I’m going to be frank. This blog is for fun and to test my skills in using social media as a form of mass communication. Have I been advertising or promoting it at all? No. Therefore, I do not expect to find any success in terms of engagement or reach. Nevertheless, I wanted to talk about how to analyze a social media platform in terms of analytics. Here are some statistics on this blog provided by WordPress:
So, how am I doing? I honestly was surprised how many people look at this blog. I expected a view from my mom and maybe my college professor per blog…making it a total of 10 expected views. However my all-time reach is 73 views! There were even a handful of views from outside the United States, in Canada, the UK, and France. This month – November – I have had the best success with 12 unique visits* and 37 visits overall. I would say that is relatively successful for an Orlando-based college student talking about what she has learned in school.
The four types of social media monitoring metrics I focus the most on are:
- Reach: The size of your audience that you communicate with. This is essentially measuring who and where you “reaching.”
- Ex: My reach with all my posts on the blog is 73 views.
- Engagement: The total number of interactions on a post. Most social media platforms will have different ways to do this such as likes, shares, comments, or retweets.
- Ex: In the month of November, my blog has gotten 5 likes and 0 comments.
- Impressions: The number of people who saw your post in their social media feeds. This only applies to a blog if you promote it on social media platforms.
- *Visits/Unique Visits: The total number of visits or the number of unique visitors who have not visited your site before.
- Ex: On my blog, in the month of November I had 37 visits but only 12 were unique (from different people).
How can I use these metrics to improve the performance of my blog?
- Reach: With reach it is pretty straightforward. The more people that come to your site, whether it is intentionally searched for or just stumbled upon, the more exposure the blog gets.
- Engagement: Sometimes if your blog includes a call to action, it does not matter how many people saw the post, but rather how many people took the time to engage with it. In order to improve engagement, a blog post should have content that reaches out to the audience personally, creating an urgency to engage or respond in some way. For example, if you ask your readers to comment with their opinion on something you discuss, chances are they will feel more incline to comment.
- Impressions: Impressions help you measure how well you are marketing the blog on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. If your impressions are low, that means you need to brush up on your social media skills. A specific way to increase your impressions is to promote your blog on Twitter 3-5 times a day using relevant key words and hashtags. That way, many people will be sure to see your post and may be interested in going to your site.
- Visits/Unique Visits: This is important to measure how many of the people visiting your site are regular, engaged viewers, versus new prospective audience members. While it is important to retain your audience, it is also good to build your audience base.
At the beginning of this semester, I made a conscious effort to set social media goals for myself. They were as follows:
2. Become a Yelp Elite member.
3. Delete all irrelevant likes on Facebook.
5. Start using Klout and increase score by at least 10 points.
I would have to get creative to find ways my blog could help me achieve all my professional social media goals, however, it has and can continue to, aid me in some areas. For one thing, having this blog at all already helps me scratch number one off the list. After some research, I found out you have to be of drinking age (21 in the United States) to be a Yelper so I will try next year when I have finally become qualified. Number three is irrelevant to my blog, but I am making good progress in fulfilling this goal. Finally, having a good, well-followed blog is an impressive resume builder on Linkedin and should help me increase my score on Klout (something I admit I still have not started using).
Overall, social media metrics are a great way to see if you are succeeding in reaching the people you set out to reach. For more information on social media metrics, I recommend reading this wonderfully thorough guideline “Social Media Measurement: A Step-by-Step Approach” from the Institute for Public Relations.