Have you ever looked at your social media analytics and wondered what exactly you should be paying attention to? Taking a gander at “likes” and “followers” on Facebook and Twitter, for instance, are metrics users often hold in the highest esteem. “Likes” and “followers” are so highly regarded that users will even purchase fake likes on Facebook and fake followers on Twitter. That practice will distort and cloud your metrics, and will ruin your credibility, as I mentioned in a previous post.
Certainly you should pay attention to the overall fandom your social media presence has, but you should really be looking at the ripples you’re causing and how people are interacting with your content. I’ll break down the “big three” social media network’s metrics you should be monitoring.
This metric is perhaps the most important analytical number you can look at. Fans are great to have, but how far and to how many people your post reached is really what matters. Isn’t the whole point of social media to get your message out to as many people as possible? Your reach is affected by shares and likes from your followers.
Do you know how many people are seeing your post pop-up on their feed? Total reach will give you the answer. You’ll see a range of dates and can click on specific dates to get more information. The best part about total reach is that it’ll show you the peaks and valleys of your Facebook activity over time. Use that information to schedule your posts for the greatest number of views.
A flat line for your engagement metric is about as good as a flat line on a heart beat monitor. It means you’re engagement is dead. The three main aspects to engagement are likes, comments, and shares. Likes and comments are good to see but shares are what you’re looking for. If someone shares one of your posts, everyone he or she is connected to has the chance of seeing that post. More eyes on your posts means more potential engagement with your brand. Heck, they might even turn into customers.
There’s no built-in analytics tool similar to those Facebook has. There is, however, an analytics tool available if you’re using Twitter’s paid features, but most users aren’t investing in those. I suggest using twitonomy; it’s a free tool that gives you a nice snapshot of your account activity and offers additional paid services if you want more in-depth analytics.
Think of a retweet as a vote of confidence for your tweet – someone wants to promote what you said or what you shared! This enhances your reach on Twitter and can bring you more followers.
Think of favorites as the next best thing to retweets. They won’t populate in another user’s twitter stream but it means someone liked your post enough to engage with it. Take a look at what posts are favorited and by whom and use that information to tailor your tweets in a certain direction to increase engagement.
This metric shows you how many users are reaching out to you and directly calling you out in a tweet. Engage with as many mentions as possible to further the discussion if their tweets are sincere and not just a “thank you for following” type of tweet.
Getting your message out on LinkedIn and having actual eyes on your content is your goal here. The impressions metric will show you how many users saw your posts over time, for your posts collectively, and individually.
You should be sharing link-based content on LinkedIn and looking at the clicks metric to show you how many users clicked on the link that was included. As LinkedIn points out, though, this is only clicks and does not show other interactions users had with your post.
Here’s where you’ll see what kind of engagement you had with your postings on LinkedIn. Users that like, comment, or share your post will impact this metric. Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t distinguish between likes, comments, nor shares but just lumps them all together. Ideally, you’ll want to put out posts similar in nature to your “all-star” posts that generate the most interaction from your followers. Also, the more interactions (such as shares) you get, the more followers you’ll attract to your page.
Now you know which Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn metrics to focus on. All of this information can be used for personal as well as company accounts. You probably noticed that I didn’t list “likes,” “followers,” or “fans” anywhere on the page. Proper execution on each platform will result in an increase of all three – just don’t become fixated on how popular you are. Instead, take a focused look at how you’re doing in specific areas and what you should do to improve your efforts.