Wouldn’t you want to know if you were doing something wrong on social media so that you could stop wasting your time and start creating compelling content that produces tangible results? Well, the best way to know if you’re doing something wrong is by tracking your social media efforts and organizing your results so that you can visualize where you’re seeing success and where you’re seeing poor results. When you can pick out ineffective patterns, you can start making changes and develop patterns that work—every time and all the time.
Below are 5 steps to take to track your social media efforts and organize them:
Step 1: Choose a starting date to begin tracking your efforts. (HINT: Start today, and don’t put it off any longer!)
Step 2: Create a social media editorial calendar.
Similar to a blog editorial calendar, a social media calendar will help you plan different posts on social networking sites, at various times throughout the day. When you have time and topic variables in place on paper, you can start to visualize patterns and develop an understanding for what’s working and what’s not working.
A great way to manage your social media efforts is by creating an editorial calendar for each week. This shouldn’t take too long and will help you during the week when you’re superbusy and don’t have time to sit down and think about what your next social media post will be about.
Click here to see an example of a social media editorial calendar.
Step 3: Follow your calendar.
If you don’t discipline yourself and stick to your social networking schedule, your results will not be accurate. Therefore, you will not be able to extract any patterns from your data.
Step 4: Create a tracking spreadsheet.
We love using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track and organize our social media efforts. With a spreadsheet, we can visualize statistics to see what days prove to be the most successful and what days have a decrease in activity.
Creating a social media spreadsheet is easy. Make a section for each of your social networking profiles on your spreadsheet, and create customized columns for each profile.
For example, if you are tracking Twitter, create a Twitter section on your spreadsheet and label the columns: Date, # of Retweets, # of Messages, # of Followers, and Additional Notes. Track all of your Twitter information in the appropriate column. The following week, mark your findings below last week’s findings. Do you see an increase in retweets? Or perhaps you see a decrease?
Continue the process for a month, and see which days yielded the most activity. You might start noticing interesting patterns. For example, you could find that whenever you post every Tuesday at 9:20 p.m., you receive the highest number of retweets from followers. This is an indication that you want to continue tweeting every Tuesday night at 9:20 p.m. Then, try tweeting every Wednesday night at 9:20 p.m. Perhaps you’ll notice that no one retweets your posts on Wednesday nights. Then, experiment with other times.
Step 5: Make changes to your next editorial calendar.
The main posting variables you want to keep an eye on include dates / times, topics, and phrasing of your posts. When you start noticing increases in your numbers, continue whatever you happen to be doing to get these numbers. When you start seeing your statistics decrease, switch up your variables to see where the issue lies. And don’t forget to always track your changes.
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