In helping manage GSA’s social media channels, I’ve learned that creativity and fun are great to have, but you need to back it up with cold, hard data. As GSA expands our use of social media to increase engagement and communication with the public, it is clear that we also need to start measuring our success. But what does success look like in social media? Is it the number of Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers? Number of retweets and shares? Yes, but it’s a lot more than that – it’s about looking at how you’re connecting with people and if you’re working in the right spaces for your audience.
I recently attended a Social Media Week presentation called “Make Better Social Media Decisions Through Analytics” where Dan Soschin talked about using metrics to drive your content plan. This is nothing revolutionary to those in the media world, but is what we at GSA need to focus on in the future.
Facebook Insights provides easy-to-use metrics right from your page that will help you determine what’s working with your audience. Here’s what you can learn with just a few clicks:
- How many people like your page? The most basic metric.
- How many friends do those people have? Combined with #1, this is the potential audience for anything you post.
- Total Reach: How many people actually had your content show up in their News Feed.
- How many posts did you put up on any given day. Compare this to how many people you reached to determine your “sweet spot” for how often you update your page.
You can also see the list of all your recent posts, and can sort them to discover:
- Which post reached the most people
- How many people clicked on your post
- How many actively engaged with it by either “liking,” commenting, or sharing, and
- Virality = (3/2)*100. The most “viral” post in GSA FB history? This one.
By looking at the type of post (Text post, photo, link, video, etc.) when you sort, you can see which ones get the most engagement. Photos tend to get more likes and shares, but simple text posts may get a higher reach.
What does all this mean? It means you can take this information and figure out the right mix of content to maximize the impact of what you’re doing. Stop taking a scattershot approach and start being more strategic in your efforts, the results will show in the end.