Social media analytics are the key to growing your reach and engagement across your social channels. But why are they so powerful, and what are they?
Social media analytics is data that tracks how users interact with your social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. This can include simple metrics such as the number of followers and how this grows over time. But analytics can also include more complex metrics such as user engagement at different times of day, average engagement rates across different types of posts and much more!
Social analytics are powerful because they make everything you do on social media measurable. This allows you to measure what works and what does not. Measuring and optimizing are the key pillars of any successful strategy.
In this post, we will explore how your small business can use social analytics effectively. Try the tips listed below and you can make your social analytics work for you.
1. Set clear goals with metrics and KPIs
This may sound obvious, but understanding metrics and KPIs is incredibly valuable. Setting KPIs comes down to your answers to what’s important for your social media efforts. Do you want to increase followers, boost engagement, optimize ad spend? Setting a goal like “boost our social followers” is too vague. You need hard numbers to set the parameters of what success will look like.
Example: increase average post engagement by 3% by the end of the year.
So why is this KPI better? It’s specific and gives you a clear target to aim for. Your efforts can be measured in terms of moving towards this goal or away from it. KPIs should be fluid, especially when starting out. Map out some ballpark figures and use them to track your performance over time. You can even benchmark your performance against industry social media benchmarks.
Hint: Social analytics software such as Social Status makes this process much easier by extracting the data and automatically creating reports for you.
2. Start with the easy wins
What do we mean by easy wins? An easy win is something that doesn’t take much effort but has a large effect. This could be something like increasing your post frequency, changing the time of day you post, or altering the number of hashtags you use. Small tweaks like these can yield big results.
The question is how to find them? Manually these can be quite hard to spot, but there is some great software out there like Metigy that can find these automatically. Starting with these easy wins sets you up for success. Especially when starting out as a small business, getting regular and tips can help you stay on track.
3. Monitor user engagement to optimize post time
The time you post your content can have a massive effect on engagement rates and reach. You don’t want to spend ages crafting great content only for it not to get the reach it deserves. The same is true for paid content and maximizing ad spend (more on that below.)
In general, you should post at times when most of your target audience is online and engaged. This will maximize your potential reach. Social analytics software can find the optimum post time for you based on your social channels.
4. Track hashtags and content performance across your channels
The typical small business has a lot to keep on top of; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn analytics – that’s a lot of data. But you need to know what content works on each channel, so understanding this data is important.
Social media analytics software is highly valuable because you can see all your data in one place rather than constantly switching between accounts. Most good analytics software allow you to create custom dashboards and social media reports, so you can see the important insights at a glance.
5. Use insights to improve content over time
Ever wondered if your posts would have performed better with a different image or caption? If you have a social analytics solution in place you can measure content performance.
How? Data takes the guesswork out of improving content: Tweak your content and see if these changes improve engagement rates. For example, you may see that your users love inspirational quotes – find what your users love and try to include this in your future posts.
6. Gain an edge by tracking your competitors
One of the best ways to succeed on social media is to emulate other successful channels. This means understanding what your competitors are doing. Tracking this manually is time-consuming and resource-draining.
Some social media analytics software can automate competitor monitoring and often offer a gold mine of information. These insights can help you to boost your own social channels.
7. Optimize ad spend by knowing what works
Ads Analytics can tell you what paid content is working and what is not. But how is this information useful? When it comes to paid ads, you want to ensure you are only boosting content that resonates with your audience.
Try sharing the content organically and use social analytics to identify high-performing pieces. Over time you will be able to see what content is resonating well and can be confident of putting ad spend behind it. A data-driven strategy will increase your ad engagements and ad spend ROI.
8. Save time by automating your reports
When part of a small team, it’s important to optimize your time. However, it’s also important that your team has access to clear accurate reports. You don’t want to waste time scrolling through files or collating data across your different social channels.
With a social media software solution in place, you can report on all your social channels in one place, at the push of a button. You can have that report ready in seconds not hours.
Harness the power of social media analytics today
These tips should help you kickstart your social efforts. Social analytics can unlock insights and help you expand your reach and boost engagement.