In the world of digital marketing and online service providers, social media is one of the biggest types of services that you can offer. If you can write, design, run ads, or have other talents…odds are that you can probably offer social media services doing it. And social media analysis is a big part of running or managing an account effectively.
But although it’s fairly easy to figure out how to write a caption or design a cute graphic, how those things actually give you or your clients an ROI (return on investment) is sometimes hard to calculate.
The benefits of social media in general can be really difficult to quantify. Sure, there’s likes and follows that you can track, but there’s so much more that is involved than just that. Stuff like “brand exposure” “awareness” and “community-building” — things that matter, but yet are pretty impossible to actually track.
An important part of the social media management process is reviewing analytics. The stats that you can see when completing a social media analysis give you some insight into the performance of the account.
But how do you identify if what you’re doing is really working? How do you go about implementing changes that will actually make a difference?
The steps I cover in this post will help!
Run a Base Social Media Analysis to Gather Foundational Data
Before you do anything else, you’ll want to do a full social media analysis on the account as it currently exists.
(Assuming you’re working with an account that does already exist. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to start posting consistently for at least 1 month before gathering initial data.)
This step allows you to identify a baseline for how the account is performing as-is. And it gives you something to compare against once you either take over the account for a client, or start making changes.
If you know how the account typically performs, you’ll be able to better analyze how a change that was made affected it negatively or positively.
There are different tools out there that you can use to gather this initial data. For Pinterest, I use the native Pinterest stats as well as the Tailwind stats to gather analytics. For Facebook and Instagram, QMocha is the best social media analysis tool out there (and your first report is free!). Use code “mirandanahmias” when you sign up!
How to Analyze Your Social Media Data
Once you complete that first social media analysis as a baseline, you’re probably curious on how to actually analyze this data that you’ve been given.
In QMocha, they give you an overall “grade” on your account. This helps you get a sense of how well it’s performing in general.
And then you can go into your “Report Card” to view additional data. It will give you a sense of how the account is performing in a bunch of different areas.
Right away, you’ll be able to see the things you are doing well at. But also some things that could use some improvement.
You also get a letter grade in individual performance areas as well.
Identify Where + How You Should Make Changes
After you’ve gone through all of the data to see where the account stands currently, it’s time to make some decisions on where and how you are going to make changes.
This part is a little tricky, especially if you are new to social media analysis. But it’s all about trial and error, and gaining experience as a social media pro. It’s a skill that you can work on, and you will get better at it over time!
Step #1: What Not to Change
Review the data so that you know where not to make changes. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to not adjust anything that is doing well. As you want to keep those things doing well, while at the same time improving areas that aren’t doing as well.
For example, on my account, I’m doing good in the timing of my posts, the brightness of my posts, and it really likes when I post medium-length captions. So I wouldn’t change any of those things!
Step #2: What to Change
Next, you’ll want to choose only ONE thing to change. Pick an area where it’s clear to you what needs to be done in order to make an improvement.
One of the things I noticed that needed to be improved in my account was the “Health” category. It was flagging certain posts (which were more self help-y or inspirational) as performing a lot worse than others. It even gave me a few posts as examples! Like one where I talked about imposter syndrome, and another where I talked about having a positive attitude when you feel “stuck” in your business.
I guess people don’t like it when I post about that stuff! (But remember, QMocha does a totally custom report based on your account and your audience. Just because my account doesn’t do well when I talk about inspirational-type stuff doesn’t mean that yours won’t!).
This actually makes sense to me, because these things are not stuff that I talk about that much. I tend to be more well-known for my “how-to” educational-type material. People are probably a lot more interested in that type of stuff. And aren’t as interested when I veer off path and start posting about stuff outside of that vein.
For me, the one thing that I’m going to change is the theme of the content I’m sharing. I’m going to go through all of my upcoming scheduled posts and make sure that I don’t have any future content going out that’s in that “inspirational” category.
Reviewing Your Performance
Once you’ve made that one change, you’ll want to come back in 30 days and complete another social media analysis. In QMocha, you can simply hit the refresh button and it will re-analyze your account for you!
Assuming you analyzed your stats correctly and made the appropriate changes, you should see improved performance. You’ll want to check your QMocha Report Card to see if your letter grade went up.
And you will also want to check other stats that indicate a positive improvement in performance, such as your likes, follower growth, etc. It can be hard to figure out if any improved performance was 100% because of this change. But that’s specifically why we want to make ONE change at a time.
You’ll also want to calculate your average likes per post, average comments per post, and average follower growth (not follower count — the percentage increase of new followers per day/month). Those stats in particular (vs. vanity numbers like follower count) can help you better quantify if that change did improve performance (i.e. you did better than average that month) or if it did not result in any change in performance.
If you did not see a change in performance, this could be an indicator that you did not make as big of a change as was needed. Go back and see if you can make an even bigger change in this area. Then come back in another 30 days to re-analyze.
Compare Your Account to Your Competitors’ Accounts
This isn’t really part of a general monthly social media analysis, but another thing you’ll want to do as part of your social media management process in general is compare your accounts to your competitors’ accounts.
QMocha makes it super easy to do this because you can actually add in competitor accounts and it will let you review their data just like you can review your own!
This data can give you valuable insight into how your competitors are outperforming you on social media. And also what you are doing better than them!
This information can allow you to make even better informed decisions. Especially when figuring out what and how to change what you’re currently doing. And it can also help you set benchmarks or goals for the growth of your account.
Delivering Your Social Media Analysis
(You can skip this step if you were more curious about how to perform social media analysis for your own account.)
But if you’re managing a client’s social accounts, you’ll need to be able to present this data to them in a professional and easy-to-understand way.
You’ll also want to keep them in the loop on what insights you’ve gathered from this data. As well as how you’re going to use that to work on improving their performance.
I like to present this data and analysis in a PDF format to my clients once per month. I include an overview of the important stats, an explanation of my analysis, and what next steps I’ll be taking.