When we consider that 70% of small businesses operate purely online, and only 5% don’t use the internet (according to the government’s last small business survey), the idea of not using your social media effectively, or not using it at all, seems seriously counterintuitive.
Social media is more adaptable and track-able than ever before. In the latest digital news, Twitter has rolled out its own Analytics, allowing you to see in numbers the impact of your tweets, how many clicks your links are getting and who (if anyone) is looking at your timeline.
With more tools than ever available to help you see the impact of your online activity, it’s time to find out how you can step up your digital game.
Set an objective
Before you even think about getting into the analytics, you need to make sure that your social media has a direction. Without an overall goal, it will be very hard to work out what to do and just about impossible to measure success. Plan a meeting for all decision makers in your business in which you talk about your hopes and plans for your online presence, with the aim of leaving with a tangible goal and way to measure success.
Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Is your website needing more traffic directed its way? Do you specifically want more conversion with a sales-driven strategy?
Once a firm goal has been set, you can tailor your social media to support this goal/s and conduct regular checks to see if your results are falling where you want them to land.
Track your progress
It’s worth keeping a record somewhere of your social media progress, in relation to your website traffic or brand and business awareness. It’s tempting to check in on your metrics frequently but then forget about them, meaning you miss long-term trends. For example, if you run an e-retail site you would expect certain times of the year to be busier than others, and in the chaos it’s easy to forget how much social media can reflect and capitalise on these highs.
For example, this story studies towns with Universities where they have noted that the beginning of September, January and April mean a massive jump in profits thanks to students returning back from home (because while students may have a reputation of being thrifty, they still manage to be huge spenders).
Similarly, by tracking your social media engagement you may notice that certain times of the year, or even times during the day, are much more active than others and therefore worth putting more effort or attention into.
Analysing your efforts
There’s more than one way to analyse your business’ social media profile. Most social networking sites now have their own built-in analytics – see below for the most comprehensive guides on how to best use them:
How to get started with Twitter Analytics from Econsultancy
A beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights from KISSMetrics
An introduction to LinkedIn Analytics from TrackMaven
4 tools that measure Google+ page performance from SocialMediaExaminer
Pinterest introduces Analytics platform from Mashable
Instagram rolls out deeper analytics for advertisers from Mashable
You may find that some social media platforms work better for your business than others – for example a B2B business may excel with the professional positioning of LinkedIn, while an interior design company can be easily promoted thanks to the visual advantages of Instagram and Pinterest.
By conducting regular analysis of the content you’re putting out there, you can find out what works best for achieving your overall goal and ultimately minimise the time spent on social media, while maximising your return on investment. Now is the time to log on.