Spring clean your social media strategy

Spring Cleaning DogSpring cleaning isn’t just for those pesky tomato stains or ceiling fan dust. It’s an opportunity to provide those same “fresh start” principles to your social media strategy. Summer is on its way, which hopefully means craziness at the office is winding down. Take advantage of some well deserved free time to do a digital scrub down.

1. Purge your Twitter followers and get your Twitter lists in order

When used correctly, Twitter is one of the greatest tools your brand has to stay on top of industry news. However, we all tend to accumulate “excess” follows – through DMs, shows of support, short-term partners, etc. Don’t be shy with the “unfollow” button – keeping your news feed clean and tight is your fast-track to being in the know and connecting quickly with your key supporters when the time calls for immediate action.

The people you follow on Twitter should provide a breadth of knowledge across a wide array of topics. You may follow some people or brands because they share your mission and vision, while others may represent partners, peers, individual supporters and news outlets.

While it requires a bit of upkeep, it will be exponentially beneficial to create Twitter lists dividing the people and brands you follow into their areas of expertise. For example, I have a list of global development organizations that I check to make sure CARE is tuned in to the current trends and doesn’t miss any important news stories or anniversaries. I also keep a list of social media experts, many of which specialize in social media for nonprofits, that I tap into to stay on top of social media and web marketing news.

2. Find supporters you may have overlooked

That follower who retweets you once a day. That person who comments on every Facebook post. That organization who tags you in Follow Friday every week. They may not be high-profile bloggers or large sum donors, but by choosing to interact with you as frequently as they do, they are making a statement. They are choosing you again and again above all the noise. They may not stand out, but they should be counted as among your strongest supporters.

Take some time to figure out who these people are. Dedicate an extra ten minutes to social monitoring. Don’t just look for the questions you need to answer, look at who is retweeting you, who is thanking you and who is sharing their thoughts about your issues.

Free tools like Social Rank or Tweet Reach will give you an idea of who your most influential and your most loyal followers are, while Tweet Charts or Twitonomy will show you who you interact with most often in your tweets. However, these will only provide snapshots. The best way to identify these people is to pay attention every day, just like they do.

3. Check your vitals

Remember that Facebook About page you filled out awhile ago? Yeah, we didn’t either. Now’s the time to recheck all of that static content you created on your various social profiles when you first created them. Has your mission changed? Your website? Content you featured that you forgot about? Put on your digital rubber gloves and spring clean those social profiles!

4. Find and document your best posts

Every day on social media is like a new adventure. It makes our jobs a lot more exciting, but it also makes it more difficult to see the bigger picture. This spring, take a step back and analyze what you’ve done over the last six months, or even the last year. Do some digging to find your top performing posts on your various networks. What aspects of this content can you incorporate into your social media strategy going forward?

John Haydon wrote this great post on how to use Facebook Insights to identify your top Facebook posts.

You can apply the same concepts to Twitter Analytics (which you can access through your ads account – see #4 on this post) though it only goes back 500 tweets or 90 days (whichever comes first).

Twitonomy is also a great free option that allows you to export tweets and corresponding metrics without the 500 cap.

5. Get your files in order

One of the best things you can do to strengthen your social media strategy happens off of social media. Now’s the time to organize all of the fantastic internal assets that have been sitting on your desktop. You generally know what kinds of buckets of content you have, so organize your photos accordingly. That way the next time you have a post about said topic, you’ll have a folder ready of photo options. Think about how much time you will save if your photos are organized by topic rather than date?

The same is true with stories and statistics. Mine some of those dense reports and pull out the gold nuggets so they’re there when the need arises. Re-edit those stories into bite-sized snippets appropriate for social media. It may be a time suck now, but imagine all of the ten minutes here, fifteen there it will save you in the coming year.

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