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An Introduction to Social Media Analytics

Most organisations use social media to reach their audiences, but how many of them are proactively studying the responses they get? There are many reasons why you should be using your social media analytics, so here are a few useful tips on how to get the most out of it:

Define your audience

Understanding who your audience is will allow you to think more strategically and create content that is relevant and engaging to them. Use the inbuilt analytics tools in your accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc) to learn more about the habits of your followers – what content provokes the biggest or most engaged reaction etc – and use that knowledge when planning new content.

Identify which platforms to focus on

Time and resources are finite, so looking at your analytics and understanding which platforms work best for you will save you time and give you focus. Perhaps your audience spends more time on Facebook than they do on Instagram and your follower numbers prove this – if so, there’s a clear advantage to prioritising the platform that works best for you and your audience. Similarly, if your tone of voice wins you legions of followers on Twitter but isn’t suited to Facebook posts, think about where best to place your resources.

Identify the best time to post

Using social media analytics will give you the confidence to predict exactly when to share your content for maximum impact, right down to the day and specific hour. Experiment with scheduling and posting content around the clock and use your findings to establish when your audience is most likely to receive your messages. Does your audience spike around lunchtime, or do they check in after work or at an event?

More tips for using analytics

If those tips weren’t enough to convince you that revamping your social media strategy can be easy and impactful, here are a few more quick ones:

Use your analytics to drive strategy

Your social media analytics will help you make decisions about your content strategy going forward. When you’re planning how to grow your channels, you can use the concrete data from your analytics to define your approach – it also puts any reporting into a digestible format when you’re reporting your findings to the wider organisation.

Use data to define your social media KPIs

It’s important to measure your social media activity with key performance indicators (KPIs) – analytics will turn this into a clear and identifiable goal. You can see at what rate you’re gaining followers, for example, and allow that information to dictate an end-of-year target.

Measure your audience’s response

One of the most gratifying areas of social media is watching a planned piece of content develop a life of its own as it’s shared around your eager audience and beyond. But for those tweets and posts that don’t quite hit the mark, what are you learning from them? Tweak your approach until the likes and shares begin to mount up again.

Use analytics to plan your social media campaigns

Your individual social media campaigns don’t have to be the same every time – use your analytics data to super-serve particular audiences when you know they’ll be looking, and in a way you know audiences will respond to.

What next?

Now that you’re familiar with what social media analytics are, you are ready to take a more in-depth look at which social media metrics you should be paying attention to.

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

Article reviewed on 16th March 2023.

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