Peter Drucker said it best, “If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it.” That’s true in business and in social media. Success in social media depends on monitoring the numbers to identify the content and tactics that deliver results.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but taking a regular look at your social numbers will help you reach your marketing goals much faster.
We’re going to begin a Facebook live series in September to show you where to find your metrics and what they mean.
Until then, here are the 5 numbers we recommend you keep track of. Saving this information in a spreadsheet will help you sport long-term trends and make important pivots.
This is the easiest metric to track. Nearly every platform puts the number of connections front and center. By monitoring growth, you can see if your content is connecting with people or not.
Reach and impressions are not exactly the same, but both are worth watching. Reach is the number of people who definitely saw your content. Impressions is a softer number that measures how many people could have seen your social content. We recommend keeping an eye on both, if possible. Not all platforms share both numbers with you.
This is the metric we think is the most valuable. Engagement numbers let you know how many people are interacting with your content—liking, sharing, reacting, retweeting. Engagement is the ultimate goal of social media—you’re building a community. You can have tons of fans, but if they don’t interact with your content, they really aren’t very connected to your work and your marketing efforts will struggle.
To take a deeper dive into engagement, it helps to identify your top-performing content. By examining the content that creates the most interaction, you find out things like: when your audience is most engaged, which days of the week are best to post, what type of content your audience likes, what subjects they are most interested in, and more.
For the same reason you want to know what works best with your audience, you want to know what isn’t working. If you have content that’s not delivering engagement or significant reach, it’s time to find out why. By regularly identifying the poor performing posts you can determine if it’s topic or timing that’s the factor and you can take corrective action. One example that came from monitoring poor performing content—we determined that posts with hashtags on Facebook have diminished reach. We wouldn’t have discovered that without diving into content performance. Facebook wasn’t putting out a press announcement.
There are hundreds of metrics you can monitor and deep wells you can dive into when it comes to analytics, but we believe these numbers will get you started and help you guide your social media content to ever greater success.
What metrics have you found most important in boosting your social interactions?
Christy Kirk, Vice President of Client Services, is a social media strategist, writer, and former television journalist, who’s done everything from launch a news department to create social content and strategy for Fortune 500 companies and brands including Pampers Diapers, Pantene, Luvs Diapers and Carlson Rezidor Hotels. Now, Christy manages marketing projects for Weaving Influence, with an emphasis on social media marketing. She is also a wife and mother of three children, one dog, and one cat. She loves reading, baking, running, hiking and exploring new places.