A Fool's Guide to Social Media Analytics
First, we need to define what analytics are. Often what you’ll hear is the term being used quite broadly for any tool that serves a social media function, but that’s not true. Analytics is but one function of many. The three main ones being:
- Analytics and Reporting: Primarily used for tracking and as implied by the term, analysing performance. Data gathered is used to set parameters for success and monitoring progress towards them.
- Listening & Insights: Tools that allow you to listen in on conversations surrounding your brand, those of your competitors, and industry.
- Management: These are tools designed to make your life easier when managing multiple channels, with capabilities in post scheduling and monitoring conversation on your pages.
Here are some of the most basic and important metrics you need to start with when structuring your campaign for success.
*Reach: The number of people to have seen a post on your page. The same can be either ‘organic’, where a person was exposed to it naturally or through ‘paid’ through advertising.
*Impressions: Similar to Reach, but the total number of times your content has been seen by people e.g. one person (reach) can view a post multiple times. Can be segregated by paid or organic as well.
*Engagement: An aggregate of all forms of interaction for a given post i.e. likes, comments, shares, favorites, etc.
Tip: On Facebook and twitter, the more engagement your content gets, the greater the organic reach (what you should be shooting for). Even on YouTube, the higher the aggregate time spent watching your videos, the more valuable it becomes to YouTube and the more likely it is to outrank competition on the search results.
*Page Growth & Growth rate: Increases in the number of likes, follows, subscriptions and the pace at which they grow over the span of a week, month, or year.
* Influence: A quantifiable measure of influence, gained from measuring the size and engagement level on your channels, and just the overall mentions of your brand across the web.
* Mentions: As an influencer or brand of any kind, you definitely want to be ‘listening’ to these. A mention, as implied, is any piece of content or storyline created that references your brand.
Hootsuite takes tracking these a step further, by providing an average sentiment (positive or negative) analysis. Otherwise, where possible i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can find these stats using the channel provided insight platforms.
If you’re looking to stalk some other brands and what’s being said about them, you would need to use Social Mention (free) or Mention (paid).
Master all these, and you're already better equipped than most!