How do you know if what you're doing on social media is getting the results you want? The way to know for sure is to monitor your results using an analytics program. You can use the native metrics the social media platform offers, or choose an analytical tool.
Clarifying Your Goals
The first step is to clarify your goals in using social media. A few examples of social media goals include:
- To gain exposure to your brand.
- To drive traffic to your website.
- To sell directly or to nurture leads and sell through other channels.
- To build relationships with your audience.
Once you know what you hope to achieve, you can choose the right metrics to help you measure it. Metrics programs offer a great deal of data and you don't need all of it. Clarifying your specific goals and choosing metrics based on those goals helps you to trim down the data to what you need.
If your goal is to gain exposure to your brand, for example, traffic statistics are not so important. If your social media presence is sending traffic to your other sites, this is a good thing, but it's not central to your strategy.
Native Metrics vs. Tools
Most social media platforms offer their own analytics tools. Some platforms offer a wide array of metrics while others are very simple. Another option is to use an app or software program to provide data for you.
The advantage of native metrics is that they're designed especially for the platform and they're usually quite simple and easy to use. They don't have to be installed; as soon as you set up your page, the platform starts tracking your results.
On the other hand, outside tools may be more robust. Another advantage of outside tools is that some can be used for multiple social media platforms. If you're using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for example, you can use one program to provide data on all of your activity on these platforms.
Checking Your Analytics
Checking your metrics should be a regular part of your social media routine. Set aside some time each day or week to take a look at your analytics. Use this data to show you which efforts are leading to results and which aren't.