When you have a big marketing budget, and run programs that generate a lot of activity and responses, it is easy to see how analytics and measurement can give you insights into how well you are doing, whether your efforts are justified, and a lot more. When it comes to social media for smaller businesses you are often left with your gut feeling about whether or not it is valuable to you and your customers. The reason is usually because you don’t have enough data to dive into, and your smaller more focused audience often does not justify the expensive analytics packages that are on the market.
No matter how small your audience is, there are still some basic core measurements you can follow to help you understand whether or not you are on track. Data to help supplement that gut feeling you have.
Activity: Are you posting enough, regularly enough? Before you make any decisions about how effective your communication is you need to get a real sense of how often and how consistently you are communicating. This goes both ways, do you have big stretches where you are going silent? Are your posts all clumped together because you had some free time to get on social media? Are you posting too much? or are you on track and achieving your goals? I know a business who has delegated social media to an employee who is only posting to one social media site irregularly. They are concluding that social media isn’t working for them, but really have no sense of how off target their efforts really are.
Reach: How many people could you reach on a good day? A measure of the number of people who are following you or have liked your pages is a good way to understand what the potential is, and how to set your expectations. Within this measure of reach it is important to understand who the people are, are they friends and family? are they people who in turn have large followings (influencers)? You can usually browse through your list of followers to get a sense of who they are, this in turn will give you a sense of how to talk to them. You should also keep an eye on the top level numbers to see if you are growing or shrinking you reach as this is an indication of whether people are finding value in what you are saying. It may be that you need to make an effort to reach more people, whether that means asking people to follow and like you at events, in emails, in a bricks and mortar location, or on your website. If you don’t ask people consistently, this number may never change!
Engagement: When you do post, are people engaging with you? do they like, comment, or re-tweet what you post? Ultimately this is how you magnify your reach. The more people engage with you, the more you are able to reach their followers. This is also a good way to measure whether or not you are posting at the right time, or whether or not people like your content or formatting. You might find that people like it when you post your opinion on your industry, or you might find that people really like to hear about you and your employees. Looking at which posts people engage with can help guide you when it comes to filling out your calendar and creating new content.
I think it can be very easy to over analyze your efforts, but I do believe that keeping an eye on these basic measurements is essential to understanding whether you are meeting your goals. The most recent version of FYItag not only includes a dashboard where you can easily see how you are doing across all of these measures, but also lets you download the raw data. We have also added a weekly summary which we will email out to accounts in good standing (paid accounts, or free accounts that show weekly login activity). This summary will also let you know what posts you have pending and more. If you already have an FYItag account, log in and check out the new features. If you don’t, signup at http://fyitag.com/try-free
David Schleifer, CEO