Social media, much like paid advertising, media relations, promotions or events, are just another tool in the tool box of marketing tactics we as school communications professionals use to showcase our students, staff and district. When you think about it from this perspective, shouldn’t you have a plan in place to measure your social media efforts?
Having a plan for measuring social media can help you in a number of ways. It will build your case for investing online, prove the value of your time and effort and show you what content works and what doesn’t. More than anything, it helps you build your social intelligence in a way that will improve your strategic planning and determine who is influencing conversations in your community.
So what should you measure to build your social intelligence?
- Conversions (How many people are prompted to act upon seeing your content?)
- Demographics (Who is seeing and engaging with your content?)
- Reach (How many people come into contact with your content?)
- Influencers (Who are the key people most likely to share your content?)
- Sentiment (What are the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of your constituents online?)
- Engagement (How many people are interacting and sharing your content?)
And how do you measure these six things?
- Depending on which social media platforms you currently utilize, there are various ways to develop metrics. For instance, Facebook has their free, built-in analytic tool called Insights. This can help you measure which content is performing best so you can adjust your strategy. You can also see the best days of the week to post, best times to post and more.
- Want to measure how you are doing on Twitter? I suggest a tool like Topsy. You can use it for free, but the Pro version gives you so much more. They will let you try it for free for two weeks, too. With this you can track sentiment, influencers, how hashtags perform and more.
- For Instagram, try a tool called Statigram, which will track your likes, shares, engagement and more.
- If you are driving people to your website, track conversions via Google Analytics.
Figure out your goals for your social media on an annual basis or for various campaigns you are running, and track those goals. Your efforts can be intelligent and strategic, making better use of your time, budget and having a greater impact.