WHOA NOW. Are you ready for part 2 of our Digging into Data Series? We hope you’re enjoying this data deep dive as much as we are. In this podcast, we are reviewing social media data! We’re covering what you should review, the tools you can use to make it easier, how to interpret those tricky social metrics, and how often you need to review it. Social media isn’t just for millennials, we should all understand if it’s working or not!Hosted By
WHOA NOW. Are you ready for part 2 of our Digging into Data Series? We hope you’re enjoying this data deep dive as much as we are. In this podcast, we are reviewing social media data! We’re covering what you should review, the tools you can use to make it easier, how to interpret those tricky social metrics, and how often you need to review it. Social media isn’t just for millennials, we should all understand if it’s working or not!
Hello, and thank you for joining me. I'm Monica Pitts. Welcome to Marketing with Purpose. Today we are doing the second part of our series on reviewing marketing data to make decisions and today we are going to talk about social media data. I am not going to sit on my pulpit and tell you all about how amazing it is to review all of your marketing data because I'm assuming that you know how amazing it is or else you would not have tuned in today to listen to this incredibly interesting podcast about data. I really love data because not just the Star Trek character either although I was nearly raised with him because my dad's a total Trekkie. But I love marketing data because I think that marketing is just a huge science experiment and I love to see how all of my efforts come through in the end. And digital marketing is very special because it is so incredibly trackable. I love looking at the data because I understand it, but I find that a lot of my clients are very overwhelmed with data. They get these reports from me, and they never look at them because they don't understand them. And then I started writing them emails about all the data that I found and they said, Monica, I don't understand any of it. So then I make them sit in meetings with me while I draw them pictures just like my Edward Jones agent does for me about my retirement. And then they start to feel a little bit more in control. And finally, I started making videos for them about their data and explaining it to them and that seemed to work pretty good too. So I'm going to do the same for you today. I'm going to try to break it down into the different types of data that you would review, the tools you use to review it, what all of it means, and how often you need to look at it. Our topic today is super intangible. So tangible in fact that I questioned whether I should even cover it in this medium, but I did learn all about AdWords from the PPC podcast. That is also very intangible and those dudes are like gods in my world, so I figured you know what if I can learn that kind of thing from a podcast, you can learn to review social media data from a podcast too. But if you need visuals, you can hop on over to the Mayecreate website and get those visuals as well as the show notes and a link to a very nicely formatted blog post over the topic at podcast.mayecreate.com. Now while you're there, you can also check out our downloadable resources. We have an ebook on intro to Facebook, so many other resources that you can download for free to help you along in your marketing journey.
So let's start at the top. What to review. Remember, you're reviewing marketing data pyramid style, just like we talked about in our last podcast on data to make marketing decisions from your website. The bottom of the pyramid is your plan, the activities you'll execute to implement the marketing plan. The narrow top is the end goal of your marketing campaign. And that goal defines your most important metric. So for example, if your goal is to increase sales, then sales revenue is your most important metric. So if you do nothing else, you're going to review the amount of money or hours you spent on your marketing versus the amount of sales revenue that you brought in. As you're reviewing your marketing data, you start reviewing at the bottom, and that's where social media comes in. It's an activity in your plan that brings people to the final goal. So without doing the activities in the plan, you're not going to reach your goal. You have to have the base of your pyramid which is the activities in your plan in order to reach the end goal, which is increased sales revenue. For social media, you're going to ask yourself did I do by social media, and how much did I do? Because how much you do and whether you did it or not, will make the data fluctuate within the rest of your marketing pyramid.
It all hinges on one another right and some of those internal metrics like sales revenue, it's hard to track whether social media directly results in sales revenue, unless you're selling something on your website. However, you can tell if your website is getting traffic or if people are submitting email forms. That came from social media. So if you didn't do your social media posts, then you probably will have less traffic from social media, which means that you would have less email forms submitted via social media and that would not get to the end result nearly as quickly. So that's the very first thing that you look at when you're reviewing your social media is did you do your posts and how many? Now here's a trick I learned the hard way. Before you even open the tool that you're going to use, and we'll talk about tools in a minute to look at your marketing data, you need to figure out what you're looking for. I call these things key metrics. The key metrics are your success indicators. And if you just go into, for example, the Facebook interface and Facebook is made to make you veg out and not think, and even when you get into the page insights and all the analytics back there, you still just get your like, whoo, there's so many things and I just click, click, click and you're just lost and it's just a time suck. You have to know what you're looking for. Know what problem you're trying to solve before you even open that software, or you're going to be on an amazing yet time consuming journey. The key metrics that I look at for my social media accounts are engagement, page likes or follows, the number of posts, which we just discussed, reach, impressions, and the social media traffic on the website. I will go into the types of metrics that you'll look at on the website deeper in a minute. Now, remember, I am an art director, I'm a business owner, and I am a CEO. So I look at big metrics. I may review what types of posts do well monthly, just like take a glance at it and understand that for a big picture, but I do not dig into every single post. I trust my social media people to do that for me and for my clients. And I'll talk a bit about where you can find that data today. But I'm more concerned that you as a business owner can make a decision about if your marketing is working or not with these reviews, not so much about what exactly you're going to post next. But that will also become in time. So those are the key metrics and the big picture indicators that I'm going to talk you through today. But we have to find that data first. And the way that we're going to find it is through a tool. Now, each of the social media platforms have their own analytics interface in them. Some of them are more robust. Some of them are very convoluted and others are very straightforward. I personally, try to stay out of those as much as possible, because they are so detailed. I like to stay out in a social media management software or in a dashboard scenario so that way I can get a big picture look at what's going on. And if I see something that maybe is extra great or extra not great. Then I go into that other interface and start clicking around and trying to diagnose what went well or what went wrong. But if I just start there to begin with, it takes me forever to get what I want. So the tools that I use with my team, we use loomly that publishes our social media posts and it also gives us big picture analytics. It does help me even diagnose how every single post performed. Another service like that that we've used in the past is Hootsuite. Both Hootsuite
and loomly have their own strengths and weaknesses. We use loomly as a team. That doesn't mean that it's the end all be all for social media planning and reporting. Hootsuite is super robust too, and there's so many other ones out there. If you're going to do more than one type of social media, it just makes sense to publish it using a tool like loomly or Hootsuite and then reporting using that same tool because then all of the reporting comes in that same interface and you don't have to continually flux between interfaces and it's a lot easier to get your information quickly. I also use a dashboarding software called Syfe, that allows me to connect with the social media platforms and report data in a dashboard. I really like it because it sends out a PDF to my clients and tells them what happened over the last month. And it allows me that nice big picture overview and tells me some of the things that loomly doesn't. Two other services that I use to further diagnose how social media accounts are doing are Google Analytics, which tells me how the website is acting, and then Google Data Studio, which allows me to super easily generate a nice dashboard report of the website data, and then sort it very quickly to just look at the social media traffic. You can sort to just look at social media traffic in analytics. If you know how, but it is just so much more user friendly in Google Data Studio, and I created a sample Google Data Studio report that I will link to in the show notes that you copy and integrate in your own Google Analytics and search console data with so that you can have an easy to use interface to look at your social media traffic and how it behaves on your website. Now, I have tried so many ways to make Google Data Studio talk to Facebook and Twitter and other non Google data sources. And you can pay for service to get them to connect. You can also export all your data out of your social media platform and put it into a Google Sheet and then make it display in your Google Data Studio. And I have to be honest with you, when I say started really digging in and looking at social media data, it was just really important that I could play with the data and really understand it. So if that's what you need to do, then do it. I started doing it. And then I was like, This is incredibly time intensive. And so I stopped. And instead, I just better familiarized myself with the individual platforms and their analytic systems. So those are the tools that I use to make my life easier as I review social media data, whatever tool or whatever method you use is perfectly awesome. Just make sure that it's something that makes you feel like you're in control of what's going on. And it's not taking you forever, because if it takes you forever, you're just not going to do it. Or I mean, if you're anything like me, you're just not going to do it. So just a few minutes ago, I listed off the metrics, the key indicators that you would review to make sure that your social media is working, I said, you're going to look at engagement, your page likes and follows, the number of posts you made, your reach and impressions, and the social media website traffic. Now, these might be the right metrics for you, it might be that you need to look at other things. What you need to ask yourself is, what problem am I trying to solve through doing my social media? And then how can you measure that? Let's say that you're doing social media to try to drive traffic over to your website in an effort to lower call center volume. So you would look at that and say, all right, dude, call center volume go down. I mean, that's a big picture metric, right? But that's another metric that you may also review as part of your social media review, if that's the problem that you're trying to solve. So go back to that goal and consider what problem you're trying to solve through doing your social media so that you can list that as another metric that you might be reviewing as you review your social media.
The first one that I listed was engagement. Engagement is listed first because it's really your most important metric. It tells you if your message speaks to your audience and it can also indicate if you're speaking to your audience too frequently, or not enough. Engagement rates are going to fluctuate based on your strategy and your creative. It's the most important metric because it tells the social media algorithm that your content is useful. When people engage with your content, their friends and followers are more likely to see it and that puts your brand in front of more people. That's considered viral reach. And think of it like word of mouth advertising. So ask yourself, what's your engagement percentage, you're going to shoot for 10 with a minimum of seven. The strongest form of engagement is a comment. So when people comment on your posts, that means more to Facebook than if they shared your post or liked it. But really, all of the interactions are super valuable. They could share or retweet your content. And this is great. It means this is awesome. Everyone should read it. Now they comment on it. It's like this is interesting. And I have something to say about it. I want to interact with you. And that interaction is what social media wants. That's why it's so important. The reactions are like saying, This is cool. Thanks for sharing. And then clicks are people checking you out. Now a click could be on anything. It could be on a link, it could be on a picture, it could be on the link to your Facebook page. So when you look at that clicks metric, don't think oh my gosh, look at all these people that got sent to my website because that's not what it means. It means that's the number of times that people clicked somewhere on your post or somewhere on your ad. The more that people engage with your content, the more likely it is to show up in their newsfeed. Every time that somebody interacts with your content, it strengthens your relationship with that person. That's why you see so many posts from your friends and the people that you interact with the most. They're up at the top of your feed because you've shown that those people are the ones that you care about the most and it's the same thing between companies or groups and people. The more that you have people interact with your content, the more likely they are to see it again, and the more likely their friends are to see it as well. Now, the other cool thing is that if you're on Facebook, you can convert post likes into page likes or follows because Facebook business pages allow you to ask people who've liked your posts to like your business page, and asking them only has like a 15 to 20% chance of success. So your mileage is definitely going to vary, however, I mean, how cool is it that you can go out and make an ask after somebody has interacted with your content. So in that way you can build your following. If you have good engagement, you will have more impressions, you will have more reach, and you will have a continually growing following on your Facebook page. It is the number one metric that matters. Now if for some reason your engagement rate just plummets. The first thing I want you to do is just take a deep breath because you're fine. What you probably did was you boosted a post or you ran an ad. On certain platforms like Facebook, they gave you your overview metrics of all of the stuff that you do on the platform. It's not just your organic traffic. There have been times where I look at a client and I say, I can't figure this out. You guys always have so many people interacting with you. And this month, nobody seems to care about you at all, but all your posts seem to be doing okay, what's going on? And it turns out that they ran a jobs ad. And so they were promoting an employment opportunity.
I didn't know about it and it took me a while to find
it. Because I wasn't aware of it, right. So if your engagement goes down, it's likely because you put money behind your content and a bunch of people who don't know you saw it, and those people are less likely to interact with your content than the people who you regularly post for. And there's nothing wrong with that. Unless the thing that you paid for, didn't do its job and nobody saw it or interacted with that. But ultimately, putting money behind your content on Facebook by running an ad, or by boosting a post will lower your engagement rate overall, and it's okay. Now the next thing that you're going to look at is your following. Page likes or follows, either one. Is your following growing continually? Now you're gonna have some attribution No. retribution. No. Nope. What's that word? I wish there was someone else here to help me with this. Okay, so it's not coming to me, people are going to unlike you, that's what I'm trying to say. And it's not bad. What you shouldn't have is more people unliking you than liking you. That's the goal here is continual progression. And if you have good engagement, you will continually get more likes, which is why my social media people tell me, I don't even know why you look at that. It's stupid because it's engagement that really matters. But I report on this because it is a very tangible metric that is an outcome of good performance. And my clients understand this metric and so do I. But if you see a bunch of people unliking your page, it can be an indicator that what you're posting doesn't resonate with your audience or maybe you're just posting way too frequently. I mean, I regularly see pages with two to four unlikes a month. And people do get a little alarmed. But, I mean, sometimes I even just leave it out of my reports, because it's so natural. And if the page is behaving in a healthy way, it's okay. You really just want people who want to see your content, you don't want the people that you're not actually building a relationship with anyway. We've taken over social media accounts who have thousands of followers like 6000 7000 followers, but every single time that we post, it's only seen, like 50 times and it's because they've got a bunch of people who liked the page but didn't actually like the page. It's just a bot. It's just it was just crap and it's way harder to revive that particular situation and get people to interact with your content because you already showed those social platforms that you suck, basically. It's easier to just start fresh than it is to have a whole bunch of people who are just ignoring you, and told that algorithm that all your stuff is terrible. So a healthy page should always have an uptick in likes, and it'll have a few unlikes. And don't freak out about it. Now, on Facebook, you have both likes, and followers. And the difference between those two is a like is like, hey, you're cool. And a follow is please tell me about you in my newsfeed, you want follows. So the next thing that I look at as a manager is, how many posts did we make. I have a contract with each one of my clients to make a certain number of posts every month and I want to make sure that we did it. And then what I look at is, what type of posts did the best. I want to see if it was a video or a picture or you know something that maybe my client posted themselves because those are indicators to me of things that we might consider doing more of in the future. There are some posts that will naturally get better engagement than others. Like Facebook, for example, considers every time that someone watches a video and engagement with your video. So video posts, I mean, they take far more energy to create, but they have a naturally high engagement property. So those tend to go great, but people don't comment on them as often. So each type of content that you might or might not post has its own little set of quirks with it. And as you keep watching your metrics, you will find them repeating. You're just looking for patterns as you're reviewing your marketing data. It's just a big pattern watch and when you see the patterns that are good, you keep making those patterns happen. And then when you see the patterns that are bad, you do not do them again.
Next up, you are going to look at reach and impressions. So impressions is really the easiest to understand of the two, it's the number of times your content was viewed. And then reach is the number of unique views. For example, if I make a post, and it's seen by 20 different people, that post has a reach of 20. If each of those people saw that post two times, then that post has 40 impressions. On a post level, those metrics can seem very straightforward. When you look at the overall reach, however, it's adding the reach of every single post together to give you your total reach metric. So if 20 people saw a post and the same 20 people saw another post, then your reach is 40. But you didn't actually reach 40 different people. Your content itself had 40 unique views. I'm sure that's just like completely clear to you, right? And the other confusing thing about reach is it's not just people, it's the number of people or unique devices who saw your content. So I could see your content on my desktop computer and I could also see your content on my phone and I would be counted as a reach of two, even though I'm the same person because the system doesn't understand that my phone and my computer are the same person. Now, viral reach is awesome. It means that they're outside of your normal following and they saw your content to old school marketers impressions is just, it makes a total ton of sense. So it's the number of times that your content was seen. This is it's like the number of sessions on your website or the number of times someone opens a magazine. Viral impressions are also great because they're people seeing your content that are not inside of your normal following. And that is generally a result of great engagement. So once you're done looking at all the metrics that you want to look at inside of the platform or the social media tool that you're using to review those analytics, then you're going to hop on over to your website because your website always gives you another layer of data for each digital marketing activity you do. So for example, if you do social media, you can review how many people actually got to your website, from your social posts, and then you can see what they did when they got there. What I do is I put a thing called UTM parameters on links in social media for any paid traffic. I like to see how paid visitors act on my website versus organic visitors because I want to make sure that the people that I'm paying for are behaving the way I want them to. What a UTM parameter does is actually let's take a step back. First, let's see how Google Analytics translates what's happening. So traffic comes into Google Analytics and it says
this traffic's from Facebook. And so it puts it in social, and then it puts it in Facebook. Now, with a UTM parameter, you can change Google's filing techniques, so to speak. So you can say this is social traffic, coming from Facebook, that's paid, and then you can sort between the two. Without it though, it all just comes in as social in one big lump. And then it's difficult to diagnose whether Facebook's ad reporting is actually working. Because I sometimes think it's a little high personally. And you can put UTM parameters in Facebook by clicking like the special tracking link when you're putting your ads together. But you can also just build them outside and add them into your links. There are two different tools you can use online that are free. One is from Google and the other is utm.io. Both of them basically just give you a form that you fill out. You can put as much or as little in here as you want, whatever it is, you want to make sure you're doing it consistently. For a while, we did an excessive amount of UTM parameters on things and they were not consistent. And so when I went to review the data, there was just stuff everywhere. And nothing was grouped the way that we intended it to when it was very confusing. But UTM parameters are while they're not super advanced, they're not basic level tracking. They just make your life easier to be able to make marketing decisions and that is why I included them here. Now, when you go out to your website, you're going to sort and look at social media traffic only. Take a look at sessions, you want to know how many visitors came to your website via social media. And you want to look at the percent new visitors, you want to know if you got new traffic from social media, or if those people were coming back to your website again. The time on the site is important because you want to know if they're actually sticking around and reading what you gave them. You might have an awesome post that people click on, but then when they go back to the site, they just don't spend any time there. Which means that the thing you offered them wasn't actually that cool. Look at the pages per visit, that's going to indicate how well those social visitors are moving around in your site. Look at the device that they came in on. A lot of them are going to be coming from mobile, and we want to make sure that mobile experience is great for them. Then look at the location, like where are these people located at? You can see a little bit of that in your social media analytics. But it's a lot easier to find in Google Analytics, because you can see what state they were in what city they were in. And then you know, hey, what's crazy is my social following is actually most interactive with me, in my hometown, or outside of my hometown. And that can let you know where your true following is. Check out the day of the week that they're coming over to your website, it should match up with the days that you post and if it doesn't, then something strange is going on there. Check out the conversions or the events that have happened due to your social media activities on your website. Those events are goals that you can set up and I went into them a little bit in my last podcast, but a really common event is filling out a contact form, which means that they go to a thank you page so you could look and see how many people filled out a contact form that came to your website via social media. Check out the most viewed pages like do they just go to the links you gave them? Or did they go to more pages on your site, and which are the pages that they're going to a lot of my websites are for construction companies. And so the people come in from social media, and they might check out that one page. But then the most hit page, actually, from social media is their careers section. So even if they came in through another medium, they're hitting the career section, which is what we want. And then take a look at how their behavior compares to organic search behavior in your area. A lot of the time that organic search behavior are other people that are in the buying cycle, considering your product. And if you're trying to reach people who are considering to buy your product via social media, then you want them to emulate the behavior that's coming as organic search traffic. Now, they're never going to be quite as good as organic search traffic because those people came to you because they are ready to buy right now. But they should be trending that way, they shouldn't be terrible. If our goal is sales, we want them to be close.
I know it seems like a lot of extra work to jump on over and look at your website on a regular basis to see the performance of your social media. And if it does feel like a just a ton of work, then go ahead and use a dashboarding software so that way you can combine these two things together. When I use Saif I actually have metrics from the website displayed with my social metrics on the dashboard so I can see the stuff that I need to see without ever having to go into Google Analytics and look for it. So now that we know what to review, we need to think about how often we want to review it. Make a commitment to your marketing and decide how often you'll review. I mean even put it on your calendar, make a date with yourself. Buy yourself a coffee, if that makes you do it. Not everything will need to be reviewed at the same frequency. I like to look at social media monthly. Now, that's because though, as I said earlier, I'm in the management position, I'm not in the day to day position. Now, if you're the person who's posting on social media, you're going to have to monitor it far more frequently than monthly. But you're not going to look at all of this stuff every single time that you get in there. There's different things that you'll look at if you're doing it every single day. But while you start on this journey of reviewing your marketing data, I understand that it's hard to know what's good and what's not. Every company is different and so it's not like you've got some benchmark that you can just go off of. There are industry benchmarks that you can take a look at, and try to compare yourself against those. For example, if you're a nonprofit, you'll probably have a far higher engagement rate than a for profit business. I definitely see this is true with the accounts that I review on a monthly basis. If it makes you feel better, then go out and find those benchmarks and start there. But ultimately, I would begin looking at it on a month over month and a year over year comparison, if you've been doing it that long. You could even do it on a semi annual comparison or look at it quarterly. You know that things are gonna fluctuate because your business could be seasonal or it might be that I mean, I know this, that there's definitely times of the year where people are more active on social media. For example, we noticed that people are more active on social media around the holidays, but then also in the winter because there's just less things for them to do. So you could expect that you may see an increase in engagement during those times of year. But unless you completely skipped marketing, and you just stopped everything all together, you should generally start see an improvement year over a year. Sometimes you won't see one month over a month, because you might just have a bad month, maybe you didn't get any posts made, or maybe you only made half that you made the month before. That happens. However, when you look at the year over year, you should see growth every year. I personally try not to do a ton of week over week review. I mean, unless you're engaged in a big marketing push, it's difficult to compare that week over week data, because it's such a limited amount of time and a limited amount of interaction that you had the opportunity to have. Also though, if you have an extremely active following of thousands of people, you may have to look at this data every single week to make sure that everything's going the way you want. Just with most of my clients who have a following of 3000 or less and don't sell things online, that type of continual review is not necessary at the depth that I just described. As I said before, if you're not doing a bunch of marketing, or you have a small following your weekly interactions on social media are going to be making sure that everything's okay that you reply to comments promptly and you go out and ask people to like your page who have liked your content. And that's what you would do on a daily or weekly basis. Not all the things that I just described in this podcast. You would do those things on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. So there you have it. I hope that you can take the things that I talked about today, and use them to make purposeful decisions using your social media marketing data. We covered what you're going to review, the tools that you can use to make it easier, how to interpret those metrics, what they might mean and how often you need to review it. Because we did talk about all of these intangible things, if you do need visuals, you can hop on over to the mayecreate and get the visuals as well as the show notes,
and a link to that nicely formatted blog post that covers this topic, just as in-depth, if not more so, at podcast.mayecreate.com. That's m a y e c r e a t e.com. And while you're there, you could hop on over to our downloadable resources and see if there's something else that sparks your interest. It might aid you in the rest of your marketing journey. Now, get out of here. I know you've got other things to do. Thank you so much for your time today. I really enjoyed geeking out over this data with you. Once again, this is Monica Pitts, go for it and mark it with purpose.
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