I hope you enjoy today’s guest post by Sherry Meyer. In this post, she explains the social media audit I did for her and discusses the changes she made and the results.
Not long ago, I joined hands with some online writing friends and took a sabbatical from social media. For eight weeks, I conducted my “experiment.” Could I stay away from social media for eight weeks? Was I capable of committing to social media “starvation?”
During those eight weeks, I thought about social media and the communities I missed. Yet, I felt somewhat less than a stellar student of how to use some platforms, specifically LinkedIn and Google+ and sometimes even Twitter. Facebook, not such a problem.
About that time, I received Frances Caballo’s Social Media Just for Writers newsletter. Something in it prompted an email to Frances asking about her social media audit services. We emailed back and forth a few times, and in late March Frances performed an assessment of my blog as well as my social media presence.
The outcome was beneficial in many respects, and Frances’s comments brought greater clarity to how I spend my time on social media.
Before the Social Media and Blog Assessment
Literally, before Frances I was doing pretty much whatever I could understand about each social media platform. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t.
My greatest difficulties related to LinkedIn and Google+ and knowing how to effectively use each of them. I had made a decision to focus more on Twitter, but there again the wind blew in opposite directions some days. Shall we just say I was living and working in a social media conundrum?
Frances discovered positives and negatives in all my social media endeavors. Here’s an overview of what she found:
First, to the positives:
- Twitter: Bio and avatar
- LinkedIn: Looked pretty good except…
- Pinterest: A-OK
- Amazon Author Page: Just a couple of tweaks needed
Now, to the negatives:
One negative appeared across the board.
I needed to revamp my banner image, which appeared across my blog header and on each social platform. Once Frances pointed it out, I saw with clarity my banner was not communicating my true mission—writing my memoir and walking through the process of publication and marketing.
This was the first thing I addressed. It was clear from Frances’s audit report the importance of this one issue tied together everything I was attempting to achieve. Now each of my social media accounts and my blog carry the same banner, title, and tagline. I felt more on track with my purpose for blogging and building community.
– Need to tweet more images.
– Need more assertive attention to building a following.
These two suggestions have been incorporated into my daily visits to Twitter. Later I’ll share with you a remarkable change just within the first few days after these changes were made.
– Using my profile as a page. By taking down my Facebook page a few months back, I had stepped across the boundary between personal contact and professional contact.
– Connection between Twitter and Facebook sent simultaneous messages.
– A big no, no–somehow email addresses were visible on my About section. Yikes!
I immediately took care of reactivating my Facebook page and deleted those mysterious email addresses. Additionally, I unlinked Twitter and Facebook.
– Need to post to Pulse, an area where blog posts may be published a week or two after originally appearing on LinkedIn.
– Not sharing updates often enough. Share at least once a day
These two suggestions have been incorporated into my presence on LinkedIn
In my opinion, I had a miserable presence with Google+, and Frances saw that immediately:
– Barely posting. Should post two to three times/day.
– Failure to tag people (which I knew I should).
– Lacking hashtag usage.
I’ve often wondered why I was on Tumblr, and I’m still not sure. Frances pointed out the focus on Tumblr is usually young adult and new adult writers.
I have eliminated Tumblr from my social media toolbox.
The only comments from Frances related to a slight change needed in my bio and the need to connect my RSS feed to my Amazon account.
I don’t think I ever provided Frances with the link. Sigh…
Pinterest: No changes needed.
A few suggestions from Frances:
– Change text and site of email subscription widget.
– Change blog subscription call-to-action (“CTA”).
– Who is my site designed for–writers or readers?
– Retitle one page to clarify what followers are signing up for.
– Theme provides the top banner (large banner!) and at the bottom a larger than life footer. Distracting.
After reading Frances’s report, I looked at the overriding comments about my site header, which I use (or try to use) on all social media accounts and my newsletter mailings. Following a study of what was going on there (or not), I changed to a new banner. It lends a brighter environment and gives more clarity to what I’m doing on my site.
I also made changes to certain language about my newsletter and free e-book in the CTAs on my site. I eliminated footer widgets, which can be confusing. From those widgets, I chose what I wanted my readers to see and placed a few widgets in the sidebar only.
My tag line was revised slightly, and I am trying to be consistent with it across the social media board.
Note from Frances Caballo: Sherrey’s banner has evolved again.
Now, for the goodness in all of this
First of all, Frances does not leave you in the lurch. If you have questions about her assessment or if there’s something not quite clear, she’ll lend a hand via email. By and large, however, her assessment was clear and concise.
I have attempted to share the before and after of my assessment provided by Frances. However, it is hard to put numbers to any of this as the changes haven’t been in effect long enough to see the growth in followers. I do know that I have gained followers both on Twitter and my Facebook page. I have also picked up a few more followers to the newsletter.
One visual I’d like to share is the increase in my Twitter activity after the first 30 days of using Frances’s advice about images and timing on when to post.
Here’s a copy of my stats after that 30-day period:
And here’s a look at the month before:
A fair improvement, I’d say. In fact, I was amazed when I compared these numbers. Simple steps. Easy steps. When you allow someone with expertise to step in and help you, it all begins to fall into place.
Yet, we all know followers come and they go, like the tide coming in and then flowing out. It’s a regular happening. And that’s not necessarily because we’ve failed to do everything we could. It’s because people’s interests, preferences, and needs change.
I hope this has been helpful to you in some way. I know it’s long, but there’s no other way to share what happened between Frances and me during our working together.
Let Me Analyze Your Social Media
I can take a more in-depth look at your social media. Save $119 (a 40% discount!) and sign up for a social media audit. I’ll examine your social media profiles and pages closely and write an assessment and develop next steps for you to take.
Your audit will include a complete review of:
- Your Facebook page posts and About Section
- Keyword placement on your LinkedIn profile and a general review
- Analysis of our tweets and tips to improve engagement
- Suggestions on how you can get more out of Google+
- A review of your Pinterest account with suggestions for new boards
- A review of your website and blog with ideas for improving them
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Be sure to check out my Social Media for Authors Podcast.