Once upon a time you created business profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, <insert social media platform of your choice here>. Now you‚Äôre even using them to promote your brand by actively sharing content! That‚Äôs great. You‚Äôre off to a good start, but there‚Äôs a missing piece: Data analysis.
Just like you analyze everything else your company is doing, analyzing social media performance is important. Sharing in general is better than not, but you don‚Äôt you‚Äôre your efforts to be wasted. Here at Kinetix, we‚Äôre pretty good about breaking down this data for our clients, but we‚Äôve recently started digging deeper into our internal efforts. While we work to find the hits and misses in our social media, we wanted to let you in on a few secrets we‚Äôve learned along the way.
- Your analytics are only as good as the tool you use to share posts. There is no perfect tool for sharing on social media, and the analytics feature of a social sharing tool will not give you the information you want exactly the way you want it. With that said, Buffer‚Äôs sharing and analytics capabilities are pretty awesome, not to mention, they also have tons of great materials to help you get the most out of their tool. As we compile data for various internal efforts, the problem we‚Äôre finding is that not everyone is using the same tool for sharing, which makes it harder to make clean comparisons.
The right social sharing tool for me may not be the right tool for you. My advice would be to use a few different tools like HootSuite, Sprout Social, Buffer‚Äîthe options are endless‚Äîand compare the capabilities to figure out what works best for your needs.
- You have to start somewhere. Buffer hosted a webinar this week entitled Crawling, Walking, Running Analytics: The 3 Stages of Social Media Data. If you‚Äôre interested, check it out (it‚Äôs only 30 minutes long!). As you can probably guess from reading the title, Kevan Lee, the host, offered great tips for digging into your social data whether you have more spreadsheets of social reports than you can count or if you didn‚Äôt even know you Twitter has it‚Äôs own analytics feature until now.
You know the saying‚Ä¶ ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt walk before you can crawl.‚Äù But, I‚Äôm here to tell you don‚Äôt beat yourself up for crawling when you want to be walking or walking when you wish you could run. We all want to know the most and be the best, but we have to start somewhere‚Äîpreferably somewhere that makes sense.
- Calculate rates to evenly compare efforts across different platforms. The coolest thing I learned during the Buffer webinar is how to calculate rates to compare data from different platforms. Let‚Äôs say you only have 50 followers on Facebook and 500 on Twitter. You share the same link from your website on both platforms and want a fair comparison on how it performed. Clearly, it should get more clicks on Twitter than it does on Facebook based on your follower count, so if you calculate the rate percentage, you can actually get a fair comparison.
Buffer suggests calculating rate by taking your social data and dividing it by impressions (reach) or followers. If you‚Äôre interested in your click rate based on follower count, divide the total number of clicks by your total number of followers. Do this for all platforms for a clean comparison.
It‚Äôs not rocket science, but it‚Äôs always helpful to learn how other people approach analytics. The numbers don‚Äôt lie‚Ä¶ Especially when you‚Äôre more diligent about how you look at it.