Are you confused by which social media metrics you need to check regularly?
A track and field star needs to measure how long it takes them to complete a track in order to be able to improve upon it. Otherwise, how do they know if they're getting any better?
Social media is the same way. We do our best and run the distance but then we need to take a step back and analyze what happened so we can plan for success.
When I measure my progress, there are five social media metrics I rely on most.
1. How Blogs Perform In The First Week
In most cases, the first week I publish a new blog is when it sees the most amount of traffic because I've sent it out to my email list (and I only do that once per article).
Some content gets more popular over time but I want to know which topics get my audience fired up as soon as they're published. When I compare the first week performance of different blogs I've published, I get a better sense of the content my audience likes the most.
Go into Google Analytics and choose "Site Content" under Behavior then select "All Pages". When I do this, I hope that the blog I recently published is the most popular one of the week. For example, I checked Thursday April 23 - April 29 and saw that How To Build a Social Media Following was the most popular article and also the most recent. Awesome.
Note: I'm using the pie chart view in the next two examples to give a better look at each of the top pages' share of my entire site's traffic.
But what about compared to the following week's blog? Which one did better? Let's check Thursday April 30 - May 6...
Sure enough, the blog posted from that week, 5 Steps To Sniffing Out a Fraud on LinkedIn,was the most popular page but if you compare to the previous week, it had just a few less pageviews. Nothing alarming, however it's enough to safely assume that How To Build a Social Media Following From Nothing was at least a catchier title.
But pageviews only tell part of the story when it comes to content...
3. Time Spent on Page
This is the true indicator of quality on your site. Pageviews will reveal your best titles that capture attention but how long someone spends on the page will tell you how they really feel about your content.
Using the same example as above, How To Build a Social Media Following From Nothing had an average time spent on page of 6 minutes and 17 seconds. Pretty damn good, if I say so myself.
When we compare that to 5 Steps To Sniffing Out a Fraud on LinkedIn, we can see who are winner is in both categories. Even though this article has an impressive 4 minutes and 30 second average time spent on page, the previous week's article beats that by almost 40%.
Does this mean I'm disappointed with 5 Steps To Sniffing Out a Fraud on LinkedIn? Not at all! This information simply gives me more insight into which topics are working better than others.
4. Most Popular Social Media Posts
Analyzing your most popular social media posts on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis can give you all the insight you need to find the content that relates to your audience.
I start with Buffer Analytics for Twitter because it's simple and gives me the important information I need at a quick glance: retweets, mentions and clicks. You can also see the total reach and favorites but I focus on the first three as they are all action-based.
I take a scroll through my most popular tweets when choosing new topics to write about on my blog but most of the time the most value you'll find is in checking out the least popular tweets.
Bad tweets fail for multiple reasons. It could be the copy, tone, picture (or lack of picture), character count or the topic itself. It's up to you to read between the lines and remain objective enough to create a plan to improve your next round of tweets.
The most important metric here, without a doubt, is clicks. Retweets and mentions are great but if you aren't getting traffic back to your website then you definitely aren't converting any leads into your sales funnel.
*If you don't use Buffer for scheduling Facebook posts, you can always use Facebook Insights to get the same data.
5. Tracking Social Shares
My favorite tool for keeping track of social shares on blogs is Quick Sprout's Website Analyzer. It's a free tool that will crawl your site and score it on a variety of factors including SEO, site load time plus a competitor analysis tool.
The area I use the most is the Social Media Analysis tab. This is where a report will generate that gives you an overview of the articles on your site with the most social shares.
It will also quickly show you which social networks are driving the most social shares in a graph.
Compare this data to your Google Analytics data to see if the social networks that provide the most social shares actually drive the most traffic too. I did this and the results were interesting.
My Top 5 Social Networks By Shares:
- Twitter (54%)
- LinkedIn (24%)
- Facebook (9%)
- Google+ (7%)
- Pinterest (6%)
My Top 5 Social Networks By Traffic:
- Twitter (54%)
- Facebook (20%)
- LinkedIn (13%)
- Pinterest (7%)
- Google+ (2%)
Some interesting points:
- I get more shares on LinkedIn but Facebook drives more traffic
- Twitter makes up for 54% of my social shares and also 54% of traffic referred by social networks (I was shocked)
- Pinterest gets less shares than Google+ but more than three times the traffic
Which Social Media Metrics Matter Most To You?
Now that you know a few of the key social media metrics I rely on to make decisions, I want to hear what's important to you when you analyze data for your business.
It can be social media or web-related so leave your answer in the comments below.
This post originally appeared on the Top Dog Social Media website