For content marketers, one of the first activities you’ll want to engage in is finding your niche. Become incredibly useful to a very specific group of people, and your content will become much more successful.
Once you’ve identified your niche, you’ll want to find out which social channels will be most beneficial to engage potential visitors and customers. Depending on your niche you’ll probably want to focus more on one of them.
There are a lot of options like:
- YouTube; or
How do I determine which is the best social networking site for my niche?
Choose a network where your topic has the most engagement. Meaning the social network where people are commenting on, sharing and liking or +1ing topically relevant posts the most. Are there already active communities where people are engaging your niche? If so, join these communities and become part of the conversation.
The above process of determining which is the best social networking site for your niche is great, but there’s an incredible amount of data on these networks. How can you efficiently analyze this social information and understand on which network you’ll find the most activity for your niche?
To efficiently analyze the massive data sets that social channels present, you’ll need to use a tool for Social Network Analysis (SNA). Don’t let the technical term, “SNA,” scare you off though. Basically, what you’re doing with an SNA tool is discovering what information a social network has to offer.
What tool can I use to discover which is the best social network for my business?
One of the best tools to begin your search is called NOD3x, and if you’re a member of the Google+ community you’ll have free access to start learning. NOD3x is a tool for social network analysis, and you’ll be able to use it to determine on which social channel your niche has the most engagement.
To get started, go to http://nod3x.com and click the red, “Sign in with Google,” button. Once you’ve logged in, start a new project with a hashtag that’s relevant to your niche. New projects only take a few minutes to setup, and you can easily get started by watching this one-minute YouTube video: http://youtu.be/WvRWEagxJ5M. Note, this video will have you setup a new project with some keywords. In this case, enter a relevant hashtag to your niche in the space for keywords.
How does NOD3x help me determine the best social channels on which to be active?
Once you’ve setup a project in NOD3x, using your topically relevant and niche hashtag, the tool will begin collecting and analyzing all of the relevant social activity. For example, if your niche topic is photography, you’d start your project with the hashtag #photography.
NOD3x would then show you all of the posts containing the hashtag #photography on various social networks. Note, this tool provides free access to Google+ data and there are premium upgrades available for other networks. Once NOD3x has collected a sufficient number of social posts, it will begin to analyze those posts for engagement.
You’ll be able to quickly identify information like:
- which social network has the most posts with your hashtag in them;
- who are the influencers and engagers on those posts for the various social channels;
- what the sentiment is related to the collected posts;
- the overall level of activity surrounding your chosen topic; and
- the days and times that your topic is receiving the most engagement.
What if I don’t want to pay for the premium upgrade to get access to data from other social channels with NOD3x?
You’ll always have free access to data on Google+ with NOD3x; however, you may be a more casual user and not want to pay for access to data from other social channels. That’s totally understandable, and you do have some free options available to help you figure out the best social networking site for your niche.
Basically, what you can do is visit each social channel you’re interested in and conduct some social research manually. For example, you could visit Twitter or Facebook and run some searches for your chosen hashtags to see what information surfaces. Take note of the level of activity you notice on what you find. Also, take note of the type of content that’s getting the most engagement.
In other words are people interacting with:
- short text; or
- posts with or without links?
Pay attention to the sentiment people have towards your chosen topic. Do the interactions surrounding your topic seem positive or negative? If people are often talking positively about your topic, you’ll have a better opportunity of joining the conversation and being well-accepted with your topically relevant content.
Additionally, there are a number of hashtag tools that will help you better understand which hashtags are seeing the most engagement across various social channels. Social Media Examiner recently published an article reviewing five different hashtag tools you can use in your social research. The article is, “5 Hashtag Tracking Tools for Twitter, Facebook and Beyond.”
Whether you’re using NOD3x, a hashtag tool, manual research or a combination of all these ideas, you’ll find that your content gets better engagement if you do some social research up front to determine which is the best social networking site for your business.