We have all sat in front of our computer screens at 8 am on a Wednesday morning wondering what the heck to post on our array of social media channels. Personally, if I am having a particularly bad ‘feeling stuck’ morning, I check out online news to see if there is something that relates to my business for me to talk about and share, or scroll through pages of photos to see if a random slogan/catchphrase pops into my head to match the photo. Obviously, it has to correspond with my ‘brand’, randomness doesn’t work.

When we are scrambling around for stuff to post it can be very easy to forget our audience. Just because we are:

  1. Awake
  2. Sat working at our desk,

doesn’t mean our audience is. This is where scheduling and analytics come in handy. You can see who your audience are, where they live, and what tech equipment they see your content on. This means you can specifically target your audience – GREAT! However, it is only a good thing if you know who your audience is and how they behave. Don’t post fantastic content at 9 am if they don’t log on until 6 pm. Wasted opportunity!

Analytics doesn’t really work within my advocacy work. Around half of my global audience has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E). This means many of them are unable to check social media regularly. They may not even be able to look at a blue-lit screen for weeks. There is a dynamic, HUGE, M.E community online, but we have our own rules that can’t be measured by computer software. I may create an absolutely mindblowing post that ordinarily would go through the roof engagement-wise but it will only be seen by a tenth of my audience (within a week of it being posted). I get emails/DMs a couple of months later with apologies that they couldn’t help the wave of awareness because they have been too poorly to log on. I get it. That’s why I am an advocate. To help people that are so sensitive to light and noise they can’t even entertain themselves at home with social media. Analytics will tell me that I am doing really badly, that my posts reached -1m people (exaggeration!), but I know that I have worldwide support. The emails that flood my inbox daily tell me that I am running a very successful charity brand, despite what facebook, Twitter, and Instagram tell me.

I would encourage any business to regularly check analytics to see how you are progressing. This gives you the opportunity to slightly jiggle your output to try and work out what works and what doesn’t. However, if you know your audience well, you shouldn’t have to purely rely on analytics. Use your common sense and insider knowledge. You know how potential customers are reacting to you. Whether that is in the form of increased sales, feedback, or footfall. Remember, you don’t have a business if you don’t have customers. Get to know them, build relationships and you will avoid being a statistic as a failed business.