Further than that, you can also use BuzzSumo’s “Content Analysis” tool to get even more granular information about your focus topic.

But in order to find that key insight, you need to know where to look.

So how can you use social media data to help work out what topics are of most interest to your audience?

One tool that can help with this is BuzzSumo. Essentially a content discovery platform, BuzzSumo analyses social media signals – primarily shares – in order to provide insight into what’s most relevant and resonant by keyword, by region, even by website.

To use BuzzSumo to work out what content is of most relevant to your audience, you head to the website and enter in your focus topic. So let’s say you sell shoes – you could put in ‘shoes’ or ‘basketball shoes’ or ‘dress shoes’, whatever you want to focus on.

From this, BuzzSumo will provide you with a list of the most shared posts about that topic across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.

This is a good start, it shows you the topics that are generating the most social interest amongst people interested in the topic – but you can do a lot more with that data to dig into the specific of what your audience will most likely be interested in.

For example, BuzzSumo enables you to filter your results by date – from the past 24 hours to the past year – giving you more relevant results. You can also filter by language or country – so you could conduct the same search and narrow it down to Australia only, showing you the most popular posts on the topic within your region.

Further than that, you can also use BuzzSumo’s “Content Analysis” tool to get even more granular information about your focus topic, showing you social shares by date published and average shares by content length.

From this, you can formulate a list of all the topics that are generating the most traction, based on your focus keywords, along with the days of the week you should consider publishing to maximize your reach, and the length of the content you’ll be looking to produce to maximize response.

If you’re looking to get even more in depth, you can analyse specific domains – for one, you can analyse your own website, which will show you the top performing posts, the social networks where your posts are most shared (highlighting where you should be putting focus) and even the users who are sharing your content.

But you can also analyse your competitors or brands in the same niche who are doing well. From this, you can ascertain where they’re seeing the most response, the types of content they’re producing, the sites that are linking to them who you could also look to reach out to, and other key information about their performance.

Conducting a content audit like this takes some time, but just by going through this process, you can build a detailed content plan that outlines what you should be writing about, when you should be posting it, and on which social networks you should be focussed.

One of the biggest challenges of content marketing is getting started – using online tools like BuzzSumo, you can get a much better understanding of what works best, based on actual, real-world examples, in real time.

It’s one of the easiest and best ways to tap into the social media data stream and use it to your advantage.

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