With the explosive growth of social media (and social media platforms) it is understandable that a lot of people (and businesses) are sceptical about introducing social media as part of their marketing mix. Add to that the frustration of so many metrics across each social media platforms to keep track off, that there is no wonder people end up confused.
In this feature, I hope to demystify some of the pain points around social media analytics and metrics so that you, or your business, can start implementing a great social media campaign.
Let me start by explaining the analytics and important metrics for each of the 4 big social media platforms. These are metrics that only you as the page owner have access to.
In the Key Performance Indicators section, I will also go through some metrics that you can use to benchmark yourself (month on month) against your competitors.
Finally, I will discuss some reporting tools that allow you to connect all your social media accounts together in order to get a combined report, as opposed to having to log into each of your social media accounts to get the data.
Social Media Platform Analytics
While you may not be active in all of the social media platforms, there are many reasons you might want to look into platform specific analytics. Perhaps you have different people reporting to you on different platforms, or perhaps you’re testing the waters with Facebook before jumping into any of the others.
This section will explain important metrics to measure on a platform specific level and which metrics can help you create a better strategy. Please keep in mind these are usually learned from there own propriety analysis tools, and therefore it may be difficult to benchmark against competitors. (Please see Key Performance Indicators section for more details on this)
Facebook Insights is Facebook’s own “analytics” software and allows you to measure a significant amount of detailed information about your Facebook page and posts. However, exporting your data can seem like one large data dump if you don’t know what specifically to look for.
Many books have been written about Facebook metrics, analysis and interpretation, but let’s cut to the important stuff and work out if your Facebook strategy is working and what type of content is pleasing to our audience ( and drives sales)
To simplify matters, I have highlighted below the key metrics you should keep an eye on. I have divided these into Facebook Page metrics (metrics that are measured on a page level) and Facebook Post metrics (metrics that are measured on a post level)
Page Specific Metrics
To run a successful Facebook campaign, you want to be able to get an overview of how your page is performing as a whole. Therefore there are a few specific reports you can run from Facebook Insights on a Page Level basis.
When logged into your Facebook Page, select “Insights” from your Admin Panel and click on “Export Data”. This will give you the option to export data on a Page level basis.
The metrics you want to follow on a Page level basis are:
Daily People Talking About Your Page
This includes the number of people sharing stories about your page. These stories include liking your Page, posting to your Page’s timeline, liking, commenting on or sharing one of your Page posts, answering a question you posted, responding to one of your events, mentioning your Page, tagging your Page in a photo or checking in at your location.
Daily Page Stories
The number of stories created about your Page. Stories are created when someone likes your page, tags your page in their status, answers a question on your page, likes, comments or shares one of your posts, tags your page in a picture and checks in to your page.
Daily Total Impressions
This highlights the number of impressions seen of any content associated with your Page. (This is basically the number of times any of your content has been seen, even if people didn’t click on it in their newsfeed.)
Lifetime Total Likes
This illustrates the total number of unique users who have liked your Page. Note – this is an accumulating number, and should be growing!
Daily New Likes
The number of new people who have liked your Page each day
The number of ‘Unlikes’ your page has received each day.
All of these can be exported for a particular time period, and it would be smart to get a total for each, so that you can conclude;
- Total number of people talking about your page in a given month (users)
- Total number of stories created about your page in a given month (interactions)
- The amount of eyeballs that saw any content associated with your page
- Total number of likes gained within a month
- Total number of likes lost within a month
- Total Likes Of The Page
Post Specific Metrics
When exporting Post Specific Metrics from Facebook Insights, you will get a tab with 30+ different metrics you can analyse. Some are more useful than others. To export Post level metrics, select “Insights” from your Admin Panel and click on “Export Data”. This will give you the option to export data on a Post level basis to an excel spreadsheet.
The metrics I would recommend reporting on are as follows:
Lifetime Post Total Reach
The number of people who saw your Page’s post. This includes the amount of times your post has shown in people’s newsfeed for the first 28 days after the publish date. Although this will give you the amount of times this post has appeared in newsfeeds, it doesn’t account for how many people actually read it.
Lifetime Engaged Users
This report highlights the number of people who have clicked anywhere in your posts. This includes video plays, photo views, link clicks, other clicks, shares and negative feedback.
Lifetime Talking About This (Post)
This highlights the number of unique people who created a story by interacting with your Page post. This includes sharing, liking commenting, answering a question, responding to an event or claiming an offer.
All this data can be exported for a particular time period and it is a good idea to get a total for each as this will enable you to identify the following:
- The total reach of your individual posts
- The total number of people that have engaged with your individual posts
- The number of people that have taken action on your individual posts
Once you start measuring these results month after month, you will get a good idea of how your content is evolving over time.
LinkedIn has it’s own its own analytics toolset “Company Page Analytics”. On first glance, it may look detailed, however, the good news is that it is not as complicated as Facebook Insights and you can get away with less metrics.
LinkedIn works with personal profiles and business pages, so as with facebook, we need to look at Page level metrics and Post level metrics
Post Specific Metrics
The post specific metrics worth measuring are as follows:
LinkedIn shows a graph on the Analytics tab with the total impressions your posts have on a daily basis.
The interactions shown on your Analytics tab include the number of likes, comments and shares on your post.
This highlights which post resulted in acquiring new followers for your page. This is a great metric to use as you can tell what type of posts attract the most new followers and therefore could be used to expand your reach.
The engagement percentage = (# of interactions + followers acquired) / Impressions
The higher the engagement percentage, the better the post has performed.
Page Specific Metrics
This highlights the total amount of followers your page has earned over time.
Unless you’re targeting specific people this is not necessarily something worth trending over time. However, one benefits of this is that you can view your followers by seniority, job function, region, company size and employee vs. non-employee.
The next important social platform to measure is Twitter. Twitter has its own analytics platform aptly named Twitter Analytics.
To discover if your Twitter campaign is effective, I recommend that you focus on the five key metrics highlighted below:
A key metric is to track how many followers you have and how this trends over time.
Retweets are Twitter’s way of showing how many people have shared your Tweet to their followers. This is a good way of seeing how important your followers think your message was.
Mentions are Tweets made by other users that have included your @yourname. If you are an influencer in your industry, you will find more and more people engaging with you or wanting your attention.
When sharing links through Twitter, it is recommended to use a URL shortening service like http://bit.ly as it allows for tracking of the number of clicks a link received.
Twitter allows their users to create “Lists” of people to follow If you find yourself regularly added to users Lists it’s a sign that people don’t want to miss your Tweets.
Google+, albeit fairly new, it’s an important social network due to its connection with Google search engine.
As with Facebook and LinkedIn, Google+ allows you to have a business page, and therefore allows us to view metrics for both Page and Post levels.
Most of the important metrics can be found within Google Analytics (under “Acquisition” -> “Social” -> “Data Hub Activity”).
Mike van der Heijden
This is a sample from a chapter taken from the social media business guide, The Big Social Media Book. Available from Amazon.