What we learned by changing our strategy on Instagram and LinkedIn – WAU
Our strategy on social networks, at first, aimed to promote content published on blogs. Today, we seek to build a relationship with our audience. See our main learnings when making this change.
“In team that is winning does not move”.
This proverb comes from team sports and its validity is discussed among professionals in the field.
In a strategy of Digital marketing, following this logic is a great way to throw great opportunities in the trash.
Our market changes every day, and the comfort zone strongly attacks marketers who are not looking for innovation and adaptation.
This content is a case study of the changes that we promote in our social networks, mainly on Instagram and LinkedIn, going through why and how we did it, valuable results and lessons we learned.
Who knows, maybe it’s time to change your strategy too?
The role of social networks for WAU until 2018
Websites Are Us was built with the production and dissemination of content. Our Content Marketing strategy started in 2013, together with the company, and never stopped.
We have over 2,500 posts published on the WAU Blog and more than 200 rich materials available on our website, including ebooks, infographics, tools, spreadsheets and more.
We always work with metrics clear and the first one we follow when we think of marketing funnel, is traffic to our website and blog.
We want more people to come to our site and visit more pages so that we can get more brand awareness, conversions and sales.
Social networks played an important role in the growth of our blogs, always with traffic as the main goal.
Advertising the contents of our blogs, social networks were responsible for bringing more than 250,000 sessions to our blog in 2018:
250,000 sessions is a very relevant number, even though it represents only 2.6% of the total.
But to understand why we touched a team that was winning, we need to take this analysis further.
Observe the traffic data coming from social networks on our blog since 2014.
We achieved an impressive growth in the number of visits generated by our social networks, but this result became less and less relevant to our total number of traffic.
In 2014, social networks accounted for almost 10% of the total result for the year, while last year it represented only 2.6%.
And that has a clear explanation.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy
Yes, the efforts in content production and SEO that started in 2013 built a base of organic results that only grows.
In 2014, the 57,000 sessions we managed organically represented 31% of our total result:
In 2018, organic was responsible for more than 80% of the result for the whole year, and the absolute number increased “a little”:
Our ability to produce content that ranks well and attracts large amounts of traffic only improves and our domain is getting stronger.
Time is on our side.
The organic results we achieved paved the way for an important discussion about our social networks:
Is traffic the best metric to guide our strategy?
The quest to impact people
The opportunity to use social media without having a total focus on getting traffic or conversions is a luxury for few companies.
Only those who already have a marketing and sales system that works alone can give up filling their pages of links and calls.
Reaching this level allowed us to stop, analyze and plan our presence in the networks in a more strategic way.
Mark Zuckerberg has already announced changes to his social network algorithms that limit the organic reach of business profiles.
Whether on Facebook or Instagram, it is increasingly difficult to appear for people who like your page.
With more posts to appear in the feed and fewer places available, the secret to maintaining its relevance is engagement.
Engagement measures the rate of interaction with your posts and your page.
What is the difference between scrolling straight through a post or stopping, reading and leaving a comment, for example?
Actions like leaving a comment, sharing a post or re-watching a story are signs that the displayed content has impacted you in some way.
Therein lies the secret to the changes we have made. I talked to our Social Media, Pedro Galvão, to understand better:
WAU blogs are already able to run on their own legs, and we can focus social networks on building relationships with customers and our audience. Social networks are a very good portal for disseminating content, but they are also a great opportunity to grow WAU as a brand.
Pedro Galvão – Social Media Analyst at Websites Are Us
Impact, engage and build relationships. It was these principles that guided the changes we made to our networks.
The path of change
How to build a social media strategy that improves our impact and relationship with the audience?
I will explain the main steps when updating our strategy, then I will exemplify what we did on each social network.
Our restructuring process went through 3 phases. The first was understand who our audience is.
Who is your persona
Common in several marketing strategies and often ignored, the persona study guided all the changes we have adopted in our social networks.
Your persona is your target. As our goal was to impact and build relationships with our audience, we had to update our persona and really think about it when restructuring our presence on the networks.
Personas are the basis for the next two steps in the process.
Defining what to post
What is the content of each post? What theme does it address?
Each social network has specific personas with specific pains and challenges. Understanding the user profile of each network helps to define the themes that generate better results.
Choosing the post format
It is not only the content of the message that matters, but also how it is delivered.
Each social network has different publication formats, and in each one the audience expects to receive information in specific ways.
And how do we apply these steps to LinkedIn and Instagram?
Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing weapons today, especially for companies that have an active audience on that network.
Our Instagram had already had good results, but we were suffering a lot from falls due to algorithm updates that reduce the organic reach of business profiles.
As I said, it is increasingly difficult to appear for those who like your page.
Therefore, Pedro Galvão has invested a lot of time studying this network, its users and what reference companies are doing in it to have results.
Updating our personas, the first step in this process, is a guiding step for thinking about the next two steps: content and format.
So I’m going to talk about how we used to do these two points before, and how we started to do after the change.
If you want to draw your own conclusions, visit our profile and tell DM what you think of the changes and what can still improve.
Instagram content changes
When our focus on networks was to generate traffic, our profile was dedicated to sharing content from our blogs and rich materials. This happened both through stories and through the feed.
In the Feed, we mainly used the new posts from Blog da WAU, but also from Inteligência Websites Are Us, Websites Are Us Community, beyond the rich materials from WAU.
Also in the feed were posts from commemorative dates and major internal events from Websites Are Us.
In stories, we bet on a dissemination of content, always trying to take the reader to the original content or landing page using features like “Drag up”.
It is important to understand that these contents, such as blog posts and ebooks, has value for people who follow our Instagram.
We didn’t want to give it up, but stuffing our feed with publicity images doesn’t generate the engagement we expected.
Therefore, the dissemination of posts and rich materials today happens only through Instagram Stories.
Stories is a resource that makes it easier for the follower to reach the original page with less clicks, and has proved to be the best for disseminating didactic and conceptual content.
But how was our feed?
We decided to use our feed to tell stories.
The history of WAU, its market share, its employees, marketing professionals and the marketing itself.
We believe that we have stories that marketers identify with, not only in our trajectories, but also in our daily lives. That is why posts like this have been having great engagement results:
For our years dedicated to producing content on marketing, sales and other topics, several people admire Websites Are Us, and are interested in knowing how we operate and curiosity about our daily lives.
Knowing this, we decided to open up a little bit of what happens inside WAU, and posts like this have generated an interesting response:
We do not stop using our social networks to pass on knowledge, but we change the way we do it.
We opted for a video format, with Vitor Peçanha’s classes. I will comment on the option for this format later on.
With the changes, our feed stopped being a handful of images, and started to show the people and stories behind Websites Are Us.
Above is our feed in mid-April last year. Below, how the feed is currently:
As I explained, the dissemination of blog posts and ebooks started to happen only through Stories. To optimize our engagement results with these contents, we made changes to the format that I will explain later.
But we realized that Stories was also the best opportunity to bring the audience into WAU.
Internal and external events, happy hour and behind the scenes of our employees are transmitted more immediately by fastest growing feature on Instagram.
The before and after of the content published on our Instagram looked like this:
Backstage, for example, one of the rockers is chosen to show how his day to day is. With a series of stories, he tells a little about the daily challenges, routine and structure of everything that involves his function here within the company.
The changes in the published content generated more identification of followers with our brand and has been giving great results, as in this post about our DogDay, which has already passed 3,500 likes:
Or even this post in which we asked the opinion of our followers on Instagram to hide the number of likes of their posts, which already has more than 100 comments and was the best of the last 10 publications:
To analyze your results on Instagram, here’s a tip from our free Instagram Analytics tool
But the change in content alone was not enough. We also made changes to the format of our publications.
Instagram Content Format Changes
We realized that we advertised incredible content, but in a format that the Instagram audience has no interest or patience to consume.
It was here that we realized two of the biggest tips throughout this process, which are useful for any business profile on the network:
1. Deliver the chewed information.
Instagram users usually don’t want to leave the network to get an answer to a question you ask.
Whenever promoting a question, give the answer on the network itself. If it is a complex subject, give a partial answer, with a link to your content with the complete answer.
2. Promote interaction.
Using Instagram is an experience. Whoever is on the network has the desire to speak up and knows that they are one click away from doing so.
If you make resources available for interaction, people will use them.
But how do we apply these tips in practice?
To understand what I mean by deliver the chewed information, notice how ebooks were disseminated in the old model:
In this release of our tool sheet, the image invites the reader to download the ebook indicating that he will find SEO tools, email, among other topics.
She talks about the types of tools, but she doesn’t mention any.
If the reader wants to know a tool of a kind, he has to go to the bio, click on the link, fill in a landing page and, only then, receive the material with the answer.
With so much click on the path, just talking about the types of tools present in the material will not encourage the reader to download it.
In comparison, look at how we publicize our post on keyword tools on new model:
The image already partially answers the question which tools can identify the best keywords.
The description contains a call for interaction, in addition to the invitation to see what other tools do the same.
This post is from our feed, but uses the same format that we covered in our Stories.
To disseminate didactic content, this more direct approach helps to create interest in the follower, increasing engagement and also the chance of taking him to your website.
And speaking of interaction and engagement, watch how we use Instagram Stories features to encourage our followers to respond and talk to our brand:
Which marketer is not informed via podcasts? In this story we invite our followers to share their favorite podcasts with us.
The mix of social networks and pets is usually a success, and in this story we use this to generate interactions with our page.
The before and after of the publication formats on Instagram looked like this:
The mixture of changes in content and format has generated great results.
With a profile focused on telling our stories and disseminating chewed up marketing knowledge our average interactions per post increased a lot from year p