Social media platforms make it easy for anyone to be up and running in no time. Whether you are an individual or a business, you want your brand to be recognized and trusted. Social media marketing can play a big role when you know where your target audience is.
One of the most important ways to help you achieve your goal is understanding what happens to those posts once you put them out there. It’s not just luck. With many years of experience managing social media accounts, when we ask a client if they regularly review their social media metrics, the answer is almost always a resounding “no”. For instance,
- How are people engaging with your posts?
- How many people did you reach?
- Do you know anything about the followers that you might have attained?
- Is there a time of day where you have better engagement?
Below are a few examples of essential metrics to help you reach your goals even quicker.
What are social media metrics?
Social media metrics can be summarized as follows:
- Data you gather and use to measure the performance of your social media campaigns
- Helps you measure the overall success of your social marketing strategy
- Demonstrates the value of your work
- Assists with optimization of social media strategies
- Should be measured and tracked consistently
- Not always “data-driven”
All social media platforms provide basic analytics but there are many challenges that individuals or businesses face, when it comes to understanding how their social media channels are performing. These can include the following:
- No strategy
- Low or no budget for analytics tools
- Too many social media accounts
- ·Too much information and don’t know what it means
These four tips will help you gain control, optimize and improve your social media accounts by helping you see the “full picture.”
Tip #1 – Create A Strategy
It’s never too late to create your strategy. Start by answering these 5 simple questions:
- Why are we doing this? Examples could be to increase your brand awareness, promote a scholarship program or grow your target audience
- Who is our target audience? Understand who you need to target. Are they on the social media channels that you think you need?
- What are the most appropriate social media channels? It might make sense to only use Twitter, for example, if that’s where your audience is.
- How are we going to do this? This may be challenging, but you need to understand what type of content is engaging and will get your readers to engage.
- What tools are out there to save time and pre-schedule content and multiple channels? Social media posting is extremely time-consuming.
- How did we do?
- Did we reach the right audience?
- How many times were your posts displayed?
- What type of engagement did you get on your posts?
- Which posts send the most visitors to the website?
- How can you improve? Maybe try better graphics, better hashtags, find out the best times to post, consistency of posts, etc.
The infographic below can guide you through creating your strategy.
Tip #2: Analyzing your R.E.A.C.H
Once you have created your strategy, you need to ensure that your social media metrics are aligned. Understanding your ‘REACH” (Reputation, Engagement, Awareness, Conversions, Highlights) will give you a high-level view of how your social media marketing is going and where you can improve.
What is your reputation or sentiment? Is it positive, trustworthy, helpful, ethical, fair, respectful? Are your posts getting negative comments?
How many likes, comments, shares, clicks?
What was the reach of my posts? Did people talk about it? Did they share it? If they shared it, how many more people did it reach?
Did people act on your calls-to-action (downloaded a brochure, signed up for a newsletter, sent a direct message)?
What went well, what can be improved; it’s not always about the data (you may receive some great testimonials, or some potential influencers engaged with your post)
Tip #3: Making the most of your social media metrics
- Align them with your objectives and goals but look into the details. For instance: You gained new followers in the last month but are they quality followers? Are they actively engaged in social media themselves? What is their reputation? Can they potentially help grow your brand or help spread your messages?
- Monitor, measure and optimize month over month. Don’t just look at your metrics every few months.
- Combine your social media metrics with your website analytics to understand top performing social media platforms and activities (Acquisition à Social Media).
- Your social media posts may be also responsible for organic and direct traffic as well. Someone may have seen your social media post and done a Google search for your company later on. · Tag your social media post links with “UTM codes” to see what social media post sent the traffic in Google Analytics. This is also helpful when engaging influencers and providing them with tagged content to send out on their social media channels.
- Experiment with paid promotion to target your audience. A very small budget of $25 can help you gain followers and send your message out to the people you need to see it.
- Create a custom dashboard in Google Analytics with the key items that you need to see so you have everything in one view.
Tip #4: Utilize free tools
Every social media platform provides insights which are great, but there are other free tools available that give you a little more information which may be more relevant to your objectives.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook Business Manager’s Creator Studio provides information about your Facebook and Instagram performance, demographic data about your audience (age, gender, location) and how people are responding to your posts. You can also schedule your social media posts – a huge time-saver!
Facebook Business Manager is also available as an app.
Twitter Analytics provides insights on how your audience is responding to your posts, what’s working, and what’s not, engagement and more.
Twitonomy is another free tool that provides visual displays of your Twitter data. You can also view information about other Twitter accounts, including competitors.
All my Tweets – View all your tweets, likes, followers or timeline on one page. You can also see this information for any twitter account, including your competitors.
LinkedIn – Company Pages
LinkedIn company insights are not as sophisticated as most other social media channels but now provide insights on followers, industry, seniority and performance of
your posts. They have also recently allowed you to see who your followers are, which is extremely helpful to understand if you are drawing attention to your target audience.
To access LinkedIn company insights, you must be an administrator of the company page and be logged into your LinkedIn account.
Pinterest – Business Pages
Pinterest Analytics for business pages is new and improving all the time. You can now track what content your customers are engaging with the most, what is resonating, what is driving traffic to your website, and demographic information about your audience. You can also appear in Pinterest’s newsletter based on Pinners’ search habits.
To access your Pinterest analytics you must be logged into the Pinterest business account.
All websites should have Google Analytics code installed and collecting data about its visitors. There is a lot of important information about your website traffic that comes from Google Analytics, such as the amount of traffic that came from your social media posts, what did they do when they arrived, did they sign up for a newsletter?
To access Google Analytics information, you must have a google account and be granted access by the Google Analytics account owner.
All of the tools listed above are great, but what if there was a way for you to take all of this information and bring it into a single dashboard – for free? Cyfe Dashboards allows you to connect to multiple data sources and produce a single visual dashboard. The free version provides you with 2 dashboards and 5 widgets on each.
To summarize, social media metrics are an essential component to your marketing strategy. They tell if what you are doing is successful over time and provide insights into ways to optimize and attract your audience; they give you a full view of your social media marketing efforts. With time and a proper plan in place, you can get the most out your social media platforms which will result in an increase in your brand awareness and drive traffic to your most important marketing platform – your website.
At RhythmQ, we are known for working seamlessly with our customers and quickly establishing constructive and productive working relationships. We listen, support and deliver on time with award-winning results. This applies to both sides of our business – our online awards management software platform, RQ Awards, and our digital marketing services, RQ Digital Marketing. Contact us to learn more about our services
Written by: Carol Ayton