It is important to think of social media as part of the publication, and not something that is just done on the side. It should be given the same effort and care as other publications. Just like you track the sales of your yearbook, it is important to track your engagement and reach on social media.
Measuring success is more than a number of likes on a page or followers on an account, but engaging and building relationships with the followers you have. In order to start measuring your social media progress, you have to have something to work towards. Set some goals for the account. Define the purpose. Do you want to build relationships with your readers? Expand to a new audience? Have more conversations with readers? Once you have defined a goal for your publication’s social media account, you can start to measure and track your progress.
A Google spreadsheet is an easy and shareable way to keep track on social analytics information. Or you can create sheets to plan and evaluate your progress. Whichever way works best for your social team and staff, make sure to take time to evaluate your efforts, and change goals appropriately.
Social media is more than a number of followers or page likes. It is about engagement, reach, and audience. For example, if your insights show the highest point of engagement is between 5 and 7 p.m., then you plan your posts around those times. There are a lot of tools to help analyze social media impact. It is important to look at a variety of different tools for analytics and choose which will work best for your account.
Here is a list of free analytic tools available to get started. These are always changing however, so periodically it is smart to see what new tools are available for your use.
Facebook Insights Page – This is full of information. From the gender percentage breakdown of your fans, to how many people hid or blocked your posts. There is way too much to list here, but take a look around. You will be surprised how much you can learn from the built in Facebook Insights. This Social Media Examiner post goes into more detail on each section in Facebook Insights.
Twitter Analytics – Twitter did launch its own analytics; however, not all accounts have access to the analytics. It is worth checking. If the analytics are not available the first time you check, but they may be available in the future.
Tweetreach – Tweetreach is another Twitter analytics tool. Anyone with an account can use this tool to measure analytics. You can search usernames or just a hashtag, so if you want to see the impact of a hashtag campaign, this may be the tool to use.
Tweriod – This tool will analyze the days and time of day your tweets receive the most exposure.
Statigram – This tool will help show the evolution of your Instagram account. It will keep track of your most liked photos, and times when you get the most interaction. There is a lot of information available through this tool.