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When was the last time you checked your Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics? If you use social media to bolster your business and marketing efforts, hopefully, your answer isn’t “never”! Without analytics and concrete numbers to compare, there’s no way to measure the results of your efforts. Checking your analytics regularly and keeping track of your numbers allows you to post strategically. Don’t just cross your fingers and hope you’re doing this whole social media thing right.

Analytic sites, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, throw a lot of information at you. However, if you can answer the following four questions, you’re well on your way to improving your social media strategy and increasing your numbers all around.

1. Who Am I Talking To?

One of the first questions a marketer will ask you is: “Who is your target audience?” Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide basic demographic information, such as the distribution of your audience’s gender, age and location.

Twitter Audiences

Take a look at your own audience and ask yourself if these numbers reflect your target market. If you’re a local business, the majority of your audience should live in your area. If this isn’t the case, it might be time to reevaluate your social strategy.

Bonus Tip: Get to know your audience on another level by noting their top interests under the “Audiences” tab in Twitter Analytics. Consider this list when it’s time to create content.

2. How Many People Did I Reach?

Reach is the number of people who saw your post on that network. So the larger the reach is, the better — especially when your objective is to increase brand awareness. People can’t like, comment or share your post if they never see it.

For this reason, you want to maximize your reach by posting extremely engaging content at optimal times. According to Facebook, posts that get more engagement show up more in News Feed and are seen by more people. In contrast, posts that are hidden, reported as spam or cause people to unlike your Page reach fewer people. Posting at optimal times can have a huge impact on your reach and overall engagement rate. Be sure to look into tools that can automatically do this for you.

Facebook Optimal Times

3. How Engaging Are My Posts?

An account with engaging content will keep your current audience happy and attract new followers. More importantly, it’ll make your business memorable. A common way to measure engagement is to take the number of engagements (i.e., “likes,” comments, shares, etc.) and divide it by the reach. We recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of your engagement rates, and hopefully you’ll see these numbers increase as you fine-tune your social strategy.

Twitter Engagement

When analyzing your engagement metrics, make note of posts that performed extremely well or poorly. You may want to ask yourself certain questions, such as: What caused the engagement rate on May 16th to be more than 4-percent higher than the average rate this month?

If you’re not seeing the results you need or want to improve your average engagement rate, take a look at posts that performed exceptionally well and add similar content to your schedule. See what else our ad specialist has to say about getting more “likes.”

4. How Much Traffic Did My Website Get?

If your goal is to direct people to your website so they can find more information about your company or as a way to generate leads, the traffic metrics that are available are likely important to you. Although you can view the number of link clicks directly on Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, we recommend that you get into the habit of using Bitly (a free link-management tool that allows you to track who’s clicking your links). It shows you how many people clicked your link as well as additional information.

Look: Even big brands like Nordstrom use Bitly!

Nordstrom Bitly

To view details for a specific Bitly link, just add “+” to the end of the URL in the address bar. For example:

Bitly TrafficBitly Clicks & Geo

If you can answer these questions after reviewing your social analytics, you have a pretty solid understanding of your audience and your performance on social media. Remember to monitor these numbers regularly because as your audience grows, so will the value of your metrics in regard to understanding the impact that your social media marketing is having on your business overall. However, don’t expect anything to change overnight. Improving your social strategy is a continuous effort and, as long as your growth is positive, you’re heading in the right direction.

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