Businesses worldwide have adopted social media marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Whether they are posting to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, or all of the above, businesses around the globe are reaching their audiences through the use of social media.
Now, businesses can post to social media and engage with their audiences on a daily basis, but how many of those businesses are tracking the success and progress of their platforms on a regular basis?
What you should be tracking:
- Best times to post: Most platforms either have analytics directly on their sites or a companion app that provides analytics. By reviewing these analytics, you will be able to decipher what times your posts are reaching the widest audience.
- Increase or decrease in likes/follows: How many people have either liked or un-followed your page in the past X amount of weeks? Each website directly tells you how many likes you have at any given time.
- Type of content that receives the most engagement: What type of content is your audience responding to? Videos, images, article shares, Q &A, tips, etc.
What this information will tell you:
Social media is constantly changing. For example, in the past week, Facebook has introduced the “See First” option. This new feature gives consumers the ability to choose who and/or which brand(s) appear first on their newsfeeds. By keeping track of what is working and not working, you will be able to adjust your social media strategy.
Similar to traditional marketing, social media marketing is all about testing and getting to know your audience. When comparing and testing, you are performing what has come to be known as “A/B” testing: an experiment consisting of two variants which are treated as the control and the treatment in the test. For example, you can take what you are currently doing on Facebook as test A and change it by a variant – say the time you post changes – for test B.
- You posted at 5pm on a Tuesday and had 0 likes and then posted on Wednesday at 10am and had 5 likes, you will want to try and post again around 10am. This tells you that your audience liked the content you published and/or was online at the time you posted.
- You post 5 times a week at the same exact time on different days with different types of content (i.e. an image, a video, a tip, Q&A, and an article share), then examine which post had the most engagement. This is a good indication of what your audience likes to see from you.
How to keep track:
An easy way to track the changes from month-to-month on your social platforms is by creating a spreadsheet. Create a header or new sheet for each platform (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Include columns such as: likes, best times to post, type of content, etc., and a date that the statistics were taken. Set a reminder on your calendar or phone to review and take down statistics on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
By keeping track of your different social media statistics, you will be able to discover what is and what is not working on your various platforms allowing you to adjust your strategy.
We encourage you to do some research on the different platforms regularly to see if any changes have been made that will impact your business. Some resources to check out: Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and SteamFeed.
Do you have a tool or other suggestion that you would recommend that helps keep track of your social media progress? Let us know in the comments below.