I want to start this blog post with a disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of analytics. I’m the first to admit that I’m not a highly logical person and I much prefer to use my intuition over boring data that I pull from a website. But as a social media manager, I don’t get to be that lucky. My clients don’t just hire me for my intuition, they hire me for results. And without social media analytics, we have no idea what the results are!
So how important are social media analytics anyway? And how can you start to feel good about tracking them?
Well I’ve discovered a few soulful ways…
Quality over quantity, always!
I’m a big believer in the importance of qualitative data over quantitative data. What does that mean?
Quantitative data refers to anything that can be measured by quantity. With social media, this generally refers to the numbers like followers, growth, engagement and reach.
Qualitative data is measured by the quality of something (rather than it’s quantity). With social media, this could mean focusing on the quality of the comments rather than the amount of comments on a post.
I find qualitative data especially important when you haven’t met your quantitive goals.
For example, you might have wanted to reach 1,000 followers this month but missed your goal. Instead of feeling down about it, you can take a qualitative look at your social media. Did someone leave a lovely comment? Did you start a really meaningful connection with someone? Did you get some kind words from a mentor?
You might not have grown your social media in numbers but there are so many others ways you can create an impact!
Tap into the feeling
Before I send analytics reports to clients, I encourage them to tap into the way that they feel about their social media and the way that they’ve shown up in that time.
Analytics is only part of the pie and they don’t always tell the whole story. You might have used a strategy that felt really, really good - even though the statistics don’t say so. Are you going to change that strategy because of the analytics or are you going to tap into the feeling and use your intuition on this one? There is definitely room for both.
Focus on momentum
The more experience I get with social media, the more I realise how important momentum is.
As Greg McKeown explains in Essentialism: "Research has shown that of all forms of human motivation, the most effective one is progress. Why? Because a small, concrete win creates momentum and affirms our faith in future success."
Social media analytics are great because they allow us to see where we’re making progress and cheer us on to keep going!
Awareness before celebration
I’ve never been great at celebrating my wins and most weeks, I finish work berating myself for the things that I didn’t do. Then I had an epiphany: Awareness has to come before celebration. Basically, you can’t celebrate your wins if you don’t know what they are. It’s now a weekly habit for me to check in with my social media analytics, show gratitude for my tribe and show gratitude to myself too (I share more of this ritual in this blog post here).
Social media can often feel like a hamster wheel. Even with the help of my social media angels, I spend my whole week strategising, planning and scheduling my clients’ social media and just at the point when I’m done - I’ve got to do it all over again.
Even if you’re not managing multiple accounts like me, I’m positive that as a business owner, you have multiple balls up in the air too.
So I want you to take this moment right now to sit back and have a look at your social media. Look at your pictures, read the captions, marvel at the kind comments and soak in the analytics (without placing any judgement on it).
Because those numbers represent people. It represents people who care. They care about your content. They care about the images you share. They care about YOU!
All of this, every post that exists on your social media profiles, it wouldn’t exist without you. The inspiration, the information, the value and the offerings - it’s all you!
Look at what you’ve created, check in with your analytics and get off the hamster wheel to enjoy it for a moment!