You’re active on social media, your website is live and doing what you want it to, you’ve created compelling content, and you’re sharing, engaging, and building community online. But, how do you know if it is working? How do you measure it all?
There are many metrics that you can collect to create a flashy social media report and prove that it is all worth the investment. The truth is, the numbers are open for interpretation, so you can use them to tell any story you need to – this is art, not science. It’s really easy to present numbers that look and sound impressive (they can even be purchased), but what does it all really mean for your bottom line?
If you really want to know if your online activity is working for you, just take a look at your organization’s growth, your new connections, online communication, new opportunities, and even possible (gasp!) your sales.
Your people (retailers, media, customers, etc.) are online, so you need to be too. Keep showing up, sharing interesting, meaningful, and helpful content, connecting with new people, and being kind. If you’re doing those things well and consistently, you’re doing it right, no matter what your investment is. Keep up the great work!
With that said, if you still want to collect social media metrics (if there is a demand to prove yourself or your work), determine which stats are of the highest value to deliver your message and present them in an easy to understand way.
Here are our simple steps to sticking to what matters in evaluating your social media:
1/ CHOOSE YOUR TIME FRAME
The numbers only really mean anything if you have something to compare them to. Choose your time frame (week, month, quarter, year, or campaign start to end), and collect your numbers from a start date and an end date to compare and tell your story.
2/ CHOOSE YOUR STATS
A. Real Followers
“We gained 100 new followers this week!”
The number of followers you have can reflect your brand’s popularity and awareness. While we’re not so quick to draw this conclusion when looking at someone else’s numbers (buying followers to manipulate perception is very common practice), it can be helpful to analyze your own growth.
Identify where your new followers are coming from (for example, are they a result of a contest, use of a hashtag, or being written up or featured?). Use information learned to prioritize your activity and leverage opportunities further (invest in more contests and giveaways, add a hashtag to your branding and marketing materials, or ask an influencer to rave about you, etc.). Keep doing more of what’s working and stop doing what isn’t, because that helps you move forward more effectively and efficiently too.
Bonus, in your report, mention some of your most influential followers (identify which accounts would be most impressive to whoever your report is for). Although numbers and influence can be impressive to some, a quality follower who consistently supports and engages with you is valued far higher than just another number.
B. Quality Volume
“We published 25 more posts this month and it had great results!”
If you want to show your client/team/stakeholders that social media is worth the investment and should be made a priority, or more of one, quality volume is an insight to share in your report. For example, you can compare how many times you posted this month or quarter to last, and which posts were the most valuable and why.
Remember, the most effective posting is always going to be about quality over quantity. It’s best practice to maintain a regular, frequent posting schedule, but the best content creates engagement and conversion. Propose to increase volume when you see favourable metrics!
C. Meaningful Reach/Impressions
“Our post was seen by 1 million people!”
Your post can be seen by many more people than just your followers (assuming your page isn’t private, which your business page obviously is not!). When other people or pages share, like, or comment on your post, it gets presented to their following as well, exponentially increasing exposure.
Bottom line, create and share quality content that people want to engage with, and everything else good will follow.
D. True Engagement
“We had 455 interactions this month!”
Generally speaking, this is one of our favourite metrics for measuring our own activity’s success (engagement is one of the metrics brands sometimes purchase to give the appearance of popularity – not a practice we recommend!). Engagement includes likes, comments, and shares – it’s any interaction someone makes with your post. It is good practice to observe what kinds of posts generate the most engagement with your community, and on which social platform(s), so you can leverage further. True engagement leads people through your purchase funnel!
E. Valuable Click Through
“We had 100 clicks from our social media profiles through to our website!”
The longer you can hold someone’s attention, and keep them engaged and interested, the better. You want someone to see your social media post, and be curious enough to learn more about you, and best case, even lead to a conversion (sale, download, sign up, etc). The more times someone clicks, the more likely they are to respond to your call to action.
3/ HOW TO COLLECT THE DATA
Don’t feel limited to only include the metrics we’ve mentioned above if there are other numbers and discoveries that help you tell your story. Note that your report doesn’t need to only highlight what went really well, it can also be of huge value to share what didn’t work. It isn’t a failure if you learn something and adapt!
Use these links to collect your analytics:
4/ HOW TO SETUP YOUR REPORT
Wrap up your numbers and insights into an easy to understand presentation using the formula below as an example. Bonus points if you include your social media handles and hashtags in the footer!
Page 1: Cover
Page 2: Why social media matters to your company/organization
Page 3: Introduction with explanation of evaluation
Page 4: Time frame detailed
Page 5: Metric One (ex. Real Followers)
Page 6: Metric One, discoveries, summary, and actionable items
Page 7: Metric Two (ex. Quality Volume)
Page 8: Metric Two, discoveries, summary, and actionable items
Page 9: Metric Three (ex. Meaningful Reach/Impressions)
Page 10: Metric Three, discoveries, summary, and actionable items
Page 11: Metric Four (ex. True Engagement)
Page 12: Metric Four, discoveries, summary, and actionable items
Page 13: Metric Five (ex. Valuable Click Through)
Page 14: Metric Five, discoveries, summary, and actionable items
Page 15: Conclusion
Kindly note: We don’t like to refer to ourselves as “experts”, but we do take great pride in sharing our business advice, distilled down from our extensive research and (often) mind-blowingly frustrating experiences we’ve endured and learned from. We try our best to create a clear and humble approach to good business tactics that you and your teams can understand and turn into effective and productive revenue streams. We are actual, real people and look forward to supporting you in any way we can, whether it’s on the topic of this post, or other business development and marketing communications you may be involved in, or considering. We are proud of the services we provide; if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask us – we also take pride in being super responsive!