How Can You Report on Metrics Without Expensive Software?
Metrics are a critical part of measuring the impact of communications campaigns, and there are many tools out there designed to do just that. Nonetheless, you don’t need expensive metrics tools to measure the performance of your social content. Most platforms come equipped with native analytics tools that can help you make the most strategic decisions for your clients or business. In this blog post, we will explore ways to gather insights from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Of the standard social platforms, Facebook offers the widest selection of metrics options. Analytics can be found by navigating to the “Insights” tab at the top of your business’ Facebook page.
This will bring you to Facebook’s analytics hub. From there, you can use their menu of offerings on the left-hand side to measure post performance and audience growth, explore your page’s audience, and more.
One of the most useful features for communications planning is the “When your fans are online” page, located under the “Posts” tab.
Just a quick glance at this section can help you determine the optimal times to post, saving you time on A/B testing this aspect of your content. For example, in the sample above, you can see that the best time to post would be 9:00pm.
Facebook also makes it easy for you to do a deeper dive into the data of relevant KPIs, including an export option that allows you to download metrics into Excel sheets for further data analysis: From there, it’s all about what you’re trying to measure!
Twitter also offers analytics, which can be accessed by using the navigation drop-down menu in the upper-right hand corner, and selecting “Analytics.” Alternatively, when logged into your account, typing analytics.twitter.com will also direct you to the Analytics hub. At first glance, Twitter Analytics offers a quick assessment of your page’s performance without delving too deep into the data, located under the "Home" portion of the platform.
The home page of Twitter's analytics hub offers a top line summary of key metrics over the previous 28 days. They also offer a percentage change over the previous period, which is a fantastic way of doing a quick assessment of trends on your page.
You can scroll down to see key metrics including total impressions, profile visits, mentions, and new followers, as well as top-performing posts by month. The “Tweets” tab provides you with granular metrics by post, including an interactive graph that shows you tweet performance by day,,
Like Facebook, you have the option to filter your analytics over a customized time period. The data can also be exported to an Excel sheet for further analysis. Twitter also automatically creates graphs of key metrics along the side of this page, allowing you to quickly and intuitively analyze overall performance.
Of all the platforms, Twitter offers the most comprehensive audience analytics, which can be found under their “Audiences” tab. The platform visually displays in-depth audience data, with the option to segment by “All Twitter Users,” “Your Followers,” and “Your Organic Audience."
“All Twitter users” is the widest of these options, offering you insights on Twitter membership as a whole. While this can be useful when trying to grow your audience, its sheer breadth makes it less helpful when reporting on metrics.
When analyzing brand audiences, we recommend using the “Your followers” and “Your organic audience” options. What’s the difference? “Your followers” shows information for everyone who has chosen to follow your page. “Your organic audience” displays an audience that is reached organically by your content, which does not necessarily imply they are following your account. Comparing these two segments can be especially helpful in working to increase post reach.
LinkedIn has by far the most minimal analytics section of all three platforms. To access this function, go to the your business page and select “Manage Page."
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, all of LinkedIn’s analytics options exist on a single page. First is the “Updates” section, offering you key metrics on each post. There is no option to select a specific date range for this section. Instead, you need to scroll all the way down to see past posts.
Below the updates section are graphs reflecting engagement and reach over time. This section can be modified by time period, but only offers set time frame options, with no option to select a specific date range. This can make it difficult to quickly measure the impact of specific campaigns.
Next up is the “followers” section. Again, this section is quite sparse, offering basic follower demographics and a “follower trends” graph with the same timeframe limitation as the reach and engagement graphs.
Finally, the “Visitors” section allows you to see when your page had the most visits, and the user demographics of those visitors. Most useful in this section is the ability to display visitor demographics according to different categories. This gives a clearer understanding of who your page is attracting, and can help you to determine which groups to target for future posts.
Most useful in this section is the ability to display visitor demographics according to different categories. This gives a clearer understanding of who your page is attracting, and can help you to determine which groups to target for future posts.
All three platforms provide some form of analytics reporting that can help you evaluate performance to make the best decisions for your clients or business. Before paying for additional tools, we recommend exploring the native functions to determine what you may already be able to access, and make strategic decisions about what other tools you may want to purchase. Happy reporting!
How Proof Strategies Can Help
Proof Strategies (formerly Environics Communications) is a full-service communications agency committed to insight-based problem-solving. We believe anyone can ask questions, but few ask the right ones. Better questions change how we approach your business challenges. As a brand steward to some of North America's most respected and well-known companies, our strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and digital solutions to engage audiences in new ways with measurable results.
Associate Account Executive
Tracey has a passion for storytelling, especially diverse and under-represented narratives. This passion has led her not only to join the Environics team, but also to become the artistic director of a theater company. She loves “bad” 90s teen movies and once read 14 novels on an 11 day vacation.