Earlier this week we talked about 4 things you can do to get your website ready for the holidays. Today we’re going to turn our attention to setting up your social media strategy to succeed as well.

When you are putting together your editorial calendar over the next two months, you’ll probably have some great status updates about holiday excitement, photos of new products, special offers for your web store, videos of your team putting up decorations, and links to articles you’re writing on your blog…right? Once you figure out what you’re going to say, you need to decide when and how you’re going to say it.

As much fun as stabbing in the dark and posting at random may sound, it’s not the most effective strategy. Luckily, there are tools available to you! The first one to consider is Pagemodo’s Posts product which allow you to find, create, and schedule your content in advance. The other important tool to welcome into your life is the new Facebook Insights.

The latest iteration of this built-in tool for Facebook admins is incredibly useful for planning your strategy going forward. It has lots of long-requested features that give you insight into your fans’ behavior that can help shape your posting strategy.

Once you familiarize yourself with the new areas — Overview, Pages, Posts, and People — let’s dive into the most useful for holiday planning purposes.

In the Posts area, the first tab you land on is All Posts. However, I would actually start your analysis with the other two tabs first.

1. When Your Fans Are Online
This tab gives you a general idea of when the people who like your page see the most posts on Facebook. This is not specific to the posts they view on your page — this is when they see the most posts from everyone they follow. This is still useful for planning when you will post your most important updates in the future. As you can see from the figure below, Webs has the best chance of reaching viewers at 11:30am, on average. But be careful with these numbers – before you go posting all your updates at the time shown here, dig in more in the Specifics section (further down) to see when fans respond to your posts in particular.

2. Best Post Types
In this tab you’ll learn which post types — Status, Video, Photo, and Link — get the best reach and engagement from your fans. Reach describes how many people saw a post, and engagement describes those who took some kind of action on it. At least in this initial offering, this is broken down to separate post clicks and likes, comments, shares. For example, from our graphic below, you can see that while Status updates have the most reach for Webs, Video get by far the most clicks. In order to use these numbers in your planning, take into account what your goals are. Do you want the most people possible to see your content, or is it more important to you they click? Or maybe you are currently gunning for more likes, comments, and shares. That all depends on your individual strategy.

3. All Posts
Okay, now that you have a good idea of the general behavior of your fans, you can dig into the specifics. This graphic allows you to tweak the metrics even further. For Reach, you can view Organic / Paid or Fans / Non-Fans. For Engagement, you can look at Likes/Comments/Shares, Engagement Rate, or the less flattering (but still important) numbers for Post Hides, Spam Reports, and Unlikes. This last one is important to be aware of because it can tell you specifically which types of posts your fans do NOT want to see.

The best way to use this graphic for our purposes today is to decide which metric you’re interested in improving, and sort your rows by that. Let’s say we wanted to improve reach. We click on the little arrow in the corner of the Reach cell, sort it, and voila. Our most far-reaching post in the last couple of months was the Marketing Chat hosted live by our Social Media Manager. That tells us that marketing tips and advice is a topic we should continue to pursue.

Have you tried the new Facebook Insights? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Webs. Loves branding, marketing, whales. Get more from Sarah on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

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