Crunching The Numbers: The Importance Of Social Analytics
Creating content for social media sounds glamorous to most, and I can attest that it’s a pretty sweet gig. The writing part is a fun exercise, where you get to show wit and create a personable brand voice. This brand building is a reward for the work in itself, but other than endearing an organization to its stakeholders, what is the benefit of maintaining an updated Facebook page or Twitter account? Keeping tabs on your audience interaction is a good place to find answers to this question. Tracking Your Results A quick way to see if your content is hitting home with your audience is to scroll through your recent posts and look for things like Likes and Shares. Are there a lot or just a few? Limited interaction could tell you that maybe it’s time to switch up the way you’re posting.
A better, more thorough way to see how your social channels are faring is to use a suite like Sprout Social, which puts together easy to read PDFs breaking down social metrics over a given period of time, or tools offered by the social platforms themselves. For example, if you’re on a company Facebook page, there is an Insights tab that can provide the number of Impressions (people who have seen your recent posts), Likes, Comments and Shares. For Twitter, there is the Analytics tab, which gives a similar rundown, but with Retweets and Replies. Making Sense of the Metrics Where you get your social media numbers is a matter of preference. I’d recommend trying both an analytics suite and the social platforms themselves to see which you prefer, but what you should really focus on is what the numbers mean.
Raw numbers may not be revealing at first, but putting together a chart that compares totals for Likes and such each month or quarter can tell you when your audience is more likely to interact and which types of posts they respond to with more excitement. It can also reveal seasonal trends. This data, when monitored regularly, gives companies a clearer picture of how many people they are connecting with through social. It can also, in the case of link clicks, tell companies how effective social media is as a driver of traffic to their websites.
People who work in marketing know that social media is integral to building a brand’s presence, but it isn’t always easy to show. My recommendations here can provide a solid foundation for displaying the worth behind the content work that you do.
By Sean O’Brien