I use social media in many different ways – both professionally and personally:
- As part of the inbound marketing strategy to generate inquiries at my school
- To engage our different stakeholders at school
- To extend our school’s brand
- To build and foster community
- To connect and re-connect with friends
- To build my personal brand
- To discover and share information about things I’m interested in
- As a news source
After engaging in social media for years now I’ve learned a valuable lesson that I’d like to share with you. This lesson is necessary to implement if you want to rise from social media novice to social media pro. The lesson is simple – when using social media you need to test and retest.
Social Media Test and Retest
When I first started utilizing social media I would just post, tweet, and publish without really thinking about the results of my posting, tweeting, or publishing. I thought that once I hit the RETURN button I was done. With the benefit of time, I’ve learned that I was wrong – to truly become a social media pro your work is just beginning once you hit RETURN.
The concept of Test and Retest has at it’s core the simple idea that you must pay attention to analytics – but it goes one step further. Don’t just pay attention to the analytic data but use the information to shape your future actions in order to achieve your goals.
When using a social media channel follow these steps to make you a social media pro:
- Define your goal.
- Select a tool to post and measure your social media activity. I prefer Hootsuite.
- Begin to change your social media activity based upon the information you learn from your analytics.
- Repeat beginning at Step #2 until you reach your goal.
Let me offer an example from Twitter… I might have a goal in which I want to get more retweets. As I tweet I begin to pay attention to the day, time, and type of content when I tweet. I check my analytics and begin to test the day, time, and type of content that I tweet. I then continue to test and retest the day, time, and type of content I tweet until I find the best combination in order to receive the most retweets.
It’s Your Turn
I hope you’ll begin to use the test and retest idea when engaging now in social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this idea as well as any successes or failures you have experienced with your use of social media.