Social media is about 20 years old, give or take. It’s fair to say with over billion active users on Facebook alone, its uptake has been a J curve!
I think the major reason it’s captured our attention so wholly is because it appeals to two sides of us. One part of social media really facilitates our human connections, our love of gossip and sneaky voyeurism. The other side that captures our attention is the numbers. Every post, like, comment and share has numbers recorded against it; what happens online is trackable.
Before the internet and social media so heavily influenced marketing, there were very few metrics to prove if your marketing was effective. Companies would run focus groups and rely on speaking to people to see what they were interested in, which was a hazy response, because what people are interested in, and what they say they’re interested in, are two separate things. Now we have data that tells us another truth and if you’re running social media channels for your business, you have access to knowing what your target audience do and don’t respond to.
Recording your social media stats is a pretty boring, maths-y kind of job, but given that we have such easy access to the data and it can help steer our communications, it’s kind of bonkers not to use it.
At the end of every month, I jot down my social media stats. It’s nothing too taxing, just a quick trip around the channels to see what’s happening where, and I record all the stats in ole faithful, Excel.
I stick to a monthly stat collection because just like weighing your body, there can be a temptation to weigh your self-worth based on the numbers. But if I leave a couple of weeks between what I’m posting and then checking the stats, the personal investment I’ve made has faded and I’m just looking at pure numbers, not correlating a post’s popularity to my perceived personal popularity.
In case you’re keen or curious, at the end of each month start collecting your social media stats. It’s a little boring and it takes a bit of discipline, but 12 months on, you’ll have a rich social media story with a story to tell.