By Annabel Sullivan, director, Strategic Social Profiles
Annabel Sullivan explains how social media analytics can be the catalyst of a sustainable social media strategy.
In my August/September 2019 micenet column, I explained why your business needs a social media strategy and introduced you to the five steps to get started. To recap, the five steps are:
Step 1: Set your goals.
Step 2: Get to know your business & audience better & check out your competition.
Step 3: Build your social media toolkit.
Step 4: Create content for your audience.
Step 5: Take the leap and don’t forget to listen.
In this column, I will elaborate on the final step which focuses on reviewing and understanding your social platform analytics and doing something about what the numbers are telling you. It’s a step many small businesses miss, however, it’s one of the most important in creating and maintaining a sustainable social media strategy. When you’re investing time, money and effort on social media, you need to step back, stop, look and listen. It will help you see what’s working, what isn’t and guide you to make any necessary changes.
What are the benefits of reviewing your social media analytics?
Understand your audience: Social media analytics can help you better understand your audience. By analysing past posts, you can find out who your followers are, their age, gender and other key demographics. Understanding this will provide a clearer picture of what they want or need and help you understand what type of engaging content is in order to draw their response and deliver the best results.
Know your best social networks: Not all social networks will work perfectly for you. The way to confirm which ones are best for your business is through experimentation and more importantly, reviewing analytics to measure your engagement, traffic and sales. Once you’ve identified from where you’re getting your best results, it’s recommended you focus on those platforms and eliminate the ones that aren’t working for you.
Inform brand and business decisions: By keeping an eye on your social media analytics, you may also uncover information that will inform your overall strategy. This could include spotting trends, getting a better understanding of where your customers are geographically located, how they might perceive your brand, and what they expect from you. From these insights, you may wish to update your services or product offering, change your approach to customer service or possibly even enter a new market.
The great thing about the various social media platforms is that they all come with analytics tools. Facebook and Instagram call them Insights. LinkedIn and Twitter call them Analytics. Below is an example of what you can review and what you could adjust by using these useful tools for Facebook and LinkedIn.
- The Facebook Insights Page has a number of tabs you can review. The Overview tab provides an overall summary including page likes, post reach and engagements. Clicking through to the Posts tab is probably one of the most interesting, as it highlights all your posts and provides a quick way to see which of your posts were most successful. It tracks the type, reach and engagement of each post.
Knowing which posts were most successful provides you with the opportunity to create more content along those lines. Delivering similar content will keep your followers engaged, which will, in turn, enhance brand awareness, reach and increase traffic to your website.
- On your LinkedIn Page under the analytics dashboard, you can obtain insights on your visitors, updates and followers. Delving into this area will provide you with: data on people who visit your page; engagement metrics for your content posted; and, useful tracking and demographic information about the people who subscribe to your page.
Understanding as much as you can about your social media community and how they’re responding to your posts means you’ll be able to tailor your page and posts for them. For example, if a significant percentage of your audience are engaged in the events services industry, you can adjust your content to include articles and posts that you know will resonate with them.