If you blog or have a business, a social media presence is necessary to expand your reach, find your customers/readers and meet like-minded people (#CommunityOverCompetition). The problem is, there are so many different social platforms it can be hard to keep up with them all and stay active on them consistently. As someone working a 9-5 and hustling on the side, time is of the utmost importance, so putting effort into things that aren’t providing the intended results is something that you don’t want to do. I found myself in this situation. I was trying to be present on four different social platforms, but I was really just spreading myself too thin. As a result, my posts were sub-par and inconsistent. In November 2015, I decided to create a spreadsheet to keep track of my weekly social media and email list numbers so I can start spotting trends. Over the past two years I have gained so much insight! Now I will be sharing the findings with you and telling you 5 smart reasons to keep track of your own social media following.
After implementing a social tracking spreadsheet into my business, it provided so much insight. I kept track of my following on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and my email list for a little over two years. During this time, I started posting more consistently on Instagram and Twitter. I wasn't as active on Pinterest but I did have an automated task that saved my new blog posts to my blogging board. I also was a part of a few group boards and would pin there. After a few months I started noticing that my Instagram and email list were growing at a great pace, but Twitter and Pinterest were kind of just hanging out. At the end of 2017 when I viewed the graph for the entire year, I noticed a shocking difference in my following from Twitter compared to Instagram and my email list. Even being active on Twitter multiple times a day for months in a row, I still didn’t gain as steadily as I did on Instagram. What’s even more interesting is that I wasn’t as consistent on Instagram as I was on Twitter! This told me a few things:
- It doesn’t matter how much you post, it matters how good your content is and how well it’s received. One bangin’ post on Instagram spoke volumes more than 10 tweets in one day. This told me to focus more on packing a punch with my posts, and since you can post more characters on Instagram it was a no-brainer to put more energy there.
- People want to hear your own voice along with the scheduled posts. To be honest, Twitter for me was more to promote blog posts, free courses, products and awesome content from other bloggers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but a human needs to peek out sometimes. I wasn’t being human enough, and I didn’t feel much of a connection to Twitter to decide to be human there more often. As a result, I stopped the multiple automated posts throughout the day and now just post to twitter whenever I post to Instagram and when a new blog post publishes. This works better for me now until I decide how/if I want to tackle Twitter again at some point.
Okay, on to the tea! My spreadsheet for the second half of 2017 looked like this:
Every Monday I check each platform and record the following in the box provided for the week. I also make note of anything that may have contributed to a spike in followers. I added a formula that calculates the gain/loss for the week as well.
The second sheet in the spreadsheet translated all of the data into an easy to read line graph. This is where the real tea lies! Seeing numbers is one thing, but seeing them on a graph gives you a visual of what those numbers mean. You can see spikes and dips easily and you can easily see your top social platforms. It’s so interesting looking at the graph because it easily showed me where I need to keep focusing (my email list and Instagram) and where I need to rethink some strategies (Pinterest and Twitter).
A fun fact is that although my Pinterest following didn’t really have much movement, Pinterest is my #1 source of traffic to my blog. This is partially because of a promoted pin that is active on my account. The promoted pin is causing more views and engagement on Pinterest as a result. The graph below shows my Pinterest reach for the last 30 days.
So that is how I use my spreadsheet and how I spotted trends with my social media following. With that being said, here are five smart reasons why you should track your own social following:
1. It will ultimately save you time
You will focus more on the platforms that provide better results and stop wasting time where your audience isn’t finding you or engaging with you.
2. You will see trends by knowing what events/strategies yielded a spike in followers
Each row of my spreadsheet has a note section so that I can track a new strategy that I tried or something that I implemented and based on my following for the week I can see if it could have attributed to it. There’s nothing like seeing results from your new strategies.
3. You will discover where your audience hangs out the most
This is a great place to start for finding new readers and/or customers. If you find that you had more followers and engagement in your Facebook group, this is also a direct correlation with your audience. Put more focus in places where your audience hangs out the most.
4. It will cause you to be more strategic
Rather than just being on a social platform because it’s trendy, you will begin being on there with a purpose. You will be backed with facts from your own research, not having an account just because your favorite influencer has one, too.
5. You will know where to put ad money
If you are interested in running ads, this can work in your favor in two different ways:
- Growing a larger audience on your most successful social platform- if you find that Instagram is your number one source of blog traffic and has the largest increase in followers, you may want to increase the following even more by running an Instagram ad. You already know that your audience is there, so you want to go out and seek the people that haven’t discovered you yet but would love you.
- Growing a larger audience on your least successful platform- maybe you really want to have a better following on Twitter, but you can’t seem to reach your audience...like, the stats suck! By running a twitter ad, you can get your post onto more eyes thus creating more followers.
Now that you know the benefits of tracking your social numbers, you should start tracking them! I have created a done-for-you social media tracking spreadsheet and graph in which you can track your own stats and get a better grasp on your social following. It’s only $5 (the best $5 you will ever spend IMHO!). Purchase the spreadsheet here.
Do you keep track of your social following? If so, how do you use the information? Let me know in the comments!