How can I tell if my social media is working?

You use social media for your business, but how do you know if you’re actually reaching your target market and turning their likes into sales?

Social media is an important part of your marketing. Just like any marketing, you need to be monitoring the results to see what is working and what isn’t. You need to perform routine checks on what kind of content is well liked by your audience, and make regular adjustments based on these insights.

Monitoring your social media activities means listening to what people are saying to you, about you, and in your area of interest. Measuring means counting, calculating and quantifying those activities into useful metrics that will help shape your future actions.

Depending on what social media you are using, there are many ways to track the results, and, fortunately, most of these tools are free.

Your web site

Don’t forget your own web site – this is usually the first place people will visit so you need to measure how it’s performing.

Google Analytics is a fantastic way to measure how much traffic is being referred to your website from the various social channels. All you need is a Google account. Google Analytics will tell you about:

  • Visitors. This shows many things about the people coming to your site, including where they’re located geographically, how often they visit your site and what computers and browsers they use to get there.
  • Traffic Sources. Here you’ll find how people got to your site. You can track which sites link to your page or keywords people search to find you.
  • Content. This tab gives you insight into specific pages on your site. It can help answer questions about how people enter and exit your pages, as well as which ones are most popular.
  • Goals. If you’re aiming for established objectives, reports in the Goals tab will be helpful to you. Here you’ll find data about desired actions from users, including downloads, registrations and purchases.

Facebook

With 95 per cent of social media-savvy Australians using Facebook, you should definitely have a Facebook Page for your fitness business. For Facebook Pages, use Page Insights to help you improve the way you market and reach the people who like your posts. Page Insights will show you:

  • How many people like your page and the number of new likes
  • How many people have seen your page and posts
  • How many people have clicked, liked, commented on or shared your page and posts.
  • What days and times your fans are online

It is the best way to see what gets results for your Page, and how you can build audience engagement.

If you are doing any Facebook advertising, use the adverts reporting tool to see how your ads perform, how many people you reach and how to fine-tune the ads to improve their performance.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like the business version of Facebook and is becoming more and more popular with fitness professionals. Right on your home page you can easily see how many people viewed your profile or posts.

You can also drill a bit deeper and find out:

  • How your post is performing and the demographics of your readers, including the industry, job title, location and traffic sources
  • How you rank for profile views.

If you upgrade to LinkedIn Premium, you can uncover even more details of who is checking you out. If you have a LinkedIn business page, there is an analytics section for Company Pages where you can view data about your updates, followers and visitors.

YouTube

Video is becoming more and more popular on social media. Using videos in your communications almost guarantees a higher view rate compared to text or images.

YouTube Analytics lets you monitor the performance of your channel and videos with up-to-date metrics and reports, including:

  • The number of subscribers
  • The number of views
  • Your ratings to see what resonates with your audience
  • Number of shares

How long viewers watched your video for.

Twitter

Twitter’s free monitoring tool, Twitter Analytics, gives a detailed report on your tweets’ engagement, clicks, retweets, favourites, replies, and more.

When you login you see the Twitter dashboard which contains three main areas:

  • Tweets. This shows the number of mentions, follows and unfollows over the preceding month. Underneath, it shows all of your Tweets and their corresponding number of faves, retweets and replies.
  • Followers. This displays information about your followers, breaking down their interests, location and gender. It also shows what other people your followers follow. All of this paints a clearer picture of your followers and yourself.
  • Twitter cards. This allows you to make your tweets more media-friendly by simply adding a few lines of HTML to your web pages.

Instagram

There are a number of metrics you need to be looking at to gauge how successful your Instagram activities are:

  • The number of likes
  • The number of comments
  • The number of followers
  • The level of engagement: divide the number of likes and comments by your follower count
  • Clicks: track clicks in Google Analytics or create a landing page for your Instagram clicks and track the conversions there.
  • Mentions: are people talking about you or your business on Instagram? Search for different Instagram hashtags to find out what people are saying about you online.
  • Photos: track which posts are performing best.

If this all seems a bit hard, there are tools you can use which can crunch the numbers for you:

  • Instagram Analyser. This free tool can provide an overview of the main engagement statistics. Instagram Analyser compares your profile against 2,500 other Instagram profiles and gives you a quick, simple and easy-to-understand summary of how your own profile performs.
  • Iconsquare. This provides key metrics of your Instagram account such as your total number of likes received, your most liked photos ever, your average number of likes and comments per photo, your follower growth charts and more.
  • Union Metrics. Provides information on hashtag analysis (including what your competitors are using), best times to post, most active followers and trends in engagement.

What if you manage a lot of social media channels?

If you manage more than one social media channel, then you may want to look at tools that manage all the mediums you use to make it easier for you to monitor everything under the one roof – the most common ones are:

  • Hootsuite. This helps you keep track of, and manage, your social network channels. It enables you to monitor what people are saying about your brand and helps you respond instantly. You can view streams from multiple networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and post updates or reply directly.
  • Simply Measured. Probably the most thorough social media monitoring tool available. It covers Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Vine and Pinterest.

What is the ultimate mark of success?

Let’s face it, you jumped onto social media in the first place to increase your brand awareness, generate leads and increase sales. Make sure all your social media activities are achieving one or more of these goals so your business succeeds not only online, but in the real world too.


Michelle Le Grand is the owner of Le Grand Marketing, and is also a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She specialises in developing marketing strategies and social media plans for fitness businesses to help them generate leads, increase memberships and build brand awareness. legrandmarketing.com.au