Understanding your social media analytics as a small business

I think it’s safe to say, especially during a global pandemic, that social media has become one of the biggest and most important marketing platforms for businesses in recent years. It’s also one of the many services we provide at Enterprise Iowa. The platform has given businesses (big and small) a place to create and sell their brands while facilitating greater connections with their customers. 

The best thing about these social media platforms in marketing terms, is that they generate their own analytics. These days everybody and their dog (quite literally) has a social media account. So analytics become important when trying to work the algorithms and get your brand in front of your target audience. 

Corporations have entire departments dedicated toward analyzing and tracking social media analytics and algorithms, but this article will be focusing on more manageable and cost effective ways for small businesses to take that next step in their social media marketing.

Make a plan

Create goals for your social media marketing activity. They can be measured in traffic, community engagement, conversions, follower growth and anything else you feel is important to your business. Aim to make “SMART” goals:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Revelant

Timely

Having all of this figured out once you set up your analytics will make it easier to create content that will help you reach those goals.

 

Switch to a business account

In order to receive the full range of analytic data from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you need to make or switch to a business account. Once you have done this, you will be able to see all the account insights from impressions (how many times your posts were seen) to engagement (likes, comments, shares).

Understanding the metrics

As you start to use and familiarize yourself with your analytics data, there will be key performance indicators (KPI’s) or metrics that you’ll find are vital to your business. According to Hootsuite, here are some of the major metrics found on most analytics trackers based on the four social funnels:

Awareness: These metrics show your current and potential audience. There are different metrics you can track in awareness but here is the most relevant one to your small business.

  • Audience Growth Rate: pick a reporting period that works best for you and then follow this equation.

                    Net New Followers ÷ Total Audience  X  100 = Growth Rate Percentage

Engagement: Shows how audiences are engaging with your content (e.g likes, comments, shares)

Conversion: It demonstrates the effectiveness of your social engagement by tracking the number of visitors that take action on your account. A high conversion rate means your content is valuable and relevant. 

Consumer: this metric reflects how customers think and feel about your brand

  • Great Customer Testimonials (reviews, comments, endorsement, etc) will garner trust and credibility among your consumers, boosting brand awareness.

 

Use hashtags

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to stress this one. Hashtags are used as keyword indicators so your content is more likely to show up when someone searches it. Utilizing these in every post is going to give you an SEO advantage later. 

Hashtags can also be used as campaign material when trying to promote something for your business, helping to increase your conversion rate. It can also indicate how big of an audience is being reached and who it is reaching.

Look for trends in post performance

It’s important to keep track of how your posts perform because they are an indicator of what your audience is reacting and relating to the most. If you notice that videos tend to garner more attention, then maybe think about implementing more video content into your posts. 

Say, for example, a post received a significantly higher response via likes and comments than is normal for your platform. Examine the post to determine why that is. Is the content more personable? What time of day did you post it? Did it have relevance to current events? Was it relatable? It’s always good to ask these types of questions when looking to understand your insights.

 

Social Media Publishers

If you have more than one social platform for your small business and find yourself feeling overwhelmed having to keep track of all the different posts, a social media publisher may be helpful. 

These services let you schedule automatic posts for a later date on multiple platforms. That way you can have your content pre-scheduled and ready to be published before the intended date. They can also show you an organized calendar of all your scheduled posts to give you a view of what you have coming up or if you have too many posts in one day. Some even generate their own set of analytics too.

The most common services people use are:

It may seem overwhelming, but you can do it!

The world of social media analytics is vast and can be a bit overwhelming at times. But it’s important to note that not all these “best practices” out there are relevant for smaller businesses with little to no communications department. This article was aimed at giving relevant tips and information that would help boost smaller platforms and increase their marketing capabilities while relieving some of that confusion. 

As your business grows and your social media platforms require more analytical knowledge, reevaluate your social media plan from time to time. Your KPI’s might have changed or maybe you’re in the right place to hire a social media manager. Either way, social media has become a place where anyone can market what they do, no matter the resources available to them.