If you are using social media for your business (which you know you should be, right?) you need to have a system in place to gauge the success of your strategy.

Before we get into the bread and butter of social media metrics, I want to stress that your follower count is NOT the ultimate indicator of success. I understand the temptation of the tit-for-tat follow/unfollow game. In a past life, I may have fallen down that rabbit hole. But trust me when I tell you that it’s a waste of time. Rather than tracking who unfollows you and seeking revenge by unfollowing them, spend that time engaging.

Engage with the followers you have. Mosey on over to those accounts where you’re ideal followers are hanging out and engage with them there. Engage with other local businesses. Build relationships!

Those relationships will translate into engagement on your account and THAT is how you measure your success.

How much your followers are engaging with you and your content, NOT how many followers you have, is the true measure of social media success.

Now, back to establishing a consistent system for analyzing follower engagement.

 

Why do I need to?

 

If you don’t have a consistent system and equation in place to measure follower engagement, you won’t know if the time and energy you’re sinking social media is working. You won’t know if and how you need to tweak your strategy. You won’t know if your followers feel the content you’ve been working so hard to create is of value.

Basically, if you aren’t consistently calculating your social media metrics, you’ll be flying blind. Call me crazy, but that’s generally not a great idea.

 

How?

 

We have clients in fields ranging from butchery to art sales but one thing 99% of them have in common is their reaction to the word ‘analytics’. And boy, do I understand that. The first time someone mentioned analytics to me, I flashed back to a particularly brutal college statistics class. I assumed understanding site or social media analytics would be just as difficult.

Rest assured, the method I’m going to show you for calculating engagement requires no more than a pencil and the calculator on your phone.

Calculating Follower Engagement

I suggest creating a habit of calculating your engagement on the last day of each month. Set a reminder on your calendar and just do it. This has a few steps, so grab a pencil and a calculator.

First, gather the following in formation.

  • Total # of likes and comments in the past 30 days:
  • Total # of posts in the last 30 days:
  • Total # of followers:

Now for a little math.

  • Total likes and comments DIVIDED by total # of posts = Average likes and comments over the past 30 days
  • Average likes and comments DIVIDED by # of followers = Your engagement over the past 30 days
  • MULTIPLY your engagement by 100 to get a percentage = X%
  • Compare your engagement to the average engagement on Instagram, which is 1-2%. Remember, as your follower count increases, your engagement % typically decreases.

 

OK, so now what?

 

Once you’ve started calculating your engagement and have a feel for how one month compares to another, you can ask yourself a series of questions.

What did I do differently this month from last? How did my engagement rate react?

Which posts had the most engagement? Did I use certain hashtags on that post? If I talked about something similar in another post, did it do as well? Why?

Start with these questions and see where it takes you. Making these calculations and having this conversation with yourself is the first step in understanding if and why your social media strategy is working.

Now, take this information and start planning for next month!