The ultimate key to using social media effectively is to monitor your stats on a regular basis. When you look at your analytics, they will tell you exactly what’s working and what’s not, and then you can change your strategy accordingly. It also means learning what your followers like and don’t like so that you know how to better market to them.
There are a number of tools to help you monitor your social media activity. These typically come in the form of social media apps. Most social media sites come with their own built-in analytics, but the information they provide is thin compared to the robust details of professional third-party applications.
Social monitoring apps can track keywords, hashtags, follower engagement, and other vital stats and give you regular reports. Many programs give you detailed demographic data on your followers and identify key influencers for you. Some apps, like Crowdbooster, even offer suggestions on making your socializing more effective.
What Stats to Look for
What should you be paying attention to? It all depends on your specific social media goals. Start with the end result and work backwards. What would you like to achieve? What indicators will tell you when you’ve achieved that.
One common goal is customer engagement. See which posts get the best response and try to raise all of your posts’ engagement level to that point. Check which times of day get the best results so you can focus on posting at those times. Other statistics to track include number of new followers, likes, shares, email sign-ups, and the time your followers spend on your social media profile.
Tracking programs will give you detailed reports, but you probably don’t need every bit of data. Decide on an overall goal for your social media efforts and focus on statistics that tell you whether or not you’re reaching that. Do the same for each activity or daily task. Your overall goal may be traffic, engagement, number of likes, number of followers, or sales conversions. The goal for a specific update could be something like getting new email list subscribers or X number of likes for the update. Make these goals as specific as possible so that you’ll know whether or not you’ve reached them.
Some programs create customized reports for you and send them directly to your email inbox, saving you the time checking. Customized reports allow you to choose which data is important to you so that you don’t have to sift through the rest.
Making Time for Analytics
Set aside time each day for monitoring your progress along with all the other tasks you have to do. Make it part of your routine. It’s good to do a quick analytics check daily or every couple of days. Then do a detailed analysis every month or few months. This would involve several hours of looking at your social media stats over a longer period of time, looking for bigger trends.
- Pick two key statistics that you’d like to follow in one of your social media profiles.
- Identify where you can find that information. Hopefully, you’ll already have that capability in your social media dashboard. However, you might be able to get it from the social platform itself. Otherwise, you’ll have to explore other social monitoring apps.
- Set up your accounts if you’re using a new app.
- Check your statistics now and then check them again in one week to see how they’ve changed.