Tracking the impact of a social media campaign is really important, but it can get complicated. That’s when analytics and tools can help.
What You Will Learn
Knowing how effective your social media efforts are is invaluable to your business. In this post, we’ll cover how to:
- Collect data from the social networks
- Make use of social management and monitoring tools
- Track what social visitors are doing on your website.
In this post, we will assume your business already has a social media handle. If not, visit our post on How to set up a social media handle for your business and how to create a social media plan to get started.
For those that have an established social media handle for their business and are ready to get started let’s dive into details on different data, you can get from social media and how you can track your results.
Data you can get from social networks
Social networks are a great place to get data about your audience.
The first thing to keep in mind is that most social networks have their own unique set of features, and these features can teach you a lot about your audience. For example, you might be able to get reports about how many people you’re connected with and how that’s been trending over time, which of your posts are getting shared or interacted with the most, or even who your biggest fans might be.
By looking at the data and reports available on many social networks, you can learn a lot about who your connections are, how they behave, and how they consume or interact with the content you’re providing.
Social media management tools
But logging into every single network and looking at the data and reports in each one separately can be time-consuming and tricky. Remember that social media management tools are great for helping you schedule your posts and consolidate all of your logging into just one place. What you don’t know is that many of these tools can also track and provide data that can compare the different networks against each other, and give you all that reporting in one place.
But there are many different options out there, so it’s hard to know which one is right for you. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite choices:
Hootsuite – Great for scheduling your posts and consolidating all of your logging into just one place. It also has a feature that allows you to track multiple platforms at once, so you can see how each one compares against the others in terms of likes, comments, shares, etcetera. This is really helpful if you’re trying to figure out how to improve engagement on your posts!
HubSpot – Another great choice for social media management tools because it gives you an overview of all your accounts at once—in fact, it even shows trends over time so you can identify patterns in your audience’s behavior over time (e.g., they like long-form content but don’t comment much). This makes it easy to
Social media Monitoring Tools
Social media monitoring is like having a crystal ball that you can look into to see what your audience is thinking, saying, and doing.
Social media monitoring is a great way to get a holistic look at your market, both in terms of what’s happening on the platform and in terms of who’s talking about you. By monitoring this data, you’re doing research that is both quantitative (metrics and analytics) and qualitative (the inspiration for posts and strategies). You’ll get information that can help you determine things like:
- Social share of voice (i.e., what percentage of the conversation is about you, as opposed to being about your competitors)
- Social sentiment analysis (i.e., what’s the mood of the conversation)
- Social ROI (i.e., how much your dollar investment in social is paying off)
- Relevant hashtags and keywords (i.e., which hashtags or keywords you might want to use in the future marketing campaign to expand your reach)
- Trends (i.e., what is your audience talking about, what new ideas, aesthetics, or memes are popping up, are the platforms offering new tools and services, etc.)
There are lots of social media monitoring tools out there with a wide range of features and pricing, but basically, social monitoring tools like Hootsuite and HubSpot will scour all the social networks out there looking for mentions of you, your competitors, or even certain themes being talked about. These can help you identify new social networks you might want to participate in, and let you join conversations about your business or your industry.
Track what social visitors are doing on your website with Web Analytic tools.
Social media management and monitoring tools report typically only measure what’s happening on the social networks themselves. So, if you want to know what’s happening after someone decides to click on a link you shared or a piece of content you posted and ends up on your website?
For this, you’ll need a separate tool dedicated to tracking what’s happening on websites, like Google Analytics.
Web analytics tools will generally pick up the trail as soon as someone hits your website, and many of them will automatically track when visitors are coming from social media sites. That means that if you’re tracking what people are doing on your website, you can see how many visitors from Facebook or Twitter are not just arriving on your website, but also how they interact with your website e.g. submitting your contact form, buying items from your online store, or downloading your monthly PDF newsletter.
Lots of web analytics tools also let you track not just what network visitors are coming from, but even the specific posts or pieces of content that got them to visit your website.
With web analytic tools You’ll be able to look at different reports and see things like which kinds of content from which networks tend to get people to visit your website, engage further with your pages, and eventually convert to your business goals!
This post covers how to measure the success of your social media efforts. Using the data and tools available from the social networks themselves, social media management and monitoring tools, and web analytics to see what social visitors are doing on your website will help you understand exactly how and where your efforts are paying off. That way you can keep improving your social media strategy.