You know you need to be on social media for your business or blog but there’s this nagging question – how do you know what works?
What kind of content does well and what disappears into the darkness? Are you wasting your time on this network and need to refocus on another?
Don’t worry, there are some simple ways to answer these (and lots more questions!) and it begins with making a simple social media report.
But what is social media stats and why will that help with any of that?
Basically, it is a document that can take any form you want (it just matters that you are comfortable with it and use it!) that helps you track key metrics (Also known as KPIs) from your main social media sites so that you compare them on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
Why? Because it allows you to get a better sense of the types of things that perform well, what people relate to most, and find new ways to use those types of posts to reach your goals!
I’m going to start simple and show you just a couple of metrics to focus on for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
Love it or hate it, Facebook has dominated the digital marketing world, and for good reason, which is why bloggers and small businesses cannot afford to ignore it.
With two billion users registered on the platform, almost every potential customer is on the site in some form. It can also be the most difficult to work with due to the complex algorithms and declining organic reach (reach that you get without paying for).
Here are the things I would focus on tracking to start:
Reach or fan reach is one of the top metrics to track because it tells you how many people are seeing your posts and can be broken down into organic reach (without paying) and paid reach.
You can find the information on your Facebook Page in the Insights tab > Reach. Here you can see things like post reach, likes, comments and shares, and total reach.
Page likes are a metric that some people value while others aren’t as focused on because of the declining organic reach. The reality is though, you always want this number to increase.
Because reaching 2% of 10k people is much better than 2% of 500 people. The Insights tab has a section called ‘Likes’ where you can see how many likes your page has, and when they have increased or decreased.
You can even see information about where likes came from –things like page suggestions or from being on your page.
A great way to see what kind of posts do well is to look at engagement on individual posts.
This is under the ‘Posts’ section on the Insights page and covers a 7-day period (You can also export Facebook report data for customized date ranges and a TON more data).
You can see what times of the day people are most engaged with your content as well as what days of the week. You can also see what content has received the most engagement and how many people each post reached.
I recommend making note of your top-performing post each month based on its engagement. Then, after a few months, you can start to see if trends develop and what is consistently doing well.
Traffic from Facebook
This information comes from Google Analytics and if you haven’t already set this up, you need to do this now!
It is free and a source of lots of information to help you monitor growth and see what is working for all your social media channels.
Once you have it set up go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Social. Here you will see where all your traffic from social media comes from and you can spot your specific number for Facebook. Make note of this in your report and note the increase or decrease with each report you do.
Instagram is a very popular social media site with many industries due to its visual nature, big focus on video content, and rapidly growing audience.
Using the site is a little more complicated due to the lack of links on it – just that one in your bio. And the growing presence of algorithms on the site has also meant that people are seeing variable results from it in recent times.
You will only find simple analytics in your Instagram profile if you’ve switched it to a business account.
These only tracks the past week and are not always the most helpful. You can use other services if you want more insights.
Here are the things you can track to see what is working.
This one’s easy – it is in your profile as to how many people you follow and how many people follow you back. While it is easy to get hung up about the increasing and decreasing nature of this number, don’t stress about it.
Just take note of it and see if what you are doing leads to a spike (up or down) in follower numbers. You will also notice that you lose followers likely daily.
This is because many people follow others to get them to follow back, then they unfollow. It’s sneaky but not to worry, you are not just about the number of followers, it’s about quality.
With a business account, you can also get some information about those followers including gender, age group, and location information.
As I mentioned, if you have an Instagram business account then you can access more information about your account than a personal user.
One of the things you can see is the number of profile views you have received.
Also on the business account, you can view information about individual posts that lets you see what post received the most likes, comments, saves, impressions, reach, and engagement.
You can note the top 5, for example, and compare each month what the posts were and what figures they received.
It can be hard to track clicks to your website from Instagram (though you should be able to see how much traffic is coming from Instagram in your Google Analytics).
But the business Instagram account does allow you to see how many people have clicked the link in your bio in the past week.
For many bloggers and small businesses, Pinterest is the top source of traffic from social media and can be a gold mine.
Now, if you haven’t heard this before, it is important to remember that Pinterest isn’t really a social media site, it’s actually a visual search engine.
For that reason, the visuals are key to success along with optimizing your description to read well but be full of keywords.
You can easily set up as a business account with Pinterest or convert your existing one and access a wealth of information in their analytics!
This one is simple and available to any type of account – it’s on your profile. Followers aren’t as important on Pinterest as on other sites as you don’t have to follow someone to see their content.
But it can be a useful metric to measure, especially when combined with other stats.
Under the Analytics tab on Pinterest, you will see a section called ‘Website’ and this is where you get information about pins from your site specifically.
Here you can see repins or ‘saves’ as Pinterest calls them and see what pins have had the most saves during a set period. It also shows you the boards with the most pins saved in the last 30 days.
In the same way, you check saves, you can also check impressions for your pins and also for your Pinterest profile in general.
Impressions deal with how many times people have seen your pins and also show which boards are getting the most impressions.
You can check the same metric for all the pins you have pinned under the ‘Your Pinterest Profile’ tab.
The third metric is the clicks that you have had from your pins, usually to your website.
These are shown alongside impressions and saves and help you see which pins have sent the most traffic to your website.
You can check the traffic from Pinterest as a whole in the same way as you do for Facebook and Instagram – through Google Analytics.
Follow the same path and you will see Pinterest alongside Facebook, assuming you have had traffic from the site.
Now that you have a better understanding of a few of the key things to track, you can better check how you are doing on each social media platform!
Some are more useful than others and all need to be taken in context but by using them to create a simple social media report that you can complete each week or month, you can get a picture of what is working and what isn’t.
You can use anything to create a report from a simple Google Doc to a complicated chart-laden presentation – it depends on what works for you and who else needs to view it.
But once you start measuring things, you can then refocus your efforts from a data-driven viewpoint and hopefully see more success from social media.