instagram and LinkedIn post lifespans are around 21 and 24 hours respectively.Twitter is the most competitive of all. Your tweet can drown the sea of tweets in a span of 18 minutes. The covid-19 lockdown has only accelerated the content flow across social platforms. This means brands have to compete for the audience’s attention with quality content.
While this can be challenging, the answer can be found in the big book of Covid Lessons. Maintaining the life of a post is very similar to maintaining the SpO2 levels of a covid patient. Experts insist on maintaining the SpO2, oxygen saturation, between 94-100 for covid patients. Let’s take a look at the steps in both processes. First step is to measure the oxygen levels using an oximeter which is similar to measuring the engagement using the social media metrics. The social media metrics is the El Dorado for social media managers. Analysing the metrics will throw light on KPIs like reach, engagement, conversions etc based on which the performance of the post is measured.
When a post hasn’t performed as per the expectations, it is a common instinct to jump into paid promotions right away because it guarantees a substantial increase in reach in a short time period. That’s similar to administering oxygen externally when a person’s SpO2 levels drop slightly. It will definitely increase the oxygen levels but there is another effective way of doing the same without any external support.
Resonating with W. Edwards Deming’s words, “A goal without a method is nonsense”, outcomes are easier to achieve when there is a process in place.
The important step often forgotten is – Breathing Exercises. It is quite effective to increase the oxygen levels in blood. Breathing exercise is a solution that can be performed by yourself without any external assistance. Similarly, the reach of a post can be increased organically by a few constructive ways before opting for paid marketing.
The two crucial methods are:
All social algorithms are looking for interactions between people, posts and employees. Interactions from the employees will give a post an initial acceleration which counts as a meaningful interaction for the algorithm. Research suggests, company branded messages reach 561% further when shared by employees versus branded channels. Employee advocacy should be a priority for social media marketing. Most of the employees have an average of 850 social media connections across the various networks, which is more than some small businesses will ever achieve. Hence engaging these internal influencers broaden the reach and presence.
Leveraging social media groups is an effective way of amplifying organic reach. Social media groups devoted to various topics and fields are very easy to find. When the members of a group are actively engaging on posts, the algorithms will show posts with high engagement on people’s timelines thereby amplifying organic reach.
If breathing exercises are not working for the patient, that calls for a stronger step like a visit to a healthcare facility for supplementary oxygen. This in the social media context corresponds to paid marketing. Despite the efforts to improve the performance of the post organically, if the expectations are not met, paid marketing is the way to go. Boosting a post will dramatically increase the exposure of the post. Greater the money, greater the exposure. It is always better to spend money on the best content pieces so as to attract the non-followers to follow your brand. So always remember, social media is a highly competitive space for brands. The average attention span of an individual is 8 seconds. To capture the attention within this short span of time means having to create thumb stopping content for your brand.
The pandemic has been challenging in more ways than one. These challenges have reinforced the importance of patience which is the key to our health and happiness. Similarly, social media management i.e. building reach and engagement on social media and extending the lifespan of a post is a conscious process. With the right mix of patience and implementation of strategy in an orderly fashion, we can enhance the life of a social media post to keep the brand healthy and happy.
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