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Stats. love 'em, or loathe 'em?

Absolutely nothing? Or absolutely everything...?

Absolutely nothing? Or absolutely everything...?

Social media stats are great and crap in equal measure. All social media platforms do them differently, making it almost impossible to compare them like for like, but unfortunately, unless you have peak at your stats every now and then, you won’t know what your followers like/want. And if you don't give your followers what they want, they’re less likely to engage with your social media account, and share it with their friends. 

So... how do you make the most out of your stats, without spending hours pouring over numbers in spreadsheets?

Here's a handy guide... (and if you can't be bothered to read this, then you might want to pay someone to look at your stats for you. Scroll down to the bottom for a cheeky special offer on stats reports.)

Look for the human actions.

It doesn’t matter which social media platform you’re working with, what you're really interested in is what the humans are doing. Forget the algorithms, you’re looking for signs that humans have DONE something with your posts or your account i.e. they have liked, shared, messaged or commented. Don’t bother looking at ‘reach’. Reach can mean one of many things, and it varies from platform to platform.

Pick an action and stick to it. 

Which human action (i.e. likes, shares, comments etc) you focus on will depend on what you want your account to do… Do you want people to contact you? Do you want recommendations? Do you want shares? Do you want comments? It all depends on what your business does and what it’s hoping to achieve with its social media presence. Whatever metric you choose, pick one and stick with it - that way you can see change over time. Plus, it gives you something to aim for.

Don't just look at your successes.

You learn just as much from looking at your worst performing posts (if not more). If you really want to know how to improve it’s important to look at the best AND the worst posts. Make a list of the top three and the bottom three and compare them side by side. It might sound a bit old school, but printing them out can be really effective.

Get out your magnifying glass, and look at the details.

Pretend you're Sherlock Holmes and get deducing. Take a close look at the language you’ve used, the length of your sentences, the use of emojis, the people you’ve tagged, whether it’s a text/video/photo/link post, and see if you can spot any similarities between the best and/or worst of the bunch. Write down any trends you can see i.e.

Photos seem to to be more successful than links. GIFs don’t seem to work. Using humour seems to work, but only if I keep it short.

Once you’ve got some insights, use these to plan your next posts.

Make a list of things you're going to try next.

If you think that questions might work well, try different ways of asking questions. Vary the format a bit to see if that makes any difference. Mix things up a bit. After a while, check your stats again and keep tweaking. Before you know it, you're building a social media strategy based on data insights. GET YOU!

(If you're not sure about what to write next, try this no-frills content planner for ideas: http://straighttalkingsocialmedia.co.uk/blog/2018/3/13/easy-to-use-no-frills-content-planner)

Don't get sucked into a stats hole.

Stats can be addictive. What starts as a little bit of dabbling in engagement figures can lead to a full blown spreadsheet-fuelled habit. Know your limits! No one likes a data drunk, so set a timer for an hour (at most) and be very strict about stopping. Only check your stats once a week, and no data-ing and driving! 

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BTW... if you're still in a muddle about stats, try hiring a professional to do them for you. If you're interested, email us by clicking the link below, and quote special offer code IHATESTATS to get 50% OFF one stats report for one of your accounts.