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Analytics Social Media Marketing

What are Your Social Media Marketing Goals?

Before you ask yourself how to measure social media results you need to take a step back and examine what your social media goals are. Research shows that setting goals leads to better performance for both teams and individuals (van der Hoek, Groenveld, & Kulpers, 2018) (Latham, Seijts, & Slocum, 2016), and this principle definitely applies to social media marketing. And knowing what your goals are will help you determine what data to track and how to interpret it to improve your results over time.

You may want to look at your analytics results by week or month to get a big picture view of what is going on. When you see big changes in either direction you can go back to that period and look closer to find out what actions may have led to the change.

A common social media goal is to increase brand awareness. If this is your goal you will want to pay attention to the number of people who have shown interest in your social media accounts and the actual reach of your posts. You can find this information in the analytics tools provided by each social media platform or via a third-party tool.

  • Followers or Likes
  • Reach of posts

Are your followers just looking at your content and scrolling by? Or are they stopping to engage with you? Tracking engagement will give you an idea of how many people are interacting with your content and how often. When you see an individual post that has received a lot of attention you can determine what caused the engagement and replicate that strategy. You may also find that different types of posts have a warmer reception on different platforms, which can allow you to better target your content for your audience in the future.

  • Likes
  • Shares/RTs
  • Comments/Replies
  • Mentions

You might have tons of followers and huge reach, but are those viewers making it to your website? If your goal in using social media is to drive traffic to your website you will want to track how many visitors are coming to your website from your social media pages. Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool that allows you to look at how many of your website viewers came to your page from a social media site, how many of those are new versus repeat users, their average session duration, how many pages they are visiting and your bounce rate. And you can dig deeper to find date for each of your social media accounts. Look for trends and see what changes you can make to your social media posts not only to lead more people to go your site but to keep them there longer.

Are your social media fans signing up for your newsletter or otherwise providing you with their contact information? You can use Google Analytics again to set up conversion goals that show you exactly how many social media users are entering their lead information on your website or landing page. If you have a lot of social media followers visiting your website but they are not signing up or giving you a way to contact them you can try making changes to your social media posts to generate more engagement, or try making changes to your website/landing page to encourage more people to participate.

Similar to lead generation you can track whether your social media content is resulting in sales or donations. This may be easy if you are selling or collecting donations directly on a social media platform! But using Google Analytics again you can also set up conversion goals or use Ecommerce Tracking features to measure how much of the revenue from your website you can attribute to your social media activities.

If you are using social media for customer support you should measure how often customers are engaging with you, how efficiently you are responding to them and how effectively you are meeting their needs. You can track the number of questions you receive, your response time in getting back to them, and customer satisfaction. You may want to ask customers to rate their satisfaction after each interaction or ask for feedback on how to improve to track qualitative data.

In order to better understand trends in your social media data it is a best practice to track your own production. How many posts did you publish during the week or on that day? Are there any correlations between your posting frequency and the goals you are tracking that you can take advantage of? Are you seeing more website traffic from social media when you post more videos on Facebook, or seeing more engagement when you post more stories on Instagram? Is there something different about the way you worded the post that saw the most engagement that you can replicate?

Setting goals and tracking data will set you on a path towards a comprehensive social media strategy that works for you! It will save you from tracking numbers that do not tell you anything or from focusing on metrics that aren’t supporting your bottom line.

Latham, G., Seijts, G., & Slocum, J. (2016). The goal setting and goal orientation labyrinth: Effective ways for increasing employee performance. Organizational Dynamics, 45(4), 271-277. Retrieved from

van der Hoek, M., Groenveld, S., & Kulpers, B. (2018). Goal Setting in Teams: Goal Clarity and Team Performance in the Public Sector. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 38(4), 472-493. Retrieved from

Social Media Marketing

Five Social Media Myths Busted

While no longer new, social media continues to be misunderstood by many who seek to use it for their organizations. Whether your goal is to reach donors to support your mission, connect with people in need of the services you offer or sell your products to new customers here are a few misguided beliefs that could lead you astray:

1. Social Media is Free

I can set up free social media accounts and instantly reach thousands of people and build my brand – for free! As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Signing up for an account may be free, but “free” stops there.

There is a learning curve for each social media platform and creating a presence on any of them takes time. Whether that means your own time, a junior staffer’s time or a consultant’s time that time costs money. And no matter how you slice it, maintaining an active presence on any platform will continue to take time. The number one pitfall among new and experienced users alike is underestimating the amount of time coordinating social media will actually take and how much that time will actually cost.

2. If You Build It, They Will Come

There may have been a time when building a Facebook or Twitter page and regularly posting engaging content was enough to gain followers – but that time has passed. Building an amazing page will not do you any good if no one can see it. Social media platforms are for-profit corporations and they know exactly how valuable their services are, which is why they each come with their own marketing tools. When used correctly those tools exponentially increase your odds of having your material seen by the exact people you are targeting. A well-crafted post advertised to the right people will get you further than any click-bait gimmick, especially when you are first building your social media presence. And while not free, these tools can garner impressive results for very little cost.

3. More is More

Not every organization needs to be on every social media platform. Too often we are conditioned to look only at the big picture and we weigh decisions too heavily based on the larger scale. It sounds logical that the more social media platforms you are on the more people you can reach, and the more followers you have on every platform the more effective you are. Unfortunately focusing only on that big picture can lead to a massive waste of everyone’s time.

You need to start by defining who exactly you are trying to reach, what message you would like to deliver and with what medium. It is important to remember that your target audience is not the Internet at large. For example, if you are trying to sell a product to men over 65 you probably do not want to invest time in creating an Instagram account because only 31 percent of Instagram users identify as male and only 8 percent are 65 or older 1 . Similarly, if you do not intend to regularly create new video content you probably do not need to create a YouTube Channel. You can literally buy Twitter followers online 2 , but having more followers does not mean anything if they are not the people you are trying to build relationships with. The total number of followers and the reach of your content are important, but what is more important is understanding who those people are and how you can connect with them so that you can meet your communications goals.

4. Some content is better than no content

Some high-quality content may be better than no content at all, but no content at all is definitely better than bad content. “Bad” may be a subjective term, but a good guideline is to verify that your words are spelled correctly, your images are attractive and your message is reflective of your brand and meaningful to your viewers. It is better to take more time to make sure every aspect is polished than to rush out something sloppy to meet your own arbitrary deadline. You should plan ahead with a posting schedule that you can realistically meet and always value the content more than your schedule. This means you also have to recognize when your schedule and/or expectations are unreasonable and adapt accordingly.

Each social media platform is unique so how often to post varies. If you can only commit to one or two posts per week then do not bother with Twitter or Pinterest but instead focus on Facebook or Instagram. Use scheduling tools to post consistently, and monitor your analytics to post when your followers are most active.

5. Instant results!

You cannot expect instant results from social media. The hard truth is that whether you are doing it in person or online building relationships with people takes time. It is not realistic to expect to see the end result of more sales or donations in a week or a month. The more strategic you are in managing your social media accounts the more likely you are to see positive results, but you should still expect this to take time. Bottom line – social media is not a magic bullet for fundraising or sales, it is a medium to connect with people and build relationships. If online relationship building is not a priority you want to work towards then you may not need to include social media in your marketing plan.

If you are not able to invest the time and resources needed to regularly share quality content on social media then social media may not be for you, and that is okay! A better approach may be to produce a monthly electronic newsletter for your clients, to advertise on a specific website or to focus on print advertising in relevant publications. Social media is just one of many tools available to help you communicate with your clients. Whether you are already on social media, just getting started online or headed in a different direction JTE Communications would love to work with you to craft and implement a communications plan that meets your specific needs. Click here to get started with a free 30-minute consultation.


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