swindon 1.png

It can be so easy not to find the time to review your outputs and outcomes on social media. But it’s obviously important insight to help shape your future activity.

by Lewis Moran

Like the majority of Spotify users, every year I look forward to downloading my Wrapped report. Despite the odd curve ball that’s too embarrassing to mention, it’s a great playlist of all the songs I have listened to most this year. It’s a brilliant piece of communications that uses micro-targeted audience data to deliver a better service for its users.  

Inspired by this, I thought I would conduct a little research myself to see what I can learn from our Facebook data to improve my work next year.

We are always looking to improve our engagement rate on social media. After all, engagement is king when it comes to knowing what your audience want to see on your page. From all the research I have seen, on Facebook 1-3.5% is considered good and anything above that considered high. As you can see, for us our engagement rate was consistently high except for a slight dip in May/June which we can assume was due to the pre-election period. It will be interesting to see if there will also be a dip in our December analytics too.

swindon 3.png

Averaging 277 new followers a month, we published 1,407 posts on Facebook this year, which does seem like a lot. In fact, we have been quite selective about what we post this year, as we have the evidence to show to our service areas that we know what will work and what wont. Despite always thinking video first, we posted almost 1000 photo led posts in 2019. What it has shown is that next year we should be running more polls. They’re a great way to learn more about who your audience are and what they really care about.

swindon 2.png

Through Business Manager and the Ad Centre, we have created personas who we try and target our messages to. Of course, not all of our followers will fit into this bracket but it gives us a pretty good idea of the kind of person who follows us and what they are interested in seeing on our page.

At the Public Sector Comms Academy in November, I listened to presentation by Social Chain called ‘How social media data can change minds, inspire action and create change. McVal Osbourne, Head of Data & Insights, said “There are four pieces of content that all audiences will engage with”

· Emotional – Does it make your audience laugh or cry, does it make them angry or frustrated.

· Relatable – Will your audience relate to your content? Will they be affected personally?

· Practical – Does it help your audience solve a problem they have?

· Remarkable- Does it wow/repulse your audience?

With that in mind, it was really interesting to see what our top posts for 2019 were. All four fit perfectly into at least one of those categories which is probably why they landed so well. Our top post of 2019 was a scam letter supposedly from the council telling residents they need to pay parking fines (relatable and emotional). Second was an environmental health hazard involving slaughtered pigs in a back garden (remarkable). Third, ‘traffic chaos’ caused by a major road closure (relatable and emotional) and the fourth was anti-social street drinkers being banned from the town centre (emotional). It was also interesting that all of our most engaged posts were reactive comms, rather than being part of a planned strategic campaign. Maybe next year we should be aligning our campaign outputs with these four principles more.

swindon 4.png

Now you’ve seen some of our headline data, I would be really interested in seeing some of your insights too. I am looking to join up with other councils next year to dive deeper into our analytics and see what we can learn from each other. If you would be up for being a part of a working group next year drop me an email lmoran@swindon.gov.uk

That embarrassing song by the way was Come on Eileen.  

Lewis Moran is digital comms executive with Swindon Borough Council. You can say hello to him on Twitter at @lewis_morann

P.S. comms2point0 and Orlo will be running the third annual public sector digital benchmarking survey early in the new year, providing insight across the sectors on key trends and learning. Follow @comms2point0 and @HelloOrlo for updates.

Image via Lewis

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

Comments closed