Social platforms as marketing tools are the new normal in the advertising and digital marketing world. Instead of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (and so on), being a suggestion for brands and businesses, it has become the standard. So if social is the new standard, we have to make sure we understand how they’re being used in order to use them right.
The best way to understand how your social platforms are working, and if they’re even working at all, is to look at the information you can extract from them. We’ve discussed what stats you should be looking at from an overview, and now we want to dig deeper and explain why these stats (as well as some others) matter.
The overarching theme for why you should be tracking your stats can be broken down into three key points: tracking your progress, gauging what works, and driving efficiency.
Demonstrating your growth across social platforms is as easy as tracking a handful of specific numbers and is extremely important when exploring and explaining your online footprint.
Two big metrics businesses and brands use to track growth are follower count and engagement/engagement rates. When you track these numbers, you are able to see not only how your audience is growing in size, but also if your content is resonating with your current and new audience. In an article published by Adweek, CEO of Socialbakers Robert Lang declared that “user attention is the new currency of success.” Follower growth, engagement, and engagement rates* are benchmark numbers that demonstrate how well your content is being consumed across platforms.
*Engagement rate is expected to either stay steady or see only slight increases because of how it is calculated. As your follower count increases, your engagement should increase. Since follower count and engagement are the numbers used to calculate engagement rate, change of engagement rate shouldn’t be expected.
Analyzing your Audience
Using your social media analytics to analyze your audience can only work to your advantage. Each platform has native insights that provide you a closer look at who your audience is – showing gender, age, location, and more (depending on the platform). Set a determined time, whether it is weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly, to actually look at WHO your content is reaching and how your audience shifts & adjusts as you grow.
By looking at, tracking, and analyzing this information, you can make more informed decisions on what type of content you should be creating and posting. This will help you save time and money in the long run, which is always a smart business move!
Comparing Content Across Platforms
Not all platforms are created equally, and the same goes for content. It’s really crucial to see what content performs well on what platforms. A post that succeeds on Instagram, might not excel on Twitter and vice versa. Look at the content you are sharing on each of your platforms and analyze which types of content perform the best. Use that information to strategize and brainstorm new ways you can incorporate that type of post into your overall content strategy.
Reach and Results of Posts
With social media, it’s much easier and cheaper to test new types of content or experiment with content that you believe your audience will be drawn to. Because each individual post has it’s own reach & stats, you can easily track the success of a new venture or new content type. For example, if you want to add in a quote template to your content strategy, you would post one or two over a period of 1-2 weeks and track how your audience responds. If they are successful, then you know to continue including them going forward.
An important thing to keep in mind: if you drastically shift the types of content that you are pushing out, your audience may not respond positively in the initial phase. This is because they’re used to the types of content that you used to produce. We recommend keeping with your new strategy and vision, bear with the bad stats for a short period of time and attract the new audience that you are trying to attract. Hang in there! Sometimes a new strategy takes a little while to catch on.
Tracking social stats is something we recommend for all brands and businesses, no matter what size. Even if it’s just a document or spreadsheet that notes a few stats each week, tracking these numbers will give you invaluable insight into your digital marketing initiatives.
Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.