Social media is great for sharing memes and political rants, but for businesses, it’s key to growth. Look at it this way: a social media profile (or, as we suggest, profiles) is essentially free advertising. Use them to their fullest and you can get your business in front of new eyes every day.
Key to understanding and tracking growth on social media are analytics, which can be found built into Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the number of apps you can download to track analytics for your social profiles. But they’re only useful if you know how to properly use and track them.
If you look at analytics on a week-to-week basis, it’s easy to flip out.
“Why is engagement down 50 percent!?”
“Why haven’t we gotten any likes this week?”
“What do these numbers EVEN MEAN???”
That’s why tracking growth on a short-term basis doesn’t accurately show the kind of growth that’s happening on your pages. Here are some tips on how to properly track growth on your pages over time.
Keep Brief Records of Weekly Growth
You can still keep weekly growth records, but don’t dwell on them. These records are more for comparing and contrasting when you are ready to do your monthly or quarterly tracking. Look at these records as more of an organizational necessity than hard data.
No One Week Is Ever the Same
Metrics from week to week are all over the place. One week could show that engagement is up 150 percent, while the next week could be down by 90 percent. Honestly, week-to-week metrics are an absolute mess. If you’re measuring your growth on a week-to-week basis, it’s going to stress you out. Metrics are going to go up and down – that’s the nature of the platform. Save yourself the stress and think about the big picture.
It’s easy to get frustrated about another page having more followers or likes than your own. That page’s growth is not going to be the same as yours. Focus on your own audience demographics, what content is relevant to them and how to engage within that group. Keep your audience’s interests in mind. If you can appeal to them, they will help you out with growth.
Keep Your Content Relevant
There is a reason why people are following you. Most likely, they are a fan of your brand or industry. Share content that is relevant to both. If you go too far away from your brand, you will lose followers. And remember: quality, not quantity.
Long-term Growth Measurement Is Best
At 834, we give our clients monthly social media reports. It’s a good way to see short-term growth and the work we are doing for them. Monthly reports, however, are the minimum that we recommend. The real growth test will be at the year mark. At that point, the numbers will be able to show you how much you did or didn’t grow. Compare your followers and engagement from day one to year one. Look for trends within engagement. What kind of posts are liked and shared the most? When are your users active on social media platforms? This kind of data will help you to analyze and fine tune your social strategy.
Social media can be a scary, confusing and frustrating place. Trust us. As a social media firm, we know. The only way you can get a solid grasp on social media is to study it, look for trends and know when and how to measure growth. Then it’s not so bad.