Getting to the Bottom of Your Social Media Analytics

Published on October 26, 2016

Social media is one of the most effective ways of creating your brand’s narrative, driving referral traffic, and spreading the good word about your one-of-a-kind business. But how are you measuring your success?

We hear all sorts of claims about the effectiveness of digital marketing, but it’s important to always keep track of your successes and failures. Email marketing, SEO, social media – all of these are vital (and interconnected) tools for your business, but each needs to be measured, tested, and analyzed in different ways.

Fortunately, many social media platforms – most notably Facebook and Twitter – have their own built-in analytics tools. Using these free native tools are a great way to test and improve the quality of your social media marketing, helping you to answer questions like…

What Types of Content Does My Audience Like?

Using the analytics data available on Twitter and Facebook, you can easily monitor how well individual posts are performing in terms of reach (i.e., the number of eyes that see the content) and engagement (that is, likes, shares, clicks, and so on).

Looking at the performance of your different types of posts – links, images, videos – can give you a great sense of the kind of content that your audience prefers. Maybe your audience prefers it when you pass along a link to a news source, rather than link to your own content. Maybe you’re reaching a younger audience who prefers video to still images. Once you have a sense of your performance trends, you can tailor your future social output to maximize your audience appeal.

How Do I Get There?
For your Facebook page, go to Insights > Posts > Post Types. On Twitter, your post snapshots can be viewed by clicking Settings > Analytics > Tweets.

What Subjects Interest My Audience?

Of course, it’s not all about content type – topic and subject matter also greatly impact your engagement metrics. What subjects really connect with your followers and fans? Once you determine this - by analyzing your top-performing posts on social media – you can brainstorm similar future content topics and slot them into your schedule.

And, if one post is performing outrageously well, according to your analytics, you can let lightning strike twice: You can recycle and reshare high-performing content multiple times before it starts to hit a point of diminishing returns. On the flipside, if your analytics highlight some notable underperformers, take stock and consider how you can revamp those pieces or else find new ways to share them.

How Do I Get There?
On Facebook, go to Insights > Posts > Post Types; from there, you can filter your posts by lots of different criteria, including comments, shares, and reactions. On Twitter, the trail is Settings > Analytics > Tweets; take note of the posts that are garnering the most likes and retweets.

When Is My Audience Online?

While some people will tell you they’ve scientifically pinpointed the best time to tweet, the reality is that no two brands are going to have the same ideal posting schedule. Your audience may be night owls or they may be morning people; maybe they’re scrolling social at work, or perhaps you’ve got a crowd full of weekend warriors. In any case, the best way to tell is to probe your analytics.

Facebook, in particular, offers pretty sophisticated traffic-measuring tools. Finding times that work for the majority of your users can make a huge difference for your content. Like so many things, digital marketing is a numbers game: The more eyes your high quality content reaches, the better.

How Do I Get There?
On Facebook, click through Insights > Posts > “When Your Fans Are Online.” You’ll find some charts and graphs highlighting when people are checking their feeds, down to the hour. For now, Twitter’s on-site analytics don’t offer a comparable option, but tools like Tweriod offer extremely sophisticated audience tracking tools.

Wait, Who Is My Audience Anyway?

We’ve talked at some length about using social media to listen; social analytics tools offer an easy way to gauge and monitor your audience by demographics, location, behavior, and more. The better you understand who is liking and following your brand online, the more you can tailor your content (and paid ads) to the specific wants, needs, and trends of your audience – using concrete, real data, rather than vague estimations or abstract buyer profiles.

How Do I Get There?
On Facebook, you’ll need an Ads account. Open Ads Manager, then go to Audience Insights and begin exploring using Facebook’s built-in filters. Using Twitter, you can get some baseline data on your audience by clicking through to Settings > Twitter Ads > Analytics > Audience Insights.

Want to talk in even more detail about the sorts of insights that social analytics can give you? Ready to finally take the plunge and set up some active social accounts for your brand? Whatever your online goals Geek Chicago has the tools and the team you need to excel. Drop us a line today to keep the conversation going!

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