Understanding Your Blog and Social Media Analytics

Have you checked your analytics? How frequent are you checking and reporting back to yourself?

Wait.

Do you understand the data that you are seeing? That’s the most important question. Can you analyze and assess these learnings and apply them to the next month of content? That should be your goal.

Currently, I work in Social Media and you would not believe how important the data is. It helps us decide on our next steps with content and campaigns. We have an inside look at what worked beyond likes and comments. We can compare which post did better or what people responded to with a/b test. The analytics really hold a lot of answers for how well your brand is performing across the board.

With my blog, I go beyond a number of comments that a post may get. I love interaction and engagement is important but you want to know why people are engaging and why they are responding to that post and not another post.

That’s where your analytics come in. That’s where you look at the past month and review the post that you sent out in the previous month and months before that.

Now, you can your insights per channel and for your blog in different ways. There are many applications out there that will give us what we know, we just have to know where to look and what to look for.

This post contains affiliate links that I can earn commission from. Regardless, I only review products that I use and can give an honest opinion on. 

Let’s talk KPIs first. Key Performance Indicators will help us understand what we want to work towards and how we can apply those to the analytic platforms that we are looking at.

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What are your KPIs?

There are many indicators that can let you know what you should target and how you can frame your goals for your brand. You want to be smart about your KPIs and make sure that they are specific and attainable for your brand. You should put together the desired outcome and the timeframe that you want to achieve it in. And, you want to be able to measure that KPI.

Reach and Impressions tie in together but they are different. Impressions are the number of times that your content is shown compared to reach, which might be less than impressions because a person can see your content multiple times but it is only counted as one. Confusing, right? Just know that if someone sees your content multiple times, your impressions will increase but your reach will not. This KPI ties in with all objectives.

Do you want to focus on the awareness of your brand? This is where you dabble in the area of calculating video views, ad recall rate (which is where people can recall your ad after a few days), purchase intent. These measurements tie in with consideration, as well. You are allowing people to learn and consider your brand. They want to know more and that’s when they began their funnel down.

Next, you have conversion. This is a biggie. You want to convert people whether it’s with sales, opt-in, clicks per click, clicks per acquisition, click-through-rate, website clicks — there is a lot of clicking going on in conversion. This is important if you are partnered with an affiliate or run an e-commerce shop. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you want people to click on your brand promotion and to see what you have going on. Clicks are measurable and a great way to measure how appealing your content is.

Many brands are focusing on engagement (engagement rate) because they believe that when people are engaged, they are in tune with the content. This is not a bad KPI. You’re focusing on loyalty when it comes to this objective. Engagement is showing loyalty to the brand. You calculate reactions, shares, comments, likes, etc. depending on what platform you are on. You garner reviews from people that adore your brand. This is your loyalty objective.

Now, let’s focus on your tools + their insights.

Facebook Insights

With Facebook’s tool, you can get a glimpse into a number of people that you have reached, reactions, comments, clicks, and etc. You get the basis of your content and what is going on with it. You can see on what day you got new likes and what day you lost likes. You get really in-depth information once you start exploring your insights. You can see where people clicked and demographics. This is an easy way to figure out your audience and who you should continue to target and what city or country they live in and the language that they speak. For instance, my target is 18-24-year-old women. The majority of my audience is women and my audience lives in the United States. Women make up 95% of my followers on Facebook. This is all right there in my data. I can see what post worked out the best and what I might need to change when it comes to future posts.

And, you know what you can do with your Facebook Insights? You can figure out who you’re reaching the most and continue serving that content to your audience.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter is a great place to hashtag and over promote your brand. Analytics are pretty easy to understand and are broken down on a paid/organic basis. You can easily break down all tweet activity and see the impressions and total engagements. These are what Twitter gives you before you click ‘view all’ and then you have total engagements are broken down to link clicks, detail expands, profile clicks, likes, and retweets. It’s pretty basic when you’re looking at just one tweet and its activity. Luckily, Twitter provides Twitter analytics which will allow you to adjust dates and see engagement rate overall and per post. You can see your top tweet, top mention, top follower (the person with the most followers), and top media tweet at first glance. Then you have a summary of how many times you tweet, tweet impressions, new followers, mentions, and profile visits.

What can you do with these learnings? With engagement rate, you can see what people like the most and pulls a response out of people. Or you can focus on the top posts. Your data can give you all these facts and help you plan for the next month.

Google Analytics

Don’t get me wrong, I love Google Analytics but I love all the insights from the other platforms more because they’re just easier to get. But, I understand Google Analytics. What can I find out with this tool? Well, you can see where my traffic is coming from, your monthly views/visitors, and what my top content is. I can set goals within Google Analytics and have a reminder that keeps me on track. You can see the behavior and what your visitors are doing on your websites like time spent and the pages that are visited by exploring the Users Flow. SEO, it’s important and GA can help you out with. You can find out who your audience is and what their interests are — very important if you are a blogger. Actually, there is so much to Google Analytics and you really need to invest time in learning it.

I will say that Google Analytics is going to be your best friend, overall. Make sure you install the Google Analytics plug-in so you have a dashboard with the quick insights presented to you.

Instagram Insights

Instagram’s insights fall into line with Facebook’s analytics. You can’t really see the insights unless you have a personal account but you can make assumptions based on your follower count and engagements that occur on posts. With insights, you can look deeper into the impressions, reach, engagements, Instagram story data, and demographics. There is a positive to having a business account even if people say it messes up their engagement. Since Instagram is the little sibling of Facebook and owned by Facebook, their insights reflect what you see on Facebook. Engagement is definitely a big feature for those on Instagram — you want people to interact and get on board with your post.

Third-Party Applications

If you want to gather all your learnings in one area, you can look into a third-party application like Buffer, SimplyMeasured, and more. The great thing about third-party applications is that you can use it to host all your analytic pulls. Some tools even offer Share of Voice which most big brands use to see what people are talking about. There are a few restrictions when it comes to APIs and not being able to access the data to a point that you want. Platforms aren’t going to give up everything to help you out, there will be restrictions for some vendors.

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Understanding your game plan

Insights provide you with the backend of everything. They give you the access to dive deeper and see what worked with your audience. If you plan out a month in advance and can’t make changes, there is always the next month!

Just remember that these can serve as the backbone of your strategy and content.

  • Decide on your objective(s) and KPI(s).
  • Create a strategy with these objectives.
  • Plan and schedule content.
  • Take your data and analyze it — what worked and what didn’t work, what performed well versus what performed terribly, what time is the best time to send out content, etc.
  • Provide recommendations for future content.

Don’t just execute without planning your content. Take the data you are given, study it and bring some answers to the table. If you have monthly goals, use your data to see if you met those goals. Your insights are way more helpful than you think they are.

Need more information on how to start a blog? You can check that out, here. That is your first step before you dive into the analytics of it all.

What have you learned from assessing your monthly data pull? Do you implement changes right away or give it a month or two?

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13 Comments

  1. August 15, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Analytics is hard to understand and keep track of. Very helpful post.

  2. August 15, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Analytics are so hard! You should do an in depth post on Google Analytics, because I really feel like that one is the most complex but also has the most to offer bloggers in terms of understanding the performance of your blog. Thanks for explaining KPI!
    -Kristin

    • Brittnee
      Author
      August 23, 2017 / 9:10 am

      I plan on it! That’s the important one and I definitely want to break it down so possibly an ebook is in the future. Thanks for reading!

  3. August 15, 2017 / 5:30 pm

    Such a helpful article. I definitely have difficulty with understanding the analytics, guessing on some of them. This is going to be a great reference post for me to come back to!

    • Brittnee
      Author
      August 23, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Analytics can be so hard but once you get the basics, you can figure it all out on your own time.

  4. August 15, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I definitely needed it hahaha

  5. August 15, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    This was the post that I never knew I needed! Numbers have never really interested me until it came time to start looking deeper into the analytics of my blog/social media accounts and this post was a really in-depth and helpful tool for anyone starting out, or really even someone who just wants to understand their analytics more. Thanks for sharing, Brittnee!

  6. August 16, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    Great article and very helpful! Analytics can give you a lot of insight to your blog and post

  7. August 22, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Great post, I need to understand analytics better. Thanks.

  8. August 23, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    I totally, totally love this guide! I need to share it with my boyfriend as we’re learning to study our website analytics in order to continue our new website’s growth.

    I haven’t though about using Twitter’s analytics (aaah!!! so ashamed!) but I can TOTALLY see how it would be helpful. I’ve always wondered which tweets generate the most clicks, and of course at what time.

    Thanks for the inspo! <3

    • Brittnee
      Author
      August 30, 2017 / 10:56 am

      They’re so interesting! Yes, dive into Twitter because it’s so helpful to see what hashtags or blogging rt accounts work well with you. I love it!

  9. September 1, 2017 / 3:38 am

    Excellent article and a beautiful website!

    Hello Brittnee,

    I would like to introduce https://www.exporttweet.com/ – a twitter analytics tool. With the help of this tool you can track the tweets of any account, hashtag or keyword in real-time or historical.

    Being the co-founder of this tool, I invite you to please try and test it. I am very sure that you will find lots of useful metrics out of the analysis of this tool.

  10. January 6, 2018 / 12:38 am

    Keeping an eye on analytics is very important. It lets you understand how good your blog is going and what is bringing more traffic. Facebook and Instagram insights are also very helpful if you promote your blog links on the social media. Thanks for the information.

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