So, you’ve got great graphics, interesting content and even some fun videos, but your posts aren’t performing as well as you expected. What gives, and where do you go from here?

Analytics can be scary for beginners. With so many numbers and terms, how do you know what’s important? Using analytics to drive better social media performance can take some time to get right, but when you do, it can make a huge difference!

The most important thing to remember is that, just like the rest of your marketing strategies, everything you do on social media should tie back to your company’s audiences and goals. Take some time to figure out just what it is that you want from your social media pages – is it brand recognition, sales or maybe to provide important information to customers? Then, you can use analytics to assess how close you are to meeting your goals.

Audience

Audience size does matter, and often it’s the first thing that people see when they click on your profile. While there is much more to social media than your follower count, having a sizeable and targeted audience is the easiest way to make sure your posts are reaching the right the people. Although it might seem easier to quickly build your audience through family, friends or other filler accounts, your goal should always be to shoot for quality and not just quantity. That means gaining followers that are likely to appreciate and engage with your content, and ultimately support your business both on and offline.

When investing in a high-quality audience, look for analytics that tell more of the story than just follower count. Who are your followers? Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics all allow you to view simple demographics for your followers. Check out your demographics tab to make sure your followers are in line with your company or event’s preferred audiences. If not, try running targeted ads, using growth tactics to target specific groups, or even switching up your content strategy to attract the right people.

Post Reach

When it comes to social media, “reach” refers to the number of people who viewed your post. It used to be a sure thing when you posted something that your followers would see it. Now, thanks to tricky algorithms, it isn’t quite that simple! Watch your reach to see how many people are paying attention to your content. On popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, reach typically works like a snowball effect. The more people that view, like and positively engage with your post, the more people your post will reach. More people reached can mean more followers and ultimately more customers!

Engagement

If you take a photo and nobody likes it, was it ever really posted?  Likes, reactions, comments, clicks, shares, ect… all count as engagement. High engagement is a sign that your audience feels connected with your content. It can be hard to predict which posts will get the most engagement or even “go viral,” but by looking at previous patterns of success, you can get a better idea of what your audience is interested in. Which kinds of posts are your followers most likely to engage with? What text did you use? What kind of content did you feature? See if you can link periods of high engagement and growth to specific posts or events. You can also calculate your engagement rate or percentage to get a better idea of which posts are doing best. Use this knowledge in the future to help build a more successful content strategy.