How to Get Started with Social Media Analytics

January 21, 2016

A simple guide for social media analytics newbies

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What’s This?

It can be a lot easier to succeed at business today thanks to the power of advanced analytics. In fact, analytics are the key to success in business. If you are not measuring your performance and comparing it to your tactics and business goals, you are probably going to end up with a failing business.  Luckily, the Internet makes it easier than ever before to measure results and modify on-the-fly without a major investment.

At the same time, if you’ve never delved into this, you may not know how to get started on analytics. You may not be quite sure of how to make heads or tails of the information that you are able to pull from the analytics tools you’ve set up in the first place.

Hopefully we are going to be able to give you a little bit of an edge and advantage in this department. Analytics are important for business success today – maybe the most important factor – and you’ll gain an almost immediate advantage the second that you start taking advantage of the tools and tracking options available out there.

You’re looking to figure out how to get started on analytics, we’ve got a quick guide that’s perfect for you!

Outline your goals in advance

Sample excel for measuring your social media performance

It’s going to be absolutely impossible for you to take advantage of anything that analytics has to offer without first outlining your specific goals, your specific target milestones, and the overall strategic push that you are interested in in the first place.

A lot of businesses really have a time succeeding today because they do not build goals into their day to day operations.

But unless you’re able to track and measure your progress you’re never going to know whether or not you’re doing the very best you can or absolutely flopping until it is too late.

With your goals outlined, you’ll be able to plug those details into a much every analytics tool out there when you figure out how to set up your analytics – and from there tracking becomes almost effortless.

Your goals need to be very specific. I want to make sales is not a goal. Your goals should look like this:

  • Increase sales 30% over last year
  • Increase TAT score by 15%
  • Increase Click thru to website by 5% from Facebook
  • Increase targeted Twitter followers by 900 per month

This means that you need to measure last year’s performance in order to accurately plan your social media strategy and analytics. Create spreadsheets and update them on a monthly basis.

Take advantage of advanced metrics and tracking

At first you may feel that you are a little bit overwhelmed by all of the different advanced metrics and tracking options available out there, but don’t worry – everyone else that gets started with analytics feels the exact same way!

The important thing to realize is that you now have a lot more control over your business than you ever would have had before. You’re going to be able to really analyze every single part of your business, and will be able to streamline and systemize things that could use a little bit of improvement and push resources into those areas that are already crushing it.

Resources you can use for advanced metrics:

Google Analytics: The link here is to Google Analytic’s own school. Once you’ve gone through their basic training and set up your analytics account, you will be able to get statistics and basic analytics that you can use towards improving your search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes. It is a freemium model, so until you become a whiz, you can use it for free and get a lot of benefits from it.

StatCounter: It is another freemium service that works of a code that you add to your website. It gathers anonymous information on your website visitors in almost real time. It is a great alternative to Google Analytics – and albeit not as robust, can be a great option for those looking to get started in their analytics journey.

Why do we start off with these two analytics methods that seem so SEO based? Because you will need to measure the traffic that your social media posts are driving to your website. Unless your only goal is brand awareness (it usually rarely is), you will want to measure just how much traffic social media is sending your way. You will also want to measure which networks work best for you so that you can concentrate your efforts there, so one of the two above should absolutely be a part of your analytics arsenal.

With advanced metrics you’ll be able to know:

  • Exactly what social network customers are coming from and where they are going
  • Whether or not your marketing and advertising campaigns are working and why they may or may not be
  • Exactly how much each prospect is worth to you and how much each customer spends over their customer lifetime

… And that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

With advanced metrics, you are going to get an almost unfair advantage over your competition – especially if you figure out how to get started on analytics before others in your market wise up to the power that these numbers have to offer.

Resources you can use for light metrics:

Bitly: Bitly is a URL shortener that gives some awesome analytics. Bitly lets you visualize the traffic to your link as well as that of others that are going to the same content. It gives you stats per hour, day, week or month such as  total clicks, total clicks on all bitly links to that same content, and the percentage of the total clicks that came from your bitly link. It also tells you what social networks are driving traffic to your link (this is my favorite stat from the service), and where your clicks are coming from. It’s very easy to understand. We’re big fans and have a bitly partnership so you can use your branded bitly on Socialdraft.

Klout: This site measures your social influence. It is easily gamed, so don’t use Klout as the be all of analytics. We recommend you use this as a quick tool to measure the health of your account. If your Klout drops, then you need to dig into deeper analytics to figure out what is going wrong.  Check out your Klout weekly just to make sure you’re on the right path.

Socialdraft: Use socialdraft to measure your follower growth, analyze your demographics (gender, age, and geo-location). Take look at your Facebook engagement, is it increasing or dropping? All of this is outlined in Socialdraft’s reports. They can be downloaded as PDF’s so you can send them to clients and collaborators. These are some of the many things that Socialdraft reports offer you:

Facebook Report Details

  • Total likes, new likes, dislikes
  • Page top views
  • Page impressions
  • Gender impressions
  • Page views per day
  • Post reach per day
  • Impression demographics: age and gender
  • Location: top countries and top cities

Facebook Report Details

  • Followers, listed, favorites
  • Daily Interactions
  • Audience demographics: age and gender

Adjust on-the-fly

It is absolutely mission critical for you to take advantage of the analytics information that you are pulling from every and any tool available as soon as possible, and the Internet makes that a lot easier than it ever was before.

You’ll be able to adjust your marketing, your advertising, and pretty much every other component of your business on-the-fly, looking for new ways to improve your systems and operations to build the most profit into the back end. For example, you may see that Facebook is driving 4% of your website traffic, while Pinterest is driving 15%. This means that you need to focus your marketing efforts on Pinterest, an do a deep dive into Facebook to see why your marketing efforts there are not working as well. It could be anything from demographics, messaging, etc…but you will never know unless you measure results.

Seriously, this is like having a crystal ball for your business and makes your operation a lot more predictable. If you’ve ever thought about selling your business or are looking to cash out later on, this kind of information is going to be invaluable.

Always look for new elements to test

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you are always looking for new elements to test, new combinations to try, and new approaches to “steal” from other industries.

Testing is the name of the game, and when you’re able to optimize your operation, you’re going to be able to leap forward far beyond your competitors without any real effort at all. This is all possible by figuring out how to set up your analytics ASAP!

PS – don’t forget to create awesome Social Media reports. Click here for our advanced reporting how to.

 

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