Tanya Smith

Social Media Analytics – How To Know Your Efforts Are Working

Social Media Analytics
Image Credit – one photo/

How do you know if what you’re doing on social media is getting the results you want? The way to know for sure is to monitor your results using a social media analytics program. You can use the metrics built-in with the social media platform, or choose a third party analytical tool.

Using Social Media Analytics to Get Results

Clarifying Your Goals

The first step is to clarify exactly what you want to accomplish with social media.

Examples of Social Media Goals:

  • To get more exposure for your brand.
  • To drive traffic to your website.
  • To sell directly or sell through other channels.
  • To nurture existing clients or lead connections.
  • To build relationships with influencers.

Once you know what you are aiming to achieve, you can choose the right metrics to help you measure it.

Choose the Right Metrics from Your Social Media Analytics

Metrics programs can offer a great deal of data and the reality is, you don’t need all of it. When you get clear on your specific goals you’ll be able to identify metrics based on those goals. Clarity helps you to trim down the data to exactly what you need.

If your goal is to gain exposure for your brand, for example, traffic statistics may not be as important for you. In that case, getting more views and interactions for your profile right there on the social network may be more important than sending traffic to your other sites.

Native Metrics vs. Third-Party Tools

Most social media platforms offer their own analytics tools. These are considered “native” to the platform.

Platforms like Facebook can offer a wide array of metrics while others are very simple. An alternative to using the native metrics is to use a third-party app or software program to collect and report the data for you.

The advantage of native metrics is that they’re designed especially for the platform and they’re usually quite simple and easy to use. They don’t have to be installed; as soon as you set up your page, the platform starts tracking your results.

Here is an example of one part of Facebook Insights:

Facebook insights 1

On the other hand, outside tools may be more robust.

Since we used Facebook in the above example, check out Fanpage Karma – a third party analytics and reporting tool – to get more visuals, charts, and matrices that tell you how you’re doing at a glance, and with a slightly different format.

Fanpage Karma

Another advantage of outside tools is that some can be used for multiple social media platforms. If you’re using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, for example, you can use one program (like Fanpage Karma or Cyfe) to provide data on all of your activity on these platforms.

Some Common Social Media Questions To Help You Keep Track

Here are 11 key questions to consider as you’re thinking about your results and the metrics you want to use to measure social media. You can choose from the ones that best fit your goals.

  • What is the average duration that visitors interact with your social page?
  • What’s the proportion of social media subscribers that actively engage with you?
  • Who and how many are sharing and tweeting about your product, site or you?
  • Which social sites are sending the most people to your landing page or website?
  • Your “bounce rate” – how quickly do visitors from your social networks leave, once they land on your site
  • Conversions – how many social site visitors engage and take the action you want them to take from your social media links?
  • What proportion of your traffic is coming from social networks — and which networks?
  • Which topics or links are generating the most traffic from social sites? The least?
  • Should you focus on increasing traffic from “low” sources … or focus on the most active ones?
  • Where is other socially-driven traffic coming from? Are you engaging in article marketing and promoting it through social sharing sites? Is your blog driving traffic to your squeeze page? Are you getting subscriptions through word of mouth? Through YouTube videos? Share badges?
  • Referrals – are your social site buddies sending traffic to your site? Mentioning you in their blogs or social posts?

Checking Your Social Media Analytics

This could vary based on the type of business you have and your marketing goals. However, checking your metrics should become a regular part of your social media routine.

Remember to think through your goals first, then choose what you need to measure to know if you’re reaching them. Once you’ve chosen your tool to track these metrics, set aside some time each day or week to take a look at your analytics.

You will find you are much more informed when you can use real data to show which efforts are leading to results and which are not!

How have social media analytics helped you get results?

Tanya Smith

Tanya Smith is among the top rising professionals in social media marketing. A creative content strategist, Tanya coaches service providers to leverage snack-size content for maximum visibility.

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