You’ve put a lot of hard work into posting to your social media accounts. How do you know if it’s paying off? Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have tools you can use to do just that. And hey, Facebook Groups users, even YOU have an Insights tool! These Insights tools will give you easy access to our your posts’ reach, count your likes and give you a sense for how you are engaging with your followers. First, we’ll cover where to find each social media platform’s insights tools and then we’ll look at 3 key categories of data that can help you track your progress and prepare for future success.
How to Access Social Media Insights For Each Platform
As I mentioned, Facebook has Insights tools for both its Pages and Groups pages. The Pages version slices and dices your Facebook data into every kind of metric possible. The Groups Insights, on the other hand, is clean, simple and easy-to-use. Insights pages are only available to users who have been setup as administrators for the chapter’s Facebook page.
Pages administrators can find their Insights from the toolbar at the top of the page when using the PC version of Facebook or from the toolbar at the bottom of Pages Manager from your mobile device.
Groups administrators will find Insights in the PC version of Facebook from their left-hand navigation menu or if using the Facebook app, the Admin Tools (including Insights) is available from an icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Instagram Insights is available for Instagram business accounts (which is how you should setup your chapter’s Instagram). It will be available to anyone who is an administrator and has access to the Instagram account. Insights is available through the app by going to the chapter’s Instagram account page, clicking on the hamburger link in the upper right corner (3 horizontal lines) and selecting Insights from the menu.
Twitter houses its insights data in a separate tool it calls Twitter Analytics. This is available on the PC at analytics.twitter.com. User your Twitter ID and password to login to view your feed’s data.
What Insights Data Do You Care About?
Open each analytical tool and click around to familiarize yourself with the kind of data in each. There is some really interesting stuff in there. Facebook Groups and Instagram have simple, clear graphs that are easy to read. Twitter Analytics and Facebook Pages Insights give lots more data which I think gets a little overwhelming but it contains many of the same kinds of data just a deeper level of detail. So now that you know where these tools are, what kinds of data should you focus on to help tell the story of your chapter’s social media journey? I think these 3 categories are the most helpful and the easiest to use:
In the world of social media, engagement is all about relationship-building. You’ll build this relationship by posting useful, timely and informative content to your site or page. Over time your alumni (and other social media followers) will know who “you” are (meaning, who your alumni chapter) and what you represent and will engage with the content that you share. Engagement stats will tell you who is connecting with your content and the best days and times for you to post new content based on when those followers are most likely to be online. Use these indicators in Insights to gauge who is interacting with your content:
- Demographics – gender and age ranges of your followers. This can tell you who’s connecting with your posts so you can tailor your messages to those groups better.
- Locations – where those followers are located. This info can tell you the number of local followers you have so you can target your followers with local items of interest as well as just university content (which may not be local)
- What days and times your audience engages with your page – this data will tell you the best times to post new content or better yet when to schedule content to post. This info might be the most immediately useful to help plan your posts by telling you when your followers are most likely to see it.
Where is this data?
- Facebook Groups Insights – from the Group Insights page, click on the More Engagement Details in the Posts, Comments and Reactions block at the top of the page.
- Facebook Pages Insights – from Insights, the Overview page will include some summary information. Click on People in the left-hand navigation to see demographic and location information. Click on Posts to see what days and times your audience is interacting with your page.
- Instagram Insights – from the Insights page in the Instagram app, click on Audiences.
- Twitter Analytics – from the Twitter Analytics Home page, click on Audiences from the menu at the top. The Tweets page will also give you engagement data.
Reach is all about the number of people who have found your page to connect with your content. The easiest metric from this category is simply the number of followers you have on your social media platform. This category is probably the easiest to gather on the three social media platforms just look for your number of followers or the number of users who have liked your page. That’s usually right on the main page.
There are sub-categories of reach that can be useful to help you determine the success of any campaigns or ads that you may run for your chapter activities. The sub-categories of reach are:
- Organic reach – this type of reach is a measurement of the distinct users who have seen your content through their own feed. That is, they arrived there on their own and not through shared or sponsored content.
- Paid reach – Paid reach is the count of people who saw your content because you purchased an ad or promoted a post. The count of those users indicates how many people saw your content because they were in your target group.
- Viral reach – Viral reach means that people saw your content because one of their friends, who may have seen your post organically or through a paid post, commented on it or shared it with their friends. People who have seen your content through their friends may then choose to like your post or page or become a follower of your page.
Use your reach numbers to determine the success of your posts as well as what types of content are most popular with followers so that you can plan more of that type going forward.
Where is this data?
- Facebook Groups Insights – this information is not available; however, if you click on the More Engagement Details in the Posts, Comments and Reactions block at the top of the page, you will be able to see the number of interactions with your recent posts.
- Facebook Pages Insights – from Insights, click on Reach in the left-hand navigation bar.
- Instagram Insights – from the Insights page in the Instagram app, click on Activity and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Discovery section.
- Twitter Analytics – from the Twitter Analytics Home page, click on Tweets from the menu at the top. Click on the Tweets, Top Tweets, Tweets and Replies and Promoted to view impression data.
Growth is all about the number of social media followers added over time on your chosen platforms. These insights tell the story of your social media efforts by showing you how many followers you’ve gained. I like to report on this information each year at our annual fundraising dinner with something I call our “Alumni Chapter by the Numbers.” I publish this as an infographic prior to our dinner but I also talk about it at the dinner. It’s a great way to let them know how big our following is and it gives our leadership team an opportunity to tell some fun stories about how we were able to grow that number from the previous year.
Where is this data?
You can find growth information by looking at these insights indicators:
- Facebook Groups Insights – click on the Growth box to go to the Growth page.
- Facebook Pages Insights – click on the Followers link in the left-hand navigation to see growth stats.
- Instagram Insights – click on Audience to view the number of followers and the additional followers added for the week prior.
- Twitter Analytics – the Home page has a couple of key metrics for growth including Profile Visits and a count of Followers with an up/down indicator to let you know which direction your growth is headed.
Other social media platforms have similar insight and analytics tools that you can use. This information can be found there as well to help you plan for success on those platforms as well.