How to analyse social content performance

Social media can often seem like a bit of mystery. What content works well? What does your audience like? Which posts are the most effective?

You may have a good idea of the overall statistics and growth that you are seeing, in the forms of impressions, engagements and link clicks. Identifying specifics can be more time-consuming.

At Vertical Leap, we have been categorising posts by type and then using interactive reporting to analyse the effectiveness of each type. Based on this insight, here are my top tips for the kinds of posts that work best on different social media.

Remember that each channel requires a different approach. Facebook posts tend to work best if they have a personal feel. LinkedIn has a business audience and can therefore be more informational and less emotional.

1. What types of content are available to you?

When social media platforms define the types of content you post socially, they’ll often group them into one of these four sections: photo, video, link or post (just words).

Social Media Post Types on Facebook

(Example content sections from Facebook page)

This gives a representation of performance by type, but not the detailed insights you would need to truly optimise your social posts.

We separate social content posts using a different categorisation structure, which you can see in the chart below.

Engagement per Month Graph
In the above chart, it is evident that either a reduction of external news or an increase in internal news could have caused the engagement spike in August. Similarly, the drop in September could have been due to either an increase in external news or a decrease in the number of questions posed to the audience.With this categorisation, we can see more of a correlation between engagement and the subject matter of the posts.

With these insights, we can experiment with posts for this social platform – in this case, Facebook –to increase engagement levels. In the case of this client, engagements are a core part of their targets, so experimenting with which posts work better has benefited the core strategy.

I can show you another example of this optimisation for a different client, who only uses Twitter and LinkedIn for their business. In this case, we can see how different post types work on different platforms.

Engagements by Post Type on Twitter and LinkedIn
One key aspect to be aware of when viewing the above charts is that the proportionality of the two graphs isn’t quite equal. While both graphs work on a 0-100% representation, the number of total engagements for each platform aren’t equal. On LinkedIn, the posts that perform best are the company focused posts, talking about the business and services the company offers. This company attends several industry events. On Twitter, posts about these events seem to be effective.

You can see this in the chart here, which shows the volume of engagements for each platform over time.

Engagements per Month on LinkedIn and Twitter for social content

This is always something to be aware of when considering the performance of post types on different social media accounts. While it may not seem like one subject is performing as well as on the other account, such as the LinkedIn events section compared to Twitter, it is receiving more engagements overall when considered with the context of the total engagements received.

2. Social optimisation for B2B compared with B2C

I mentioned how different content subjects perform differently on different social media platforms, but it is also important to be aware that different businesses, in different industries, will also work better on different social media channels.

This graph shows which social channels are more effective for which type of business; this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a certain social platform for your business, it is simply to show which ones are most effective.

B2B and B2C Focused Social Sites

3. How to optimise your social media posts

If you’re looking to optimise the content and subject matter of your social posts, here are the key points you should take away:

  1. Different social channels need different types of content
  2. Capitalise on the social channels that work best for your type of business
  3. Find out which posts work best for you and your business through trial and error

If you’re looking for anything else to read on the social marketing subject, take a look at our social media fails and wins to find out how else you can optimise your social channels, find out how to have fun with your brand on social media, or discover how to increase brand awareness to improve engagements and impressions.

Laura Jensen profile picture
Laura Jensen

Laura was a Social, PR & Content Marketing Specialist at Vertical Leap. Laura managed social media strategies and content delivery for 10 different brands.

More articles by Laura
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