Aside from being a way to pass the time (or waste it, depending on who you ask), social media can also be a very effective tool if you are trying to promote your business, boost brand awareness, grow your audience and, as a result, increase your revenue. However, using social media to your advantage is a time-consuming process. On top of that, you need to figure out if what you are doing actually works, which is where social media analytics come into play. According to Samuel Harmon, who is a social media manager for Essayontime, these 12 tips can help you make your social media analytics work in your favor:
1. Decide What Your Performance Benchmarks Will Be
If you are determined to figure out if your social media posts are doing well, you are going to have to look into your analytics data a few months back, which is quite easy, because some of them, like Facebook and Twitter, allow you to upload the data in spreadsheet. Which key performance indicators should you be looking out for? Your main KPIs should be user engagement, reach, as well as leads and conversions.
For instance, engagement can be viewed through the number of users which have seen and shared your posts with others, as well the number of clicks, likes, and mentions, among other things. Reach, on the other hand, can be expressed through the number of followers and traffic data. Improved engagement and reach should lead to more leads and higher conversion rates, otherwise they're just a meaningless statistic.
2. Check out an Interactive Dashboard
Now, keeping track of all those stats using different apps and software can get pretty distracting. The solution would be to have all your KPI data in one place, which is why you might want to consider using an interactive dashboard, such asCyfe. Cyfe is able to show all needed social media data, such as clicks, likes, tweets, shares, or demographics info, inside widgets which are placed on a single dashboard, which is very convenient.
3. Decide Your Top Social Media Channels with Google Analytics Help
Google Analytics is the best tool for capturing all sorts of analytics data, and that includes data coming from your social media. In fact, you can determine pretty accurately which social media channel is generating the most traffic. Also, you can determine the quality of that traffic with bounce rate and average time spent on page. You can also figure out if your followers are finding you through paid ads, email, social media, referrals, or organic search.
4.Identify and Prioritize Your Goals
You should always choose your goals so that they are measurable, specific, and most importantly, relevant to your strategy. It can be anything from driving more traffic your way, improving brand awareness, building a community around your business, increasing the number of mentions in the media, growing revenue, or all of the above. And while measuring some is pretty obvious, such as traffic, others are less tangible, such as brand awareness. However, it can be tracked indirectly through the number of followers, reach of your posts, brand mentions, shares, or retweets.
5. Figure Out the Best Posting Time
Another component which plays a crucial role in the success of your social posts is timing. Things get complicated here, because every social network is unique in that aspect, meaning that optimal posting times and days on Facebook might not be the same as those on Twitter or Instagram. There is plenty of information online which can help you determine the best posting time, but you should also do some research of your own, because posting at a time when Facebook users are at their most active means more competition, and a higher chance of your post getting lost in the noise.
6. Optimize Your Keywords for Social Media Platforms
If you are using your target keyword on social media very often, your account is going to become associated with it, and it will appear at the top of the search results. Aside from using it yourself, you can mention it inside groups and have others spread it. On Facebook, the process is fairly simple. All you have to do is create a profile which contains your keyword, and use it in nearly all of your posts that have anything to do with it. It is pretty much the same story when it comes to Google+. Twitter, on the other hand, is different, because it relies on hashtags, which might be even easier.
7. Repost Your Evergreen Content Every Now and Again
Your evergreen content are posts which are always useful and always relevant, no matter how much time has passed ever since you have created them. Reposting them periodically gives new followers a chance to read them in case they weren’t aware of them. If it has worked in the past with your older audience, it will work with your new one, as well.
8. Get in Touch with Influencers
People are wary of being sold too, which means they don’t respond to advertising as well as they used to. These days, they are looking for a more authentic point of view when it comes to choosing a particular service or product, which is why they turn to influencers, hoping to receive some genuine guidance. Rubbing shoulders with influencers can expose you to their audience, which can be very significant in numbers, and send a ton of traffic your way. And because you are only going after influencers inside your niche, you can rest assured that their audience will be pretty close to the kind of audience you are trying to target. Reaching out to them via email is probably the best way to strike up a collaboration.
9. Leverage Live Stream Video
Live video is capable of creating social media engagement unlike anything else out there. And there are so many different ways in which you can use it. For example, you can stream live video to cover an event inside your industry your audience would like to see, as well as receive some insider information. There is also the option of interviewing influential people from the industry, hosting Q&A sessions, and providing training for your followers, depending on the type of business you are running.
10. Monitor the Performance of Individual Posts
Tracking every single post every day is probably not a realistic goal, but it would be a good idea to check out how each one has performed over a certain time period, because then you will be able to tell which sort of content your audience likes best. Check out your social media analytics data and see which posts have received the largest number of shares.
11. Implement Hashtags to Use Trends to Your Advantage
We have already mentioned that using hashtags on Facebook will not make a huge impact, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them anyway. However, when it comes to Twitter and Instagram, hashtags can help you discover and join current trends, and easily find your target audience.
12. Update Your Audience Personas Regularly
Target personas are important, because they allow you to visualize your target audience, as well as their habits, pain points, and needs. They should contain a wide variety of demographic information, ranging from your audience's’ age, gender, preferences, location, brands they follow, devices they use, and so on. But, because this kind of information is not set in stone, you need to refresh it every once in awhile.
As you can see, using social media analytics to your advantage is not that difficult. Start implementing these tips today and reap the benefits of having a strong social media presence.