It is important to have goals when it comes to social media. Defining your message, adding value to your viewers lives, and creating engagement are key elements to success on any social network, but how do we measure this success? Is it by comments, shares, or likes? What about those who view your material but choose not to respond to it? In my opinion, defining success on social media is more in-depth than visible engagement.
For one of our social media assignments last week we were asked to post material using concepts associated with viral content. I chose to post links by using bit.ly. One link I posted on Google+ only received one +1 but received the most clicks/views out of any of my other posts. In my assignment I classified this as the most successful piece of material for the week; however, I would not have known this if I was not able to monitor engagement through bit.ly. Seeing these results showed me how beneficial analytics sites can be when determining success and planning my next social media post.
This revelation made me think more about the material I post. What is it that made this link very “clickable” but didn’t correlate into shares or likes? This is where listening, learning, and revising my strategy begins.
Listening to what people discuss in relation to material I post should be the heart of my content strategy. I love the Gatorade example provided in “Beyond Social Media Analytics.” When Gatorade listened to their consumers and found out coaches did not know the product hydrated better than water they changed their message to convey this. Instead of continually pushing a message across to my audience listening and understanding what they don’t know and addressing it could potentially lead to improved engagement.
Learning and identifying trends and understanding how my audience uses different social media outlets are aspects I plan on incorporating into my posting routine. I had never really thought about how important these concepts are until I was involved in a conversation with a coworker who asked me how I identify trends on social media. Wake up call: I haven’t really been identifying trends! I have been so consumed with posting material and creating interactions that I haven’t examined trends with the material I post. I’ve been thinking humorous content get’s my viewer’s attention, but my link about Google+ somehow received more clicks? It’s time to reevaluate my strategy.
In social media numbers don’t lie, they just need to be examined closely to get the truth. Identifying what your goals are and choosing the appropriate analytics site that helps you track social media goals will help you measure your success and improve your plan. This may seem overwhelming but it is necessary to be the best we can be on social media!
Have you been using analytics sites this semester to track your audience engagement? If so, what conclusions have you determined through the results?
How do you plan to use these services to improve your posts and gain success on social media?