We’re living in an era where we can do almost everything online. Some people – take bloggers and social media influencers, for example – even have too much fun sharing bits and pieces of their lives on social media in hopes of entertaining or enlightening an audience.
It’s not far-fetched to say that brands and company pages have become a part of this circle of online content creators.
If your company is hoping to become a better content factory in the hopes of attracting a bigger audience, ask yourself this question: How can I make the best content for my audience?
Thankfully, there’s a “not-so-secret” feature that lets you learn about how well your posts are doing beyond the number of likes and shares.
This is called social media analytics.
Understanding social media analytics is essential because it helps you understand data. By learning how to analyze data, you will be able to get insights that’ll tell you how you can create engaging content—or simply how you can create content that works for your audience.
Steps to use social media analytics to create the best content
Set your goals
The first step to creating the best content is knowing what you want to achieve. The root of your content should ultimately come from the goals you set for yourself or your brand. Having your goals in mind can help you know what type of content to produce.
This process involves going deep into your purpose and your audience. Remember, posting online almost always a two-way street. You shouldn’t just be doing this for yourself. Other people would also have to benefit from your content.
Once you’ve set your overall marketing goals, assess it if you could narrow it down further until it’s specific enough. The more specific your goals are, the more you’ll know what type of content can meet your goals. At the very end, your goals should be SMART.
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic
- T: Time-sensitive
If you don’t know where to begin, it’s perfectly normal! You might get an idea by looking into the top goals of social media marketers:
Understand the strengths of each social media network
While it may sound fun to be present in every platform you can get your hands on, it might not help you reach the specific goals you’ve set. Choosing the platforms to be in should also be in line with your goals.
For example, if blogging is your chosen medium, you may want to build a true, self-hosted blog, the most flexible option that gives you the control you need to be able to create conversion campaigns in the future, for example.
Once you’ve started your business’s blog, you can then amplify it through select social media networks to get people to visit your website. Sharing snippets of your blog on a dedicated Facebook page or Twitter account can help drive people to your blog.
Starting with social media can work, too, depending on your goals and audience. What social media network do they visit most? What type of content do they like the best?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most popular social media sites, but each has its pros and cons. Make sure you look into each platform first before deciding where to post your content.
Get your analytics tool stack in place
Depending on what platform you’re in, you should build your social media analytics tool stack. Think of these tools as your very own Jarvis – your partners in this journey in creating the best content for your audience. With the right set of tools, they’d be able to tell you what you’re doing right and wrong.
Most social media networks have built-in analytics, such as Facebook Analytics. But if you want to go the extra mile and fill in the holes that most built-it software misses out on, you can stack other tools available online.
Generate a social media analytics report
Social media analytics may sound intimidating at first, but trust us when we say that it’s going to shed some light on your craft.
In the world of social media analytics, you may encounter different terms and metrics that you might have seen before but never bothered to understand. If it’s your first time, except that it takes more time to create a social media analytics report and a little more time to master and interpret.
Before creating your report, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some of the basic metrics, which differs per platform.
Next, select the metrics that best support your goals.
Once you’ve chosen what metrics to focus on, you can start crafting your report. We’ve selected a simple one; you could try to give you a glimpse of how your page is performing online. All you need to do is to input the numbers you see on the social media analytics tool you’ve chosen:
After filling up the table, it might seem like it’s just a jumble of numbers that don’t make sense. These numbers say a lot about your performance.
The next step is to set a baseline for performance for each metric on each channel. The purpose of establishing a baseline is for you to determine if you’re underperforming or exceeding your expectations: you’re underperforming if your numbers are under the baseline; otherwise, you’re doing well.
You can set a baseline by following these two steps:
- Get the baseline: Use a calculator to find the average performance for a specific metric for the past 90 days (example: total likes garnered for the past 90 days / total number of posts).
- Set the goal: Determine the metric’s numerical goal by choosing a reasonable range upward from the baseline.
Creating a report shouldn’t just be a one-time thing. It’s ideal to do this on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis to effectively monitor the health of your page.
Interpret the data you’ve collected
Of course, all the numbers won’t make much sense if you don’t know how to interpret it.
While the numbers make some aspects of the interpretation objective (example: high number of likes usually means the post is performing well), it still requires a bit of subjective analysis, especially in extracting insights from your data (example: what made Post A perform better than Post B?).
Grab a notebook and jot down your observations based on these guidelines:
- Check for spikes and valleys in your data.
- Identify what period or dates did these spikes and valleys occur.
- Determine what content caused these spikes and valleys.
- Isolate your best performing posts from the least.
Next, start analyzing what made these posts the best and what made others your weakest. You can revisit these posts and focus on certain areas that can help you identify why it performed that way.
Engagement Received (Likes, Shares, Comments)
- What type of “reactions” did this post garner? (Example: Facebook react)
- If this post was shared multiple times, what did the user say about it?
- What were the types of comments this post received?
- Why did I get such comments for this content?
- What is the length of this caption?
- Was the copy too vague or too straightforward for the audience?
- When was this post published?
- What kind of sentiment did the copy/caption aim to express?
- What type of image format is this? (Examples: single image, album, carousel, GIF, etc.)
- Was this image aligned to my branding?
- Was this image optimized for this platform?
- Was the image uploaded in high-resolution or not?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself when analyzing your data. Of course, if you can think of more queries that can perhaps deepen the understanding you have or your posts, then, by all means, do so. However, you need to always check if it aligns with the numbers from your table.
If you habitually do this for your platforms, you’ll have a deeper understanding of which factors influence your content’s performance. It also helps you understand what types of content your audience prefers seeing on your page.
Develop content based on the data
It’s now time to create content that will engage your audience.
This is usually the exciting part for all content creators, but now that you’ve analyzed data from your past work, this step becomes even more rewarding.
You more or less know the type of content that tickles your audience’s fancy based on the report you’ve made. Seems pretty easy, right?
Earlier, we mentioned that the digital world allows you to do almost everything online. With this amount of power, restrictions have to be made to create a sense of order for everyone traversing this world. Some restrictions are good, while some can also be quite limiting.
67% of internet users reside in countries where any indication of negative criticism towards the government, military, or ruling family is subject to censorship.
Having said this, it’s important to note that some social media content can be censored, so familiarize yourself with the restrictions so that you don’t end up with content that’ll just be put to waste (and even get you in trouble).
Try to avoid any topics that point to or might lead to censorship, so your content is seen by the widest possible audience in your market.
Monitor and evaluate the results
As you do your social media analytics report every month, quarter, and year, keep assessing the results and find ways to improve and refine your content. The digital world is fast-paced, so as content creators, you have to also be agile in enhancing your content online.
Keep track of your results in a document (or write them down if it’ll help you remember), and always, always backtrack to the goals you’ve set in the beginning.
Integrate Social Media Analytics Into Your Life
If your business’s goal is to create more meaningful, valuable content that resonates with an audience, then you should embed social media analytics as part of your content creation system.
While it may be a challenge to learn at first, the good news is, the more you get a more in-depth knowledge of it, the better you can interpret your data. Being an expert in analytics does take a while to master, but you can guarantee that it will be rewarding.
So use these tips listed above to make sure you’re on the road to creating more consistent, valuable content for your social media.