An essential component of social media is the necessity to grow and develop continually! Just as with other more traditional areas of Marketing, you need to be able to track this development and growth if you want to, monitoring progress is the only way to know if your efforts and your money are actually being spent most effectively!
The obvious and most visible measure that many fixate on is ‘how many followers do you have?’. While an increased number of followers is an improvement and something we all like to see in our personal and business accounts, it’s not the be-all and end-all of measuring your social media success. You need to evaluate who these followers are and the quality of those followers. Are these followers the demographic that you were aiming for? There are a lot of bogus accounts out there, so keeping and gaining quality followers is what you should strive for. Quality followers are ones who are part of your target audience or industry related, who are engaging with your content and ideally converting, jumping over to your e-commerce site or blog and becoming a customer, or at least browsing!
If you delve into this and find that your audience isn’t the demographic that you were looking for, but are in fact converting well and engaging with your content, then they’re still quality followers, and you’ve also found yourself a new target audience for your product or service!
There are, however, so many other factors to consider under the umbrella of ‘success’; engagement, CTR, reach, these all matter, so be aware of them too, they’re just as, if not more, important!
Most of us are aware of some or most of these tools, if you’re new to the social media for business game then perhaps these tools are all new to you, but ‘are you using them to the best of your ability?’ is often the more poignant question!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all have their own version of ‘analytics’ or ‘Insights’, where you can access an overview of what’s been happening on your profile over the past week, month or years. The level of information given and how in-depth these tools are varies.
Twitter gives you a long-term overview and readily breaks down the top stats from each month for you to compare, you can, using the alteration tools, change which data you look at, i.e. followers, top tweets, inbound messages or mentions, to name a few.
Facebook has a comprehensive array of variants to play with, you can pick your time frame, so if you wanted to compare year 1 to year 2 in year 5, you can do just that, or compare quarter to quarter, you can do that too.
Instagram’s analytics are not as in depth or informative, but they’re worth exploring to discover your highest performing posts, amount of website clicks, and impressions.
LinkedIn allows you to see which professions and industries you’re reaching, as well as your click-through rate (CTR) and impressions and quite a bit more.
Google Analytics allows you to dig down into your social media success from the other side, your website, so this data, you know, is going to be based more on the quality of your followers, since these followers have all clicked through to the site. Google Analytics has countless functionalities which allow you to monitor and assess the success of your website; however, one of these functionalities is the tracking of visitors and where they have come from.
You’ll be able to see how many of your site visits came from social media and from which platform they originated. With this, you can determine, for example, that 50% of your visitors are coming from LinkedIn but only 5% are coming from Instagram. Determine from here, which platforms are working for you and which, either need more work, love and dedication or maybe aren’t the right platform for your business at all.
How to Use This Information
Posts that have performed exceptionally well should become your template and inspiration for the rest. Note the time and day of the posts and take note of any external factors which may have impacted how successful that post was; was it a bank holiday, so more people were off work and scrolling, ready to react to your Instagram post? Perhaps that post went out at night, and you usually post in the morning, try posting in the evening more and see if this is a trend or if it was a one-off.
Listening to and acting on your findings are the actions that allow you to find and drive further success on your social media channels, the tools are there for you and they don’t cost you anything but a little time, so jump in!