It can be an almighty challenge coming up with new social media ideas week after week. It can feel like you’ve posted about everything under the sun and that you’ve got a severe case of writer’s block – or rather social media content block! But there are heaps of ways we can get new content ideas – by looking at our own analytics for inspiration.
There are loads of sources of analytics you can dive into: your Facebook page, your Twitter account, soon your Instagram analytics, your website stats and your newsletter analytics. Use them all to find out what people have been engaging with most to get ideas for new content.
This week, I run through the options for how to peel away the layers of your analytics and harvest the deliciousness within to create new content ideas.
Creative Warm Up
Before you begin, it can’t hurt to do a quick little exercise in divergent
thinking to get the brain warmed up creatively. To do this, grab a pen, paper, and a stopwatch. Ready? Go!
Spend 2 minutes writing down alternative uses for a shoe (example: a baseball bat).
Spend 2 minutes writing down how society would change if we didn’t need to sleep.
Now – do some star jumps or walk around the block – you are 60% more creative after exercise.
All warmed up creatively? Let’s get started on your analytics!
Mining your analytics
One of the classic ways to look into your data for ideas is to do an export of your Facebook Data “by post” (not “page”), and sort your posts by most engaged (not by reach). This will give you a list of the kind of content people were most engaged with from your Facebook
Experiment with pulling different timeframes, for example, last month, this month last year, this week the year before.
Then, once you have ranked your data by engagement, pull out the key concepts which you think captured people – was it the topic? Was it the theme? Was it the angle?
For each concept, think about a new angle you could use.
a new perspective (insider’s guide to, when you first start to do x, the top 5 apps for..)
a new media type (an infographic, a gallery, a quiz..?)
a deep dive (focus on just on one aspect of that topic),
a lookalike (what is something similar you could write about?)
What about coming up with five new ideas?
It is a challenge come up with so many new ideas, but it pushing through that creative barrier can bring some kickass new ideas to the table.
Search on site
Do you have a website? What have people been searching for on there? What have they seen searching for this week? What about this year? Take advantage of what your audience are searching for because you know that is a strong indicator of what they are interested in.
You can also see what search terms people use when they find your site from Google Search – this might give you a good indicator of what things people associate with your website (so more content inspired by those ideas can’t hurt!)
What stories are people clicking on? Look at your newsletter stats or your tweet analytics and see what content people are clicking on – even if it’s content your company didn’t create. Get an idea of what people are more interested in, and come up with more ideas on those topics.
Compared to this time…
Year-on-year, or month-on-month comparisons can be a great way to track trends, especially if you’ve got a lot of evergreen content.
Have a look and see what people searched on the site this year compared to last year, or what articles had more traffic compared to last month.
Seeing which content has higher traffic now than in the past hints the topics that people are interested in – and what they might want to read about right now.
Location, location, location. Where are your social media fans? Are they in your city or country? Or another one? Does location change what content you should be posting?
Have a look at the data around where your fans live to see if there is any regional-inspired content you can take advantage of.
If you’ve been pulling out your top content from across these sources, you will now have a really interesting mix of content which people have been engaging with. What happens when you mash them up? Grab your headline for your top post on Twitter and combine it with the topic your highest searched post on the site. Do these combinations give you ideas for new content?
It might result in new ideas like…
Make an infographic for… tips for your first day of work?
Or the ultimate apps needed … to get the best coffee in town?
Get playful and silly – because the best new ideas come from there!
Do you have any other approaches you use for mining your own data for new content ideas? Post ’em in the comments!