This is why we have gotten in touch with Gordon Howe, who is a social media manager for SuperiorPapers. According to his experience in the field, here are 10 things you should focus on if you are interested in getting the most out of your social media analytics.
1. Establish Performance Benchmarks
Each and every one of your posts will perform in a certain manner, but how do you know if it’s performing well? You will have to go back and check out the analytics data for the past few months, and figure out the average performance for every social media channel. Fortunately, the biggest social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow download of all basic data. Take a look at key performance indicators which are relevant, such as reaches, click-throughs, shares, or anything of the sort. After that, you will have a pretty good idea about what sort of benchmark your posts need to reach.
The main KPIs you should be tracking are engagement, reach, leads, and conversions. On Facebook and Twitter, engagement is what determines how many people will see your posts, and it can be measured through the number of shares, clicks, likes, brand mentions, profile visits, and active followers. Reach can be tracked through the total number of followers, impressions, and traffic data which can be collected through analytics software. However, engagement and reach are nothing more than a vanity statistic if they don’t result in the higher number of leads and conversion. Your goal is to make a profit, and by seeing which channels and content generate the most leads and conversions, you can focus on them.
2. Create a Spreadsheet or Use an Interactive Dashboard
You can create your own spreadsheet with all customized data. It’s important if you need specific KPI’s, which can’t be collected through standard social platform tools. Once you have it, you will be able to monitor how your stats are progressing for every KPI, as well as how they stack up against your baseline. But, an even better way to keep track of the numbers would be to use an interactive dashboard like Cyfe. It allows you to integrate all the widgets and tabs that contain all of your social media data, and view them all in one place.
For example, you can set up your Cyfe dashboard to include widgets containing your Facebook stats, such as reaches, views, clicks, and likes, Twitter analytics, like tweets, retweets, and followers, among other things, as well as traffic sources, demographics data, the distribution of likes across the globe, and so on. You can even monitor your LinkedIn analytics data, as can be seen in the screenshot below:
3. Use Google Analytics to Determine Your Top Channels
One of the things Google Analytics does extremely well is capturing the data coming from your social media. We are talking about the social referral section, where you can view which channel is responsible for sending the most traffic to your blog or website. But, it also helps you determine the quality of the traffic, based on factors like time on page and bounce rate, because there is a difference between traffic where users stick around for a few seconds and then leave forever, and traffic where they visit your website, click around, and possibly convert. This will help you focus on those channels which bring in the most visitors.
Google Analytics can determine where the traffic is coming from in great detail, whether it’s from organic searches, social media, email, referrals, paid ads, or direct search. You can even include backlinks for Google Analytics to monitor and analyze, and when you couple that with the tracking of UTM parameters, you can get a clear view of how your social media traffic is contributing to your revenue.
4. Set Up Goals
To make sense of your social media strategy, you need to identify what your goals are. Keep in mind that your goals should always be specific, and not vague. They should also be something that can be measured through analytics. Finally, they should be relevant and realistic. For example, stuff like traffic, conversions, the rate at which your following is growing, or anything similar to that, are perfect examples of good goals.
5. Figure Optimal Post Timing
Timing is an important factor when it comes to the performance of your posts. In that aspect, every social media platform is unique. The optimal posting time for Facebook might not be the ideal posting time when it comes to Twitter, and so on. While there are some numbers out there which indicate the best posting intervals, you will still need to do some experimenting of your own. Why? Because, those numbers indicate when social media users are at their most active, which also means more competition, and a higher chance of your post getting lost in all noise. You may find that posting at a less favorable time results in a stronger user engagement. Use tools like Followerwonk and Facebook for Insights into this.
6. Repost Evergreen Content
As part of your content strategy, you should always have posts which are relevant and useful no matter what. This is your evergreen content, and you should make a point of reposting a link to it every now and then. First of all, some of your older followers may have missed it the first time around, so you are giving them a chance to view it. Also, in case your following has grown, there will be a bunch of new people who don’t know about your evergreen content and haven’t seen it, and it’s up to you to introduce them to it. You can make the process easier by using tools like Edgar or Tweet Jukebox.
7. Connect with Influencers
If your blog or website has been around for awhile, and you are active on social media, you might be surprised to find out that there are people out there which are sharing your content with others. If any of those people have a significant following, they can be considered influencers. If you find they have already shared your content, then it’s easy to connect with then. Simply send them an email in which you thank them for appreciating your work. Using BuzzSumo can help you identify the people which have linked back to your website.
8. Track the Performance of Individual Posts
In addition to tracking how your social media channels are performing, it’s also a good idea to focus on the performance of individual posts from time to time. Of course, you don’t need to do this for every single post every day, but the more you do it, the more you will be able to spot trends and determine which sort of content will be a hit with your audience. Pay attention to the number of shares, too, as they are a good indicator of what your audience likes.
9. Make the Most out of Current Trends with Hashtags
One of the ways to use current trends to your advantage would be to use hashtags. They usually contain your keywords, but they are used in a different manner. When it comes to Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are essential, and in order to discover the most effective ones, you can use Hashtagify Me, which will provide you with a bunch of hashtags which are used along with the ones you have entered yourself.
10. Keep Your Audience Personas up to Date
Social media analytics are crucial when it comes to putting together audience personas, because they provide you with plenty of demographic data, as well as other information which offers a keen insight into your audience’s preferences and habits. This includes their location, professions, brand and blogs they follow, and so on. All this information is susceptible to change over time, which is why you must make sure to update your audience personas regularly.
Social media analytics is a powerful thing. But, you need to learn how to make sense of it, so that you can apply the data and improve the performance of your posts. We hope that the tips presented in this article will help you do that.