Content Analysis: What's Working?

If you attended our spring webinar series, you may have heard me compare social to the ruthless world of fashion. If you"™re a Project Runway fan, you"™re familiar with Heidi Klum"™s mantra, "In fashion, one day you"™re in, and the next day you"™re out." In many ways, the same applies to social: one day you"™re celebrating Olympic-like engagement and the next you"™re trying to determine where it all went wrong. The good news is that by looking at the correct data, you can begin to identify trends in engagement that will allow you to make more strategic decisions about which content to post. Enter content analysis.


Content analysis is how you determine content efficacy. A close look at your data will reveal:

  • Which topics resonate and which don"™t
  • Effective calls-to-action (i.e., "like" vs. "click")
  • Ideal rich media mix (i.e., ratio of pictures to links to videos)
  • Optimal character count per post
  • Proper posting cadence per social channel

Each of these data points work together to inform your social content strategy. Visualize all this data in a matrix, sorted by channel (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, corporate blog, etc.). It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but this data is the key to your brand"™s social content success.

Knowing which content resonates, by channel, will help you establish clear channel differentiation. I guarantee there are nuances, however small, between your Facebook audience and your Twitter audience. If you post identical content to both channels, you are probably missing an opportunity to truly connect with one or both audiences. Give each channel a defined purpose.

Once you"™ve established each channel"™s purpose, use the insights derived from content analysis to create an optimized content calendar. Essentially, the result of this project should be a custom content mix per channel. This doesn"™t mean you never cross-promote; it means you take advantage of the opportunities different channels provide, in terms of audience and engagement.  A word of caution: make sure you aren"™t pushing your corporate agenda on fans and followers. If promotions make up 50% of your content mix but only receive 10% of engagement, it"™s time to reevaluate. Yes, ultimately we all need to sell things, but your content should be a mix of nurture and promotion. (And I would argue it should skew towards nurture).

Finally, establish benchmarks. Your brand"™s social engagement should increase as you post more of what fans and followers want to see and hear. That said, keep your finger on the pulse of your social community; revisit your content mix often and make adjustments as necessary.

Although your fans and followers may not say, "Auf Wiedersehen" on your first offense (unlike the Project Runway panel of judges), your track record is important. Are your fans and followers seeing more or less of what they want to see over time? Is your content getting more or less engaging? Content analysis is how you stay ahead of the curve.

On Wednesday, August 22 at 1pm CST, we'll be hosting a webinar, "Content Analysis: What's Working?" to discuss how to navigate your Spredfast data and begin pulling insights out of the numbers. If you are a Spredfast customer interested in learning more, register here.'s picture

Ellen Westcott

Ellen Westcott is a Senior Strategist on the Spredfast Services Team. She supports customer social strategy and program execution. In her spare time, Ellen owns a wedding design and coordination company.