It's no secret that in 2018, social media is an essential part of your marketing strategy. And if that's news to you then we have a wholeee section of social media posts waiting for you to read right over here! If you already agree with that first sentence though then today we're going to talk about the part that actually tracks how your social media efforts are impacting your business. Ya know, the whole reason you're doing it in the first place!
When we first started working in the social media industry (I'm talking 2008 here) the ROI of social media was prettyyy fuzzy. Businesses knew there was this new technology and that they should probably jump on board, but for the most part, they were relying on the youngin's -- i.e. us -- to figure it out and hope for some magic. Actual analytics were even fuzzier and in the beginning, they really came from doing some good old-fashioned math and low-tech surveys telling fans to let us know they found us on social media. Luckily for you though, we've come a long way since then and now we seem to have the opposite problem when it comes to analytics.. Instead, now we're suffering from analytics overload! 😱So what the heck numbers should you be paying attention to track success? Depending on your goals, these suggestions will vary a little bit but here is my breakdown of suggestions per platform to get you started! P.S. all analytics will come right from the built-in options on each platform too so no need to have a subscription to any third-party apps.
When it Comes to Facebook...
Facebook fans are nice.. but when it comes to your organic strategy on Facebook it's alllll about your page engagement and post clicks. Facebook is the one platform today that organic reach is really slim when it comes to pages, but that doesn't mean you can't be successful. If you want your posts to get bumped up in the newsfeed though you need to pay close attention to your post engagement reactions and post clicks on your content and how that compares to the reach of your posts (which are the impressions). All of these metrics can be found under the default "Overview" section. By looking through this, you'll be able to pull out some of your top posts to find out which have been the most engagement. This is where having a thought-out content strategy will help you piece together trends and shift the types of content you are writing to engage with your audience too.
Another section you want to keep an eye on is the analytics in the "People" section so you can see who actually makes up your audience and if that aligns with your target markets. Also in this section, you'll see 4 different tabs that break things down. I suggest drawing your attention to the "Your Fans", "People Reached" and "People Engaged" sections. Flip through each and see how they compare. Having your target market as fans of your page is great, but if they aren't engaging then you will want to consider changing your strategy and these metrics can be eye-opening sometimes.
When it comes to your paid Facebook strategy, the analytics you'll need to pay attention to will adjust a little based on the goals of your campaign. One type of campaign we run a lot for our clients are post engagement ads that are focused on expanding the reach of posts to a targeted audience beyond those who "like" the page. So when it comes to our campaigns we're really focused on looking at the "Cost per Result" rate. No matter what type of campaign you're running though, this is going to be a good metric to start with to start and understand your conversion rate. Depending on those results, you may want to consider adjusting your copy or target to optimize your campaign. Something that makes this process easier too is to set up A/B tests on new campaigns that vary in copy or the creative. By doing so, it becomes clear quicker which version is resonating better with your audience which you can then optimize further. Generally you're looking for the least expensive conversions with the most amount of results. Getting the most bang out of our campaigns is always top of mind!
When it Comes to Twitter...
Twitter has gone through quite a bit of changes over the last few years and with that the metrics I pay attention have also changed. When it comes to the platform I'm much more concerned with the conversations being generated than just the results of content. In fact, most of our strategies on Twitter are focused more on active engagement and less on content creation. That being said, I recommend reviewing:
- Top Tweets: This will highlight the top posts and give you an idea of what types of conversation engages your audience.
- Top mentions: This will give you a look at who has mentioned your brand and which had the most reach.
- Followers Dashboard: Because Twitter is all about social conversation I loveee the followers dashboard. There is a wealth of metrics within this section that will break down who you are engaging with, their interests and other interesting consumer buying styles.
When it Comes to Instagram...
Like I mentioned about Facebook.. fans and followers are great but when it comes to making a difference for your business it's alllll about the engagement rates. Quantity of followers is merely a vanity metric and while having 20k+ followers is great, if you have poor engagement, then other than telling people you have 20k+ followers, it's not really going to get you anywhere. Like a lot of things in business, people want to do business and buy products from people they trust and they have relationships with, which is why engagement is really where it's at. It's better to have a highly engaged audience of 1k followers than low engagement rates on an audience of 100k. So to get you there, here are few places I want you to keep an eye on when it comes to finding out what content is working, when your audience is active and what actions they're taking.
- Activity Section: This page holds a lot of great info when it comes to what are the end results of how people are reacting and how many people are seeing your account. Now all of these analytics are calculated on a weekly basis so just keep that in mind. Hoping as Instagram's analytics continue to evolve that they'll add various time periods you can adjust to, because I like options!
Profile views are a good metric to look at because this essentially tells you how many people may have seen your post on their newsfeed and actually decided to click on your account to learn more. Most people are consuming your content in their feeds so this metric shows you've peeked their interest enough for them to look at your account.
Next up, website clicks. This one lets you know how many people actually click on your website in your bio. "Link in bio" ring a bell with anyone? This metric will help you track how many people are actually taking you up on that offer.
The last section includes reach which is kind of similar to audience size and tracks the number of unique accounts that saw your posts vs impressions, which are the standard metric of how many people's feeds you appeared in.
- Content Section: The "Feed Posts" section has a wealth of info for you to review. In the overview, you'll see your top posts based on impressions but if you click "See all" you'll get a lot more metric options. While I monitor metrics on a regular basis, I like to compare things for the bigger picture on a monthly basis and this section will let you do just that. At the very top you can click the top banner and pick the filters you'd like to see your content organized by. I like to look at engagement the following based on the last 30 days: Website clicks (to see which posts made people click our website), Engagement (to see which posts resulted in the most likes/comments), Follows (to show who started following based on which posts), and Saved posts (to see which posts were saved by others). While I'm analyzing the data, I like to look for patterns in content topics, the length of the captions (were they long or short and sweet) and the hashtags used on each. Try and find patterns between the analytics to pick up on what type of content is performing best for your audience so that you can adjust your future content. Social media is alllll about trial and error and adjusting as you go and these metrics are gold!
On the stories side of things I look through the metrics as well focusing on the impressions of stories and how consistent they are on series, replies (shows which stories are engaging) and then exits (to see which content people are skipping past).
- Audience Section: Last but not least I suggest skimming through your audience section regularly. This will give you a good idea of key demographics for your current audience and then the section I pay the most attention to is the active hours. Our daily users tend to be pretty similar day-to-day but the hourly section can help you shift when you should be posting content. Maybe your followers take a little more time to get going on Monday mornings but are early birds on Wednesdays. Keeping an eye on this section can help you with your content posting schedule to get the most eyeballs on your content as possible.
When it Comes to Pinterest...
I have to start with the fact that I loveee that Pinterest swapped followers from being the focus to average monthly viewers and average engaged users monthly. Pinterest is a platform that has always been more geared about the content than actually getting people to follow you just based on the nature of how it's set up so I think this makes SO much more sense. We always explain that Pinterest is more like a search engine than other social media platforms so this has been a refreshing change. So that being said, those two numbers are a great starting point for your metrics and to get a basic look at the health of your account.
Once you get into your analytics here's what to keep an eye on:
- Your Pinterest Profile Section: This will give you a good overview as a whole of which pins of yours have had the most impressions over the last 30 days with the breakdown of clicks and saves as well as the boards with the top impressions. I like to peek at this section first to see what type of content is resonating best.
- Activity from your Website Section: This page is my bread and butter when it comes to our strategy because it's specifically focused on the content from our website. To be successful on Pinterest you need to actively pin and post a lot of mixed content, but at the end of the day it's your content that you're hoping gets picked up and this section will tell you yours stats specifically from your content. This is a great way to get a look at other accounts that have pinned your content that is performing well too.
Don't Forget about your Website Analytics
Metrics from your social media accounts are fabulous but they only show you one side of the puzzle so don't forget to check your website analytics too! This is especially important to keep an eye on if you're using opt-ins or lead pages too because while you may be able to see how many people visiting your page from your Facebook ads or what not, seeing conversions or where they drop off is another piece of the puzzle. By keeping track of everything you'll be able to see if you need to change the layout of your page or adjust things on your website as well.
The section you'll want to keep an eye on is your traffic referral. This will give you a clear breakdown of who is visiting your website and from which platforms. Depending on your platforms or analytics the title/layout may be a little different but this is the section you'll be looking for. Squarespace makes it really easy to see exactly which platforms people are coming from and the percentage of your referral traffic that makes up. This is a great way to analyze which platforms are actually having an impact on getting people interested in your business as well. If you're putting a ton of effort into Twitter but are only getting a few clicks a month but a ton from Pinterest, then it may be time to switch your focus so be sure to look at these as well.
I totallyyy get analytics can be a little overwhelming, but once you have an idea of what you should be looking at and tracking month over month, it becomes a faster process to really getting a handle on what your audience is responding to and what is actually helping your bottom line. The key is to always work smarter not harder and hopefully this guide will help you do just that!