By Indiana Lee
Creating a social media strategy that results in a strong online presence requires so much more than quality content and posting on the right platforms. You need data analytics to analyze the success of your company’s social media strategy and inform your decisions about how to move forward.
If your business isn’t on social media, you’re way behind your biggest competition. These platforms offer a way to make real connections with customers and build brand awareness. You can even sell directly on social media, increasing your chances of consistent conversions.
That said, you must do more than just be on social media to generate real results. You must stand out from the millions of other businesses advertising on these platforms. Finding out what’s working and directing all your effort to these things can help.
You can use data analytics to analyze the success of your company’s social media strategy and inform your decisions about how to move forward. If you aren’t sure about how to go about doing this, keep reading.
This article will cover how to set goals for your social media strategy, choose metrics to track that align with those goals, evaluate engagement, and understand the difference in the analytics experience across various platforms. Let’s get started.
Set Goals for Your Social Media Strategy First
If you don’t have any goals for social media, you won’t put in the effort to track how well things are going. You also won’t know what to track specifically to achieve a successful social media presence.
Use the SMART framework to set goals for your social media strategy:
Start with what you want to achieve in the next six months to a year. Be as specific as possible, and ensure you can measure the goal, that it’s achievable, relevant to your business, and has a deadline.
For example, we will post three times a day every day to double our follower count in six months and grow our daily brand mentions for better brand awareness.
Also, some of the best business advice is to adopt a long-term view regarding your business. Day-to-day goals are important. But you can’t get hung up on them if you want a long-lasting, successful business. Long-term goals ensure you’re striving for more than just that day’s results, and instead are focusing on growing a sustainable business.
You can apply this advice to your social media strategy too. It isn’t about getting that one post to go viral. You want your presence on social media to continually grow and for the relationships you build on these platforms to be genuine. This requires a long-term outlook when crafting your strategy and goals.
Apply the formula above to long-term social media marketing goals. Think about where you want your social media presence to be in five years.
Once you’ve got your short- and long-term goals figured out, move on to which metrics you’ll attach to each goal.
Identify What Metrics You’ll Use to Track Progress on Those Goals
Setting goals isn’t enough if you hope to use data to measure your social media success. You need to attach metrics to each goal. That way, you know whether you’re making progress on your goals or not.
This also helps you build a repository of data that will actually help you with your social media strategy, rather than just collecting any kind of data. Here are some metrics to consider tracking based on the goals you have for social media.
Impressions are the number of times your social media content shows up on people’s screens. Count every single time your content is viewed, even if that viewership comes from the same person.
If your goal is to improve the overall exposure of your content, this is a good metric to keep track of.
Reach and impressions are often mixed up. Unlike impressions, reach measures how many individual people see your content. It doesn’t count repeat visitors.
If your goal is to get your content and brand messaging out to more people in your target audience, put reach on your metrics list.
High levels of engagement under every social media post are a goal for every business. Engagement is how you get to know customers, their needs, likes, and dislikes. It’s also how you get algorithms to show your content more.
You should be tracking your engagement rate on your social media platforms. Engagement rate is the metric used for measuring the level of interactions users have with your content, whether leaving comments, viewing videos, sharing your post, or clicking links within it.
When a piece of content has a high engagement rate, that’s a clear indicator that your audience likes the post’s topic, type of media, message, or a combination of all three.
Let’s say your goal is to build a positive brand reputation. It can be difficult to measure whether you’re growing a positive brand reputation because what’s positive to one person may not be to another.
Still, there is such a thing as social sentiment, which is particularly helpful when you’re gauging customer satisfaction. Social sentiment is the attitude or perspective someone shares about a brand, product, or service on social media and other online platforms. You can understand someone’s tone and emotions behind a post by looking at what they’re saying in the comments, posts, and mentions they publish.
Understand How Analytics Differ From Platform to Platform
In addition to solidifying your goals and metrics, you need to learn how analytics differ from platform to platform. This will help you better analyze the data you get from each platform because you know what kind of information you’re receiving and how.
Keep in mind that you need to switch to a business or creator account on each platform to access the best analytics experience. Here are a few details on how tracking varies from Instagram to Facebook to TikTok.
Instagram analytics are only accessible through the mobile app. But they offer valuable insights into how your account and content are performing, tracking metrics like follower growth rate, audience demographics, and engagement rate.
You can look at the performance of individual posts and how your account is developing overall to optimize campaigns, customer relationships, posting schedules, and growth in your niche.
Facebook insights are available for every profile page. But a business account gives you access to the Meta Business Suite. Here, you can create posts and stories, manage your inbox, and see notifications.
More importantly, you can view content and profile performance insights. For example, you’re able to see the kind of engagement you’re getting under each post. You get data about your audience that’s deeper than demographic information. You also have access to information on content and behavioral trends.
If you want to establish yourself on TikTok, you must keep up with its fast-growing, ever-changing nature. Thankfully, they have a solid analytics dashboard.
TikTok analytics are split into three categories: overview, content, and followers. Overviews give you data on overall follower growth, video views, and audience engagement. Click the Content tab for information on specific posts. And the Followers tab gives you insights into the community you’re building on the platform.
Evaluate Your Data
Having a strategy for evaluating data can make analyzing and pulling meaningful insights from the collected data less intimidating.
First, define a regular schedule for pulling data, transferring it to your central data system, and analyzing it. You could do this every week, once a month, or every quarter. It depends on your team’s ability. It also depends on the goals you’re trying to reach because some take longer to see results than others.
Then, it’s time to analyze the data. Pull up the goals you have and the metrics attached to them. Write down the numbers for each metric as they are. After that, brainstorm what those numbers could be saying.
For example, let’s say your engagement levels on video posts are higher than those on static image posts. This could indicate that your audience likes videos better than static images. It could also indicate that the messages you’re sending in your videos are stronger than those in the other posts.
Ultimately, take your time analyzing data and lean on your team for a well-rounded conclusion about the information you’ve collected. Your social media success depends on it.
About the Author
Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle.