Social Media Analytics

This one is a bit dry as its all about numbers. I’ve spiced it up with someone who loves numbers more than anything! 😉

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I talked a few weeks ago about social media goals and briefly mentioned analytics. Social media analytics or “the numbers” can be really in depth and complicated but they don’t have to be, especially when you’re starting out.

It is pretty easy (and free!) to look at your analytics on the three main SM platforms. Facebook pages has an “Insights” tab which gives you a ton of numbers (and if you hit “Export Data” you can get even more), Twitter has a little graph icon with “view tweet activity” under each of your tweets as well as a monthly overview on the desktop site, and Instagram also has a little bar graph icon at the top of your profile but only once you’ve set your profile up for business. There are also lots of other websites that offer analytics (including Hootsuite and Buffer), for a free trial or for a price, some break down what the numbers mean, and some don’t.

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So, what do you do once you have access to these numbers? What do the words next to the numbers even mean? I’m sure you can figure out what “likes,” “shares,” and “link clicks” are but let’s go into some of the other common ones.

Impressions: the number of times your content was displayed. This is the number of times your post shows up in a news feed based on the platform’s algorithm.

Reach: the number of people who see your content. It is usually less than impressions as one person viewing your post twice only counts once.

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Engagement: the number of times your content had interactions. This is the more tangible stuff like Likes and Shares and Comments. The more of these you get the higher your impressions are and therefore the higher your reach is. On Facebook, shares are the best way to get boosted up, then comments and then reactions and likes.

You can also look at page views, website clicks or other actions (for instance if you have a button on your Facebook page -you should get one!-you can see how often it was clicked on). Your followers are also broken down by various demographics as well as when most of them are online, giving you ideal times to post.

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That was a test-are you still paying attention???

What to do once you have all this info? That is up to you. Its all about how you want to interpret the data. You can set numerical goals (I want our impressions to go up 10% this week). You can compare how your boosted posts did versus your organic ones. You can look at your age demographics to help you better set up a post or an ad. Or you can just use these numbers to see how you’re doing. I like to look at the analytics for the pages I managed once a week. I keep track of all the ones I mentioned above as well as number of posts on each platform. That way if my impressions are super high I can see if its because I posted a lot that week or if I just had a really good post. Conversely, if my engagement is super low this week and my follower numbers has dropped, maybe it was because I posted too much. Again, the platforms are just going to give you the numbers, it is up to you to do something with them.  I suggest making pie graphs. And looking at them while eating pie.

When all is said and done, you want your numbers to go up. But remember you’ve got to put in the work to create great content, record and interpret your data, and then use it to work towards your goals. Its just another cog in the wheel of being a great social media manager.

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