You know how important a social media presence is. But it’s not just about being out there, it’s about having a conversation. So, how’s your organization’s social media engagement? Do you know if  it’s working?

If you want to find out, basically, you have two choices, monitor it yourself, or find someone else to do it. Here are a few quick tips:

Do it yourself: Keep a spreadsheet

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, keep track of engagement with your own spreadsheet. You might be surprised what you can learn. Some things you’ll want to track include:

  • mentions
  • retweets/shares
  • comments/post likes
  • reach/engagement
  • number of likes/followers

You’ll also need to consider

  • Who’s doing the sharing; are the comments about you self-generated, or are others talking about you?
  • Are the comments about your organization positive, neutral or negative?

Take time to think about the pertinent information you want to know about your online engagement and set up your spreadsheet accordingly. It might benefit you to know how many of your members or customers are following and engaging vs non-customers, or maybe it helps you to know the context in which you’re mentioned but not specifically tagged. Be creative.

Review your spreadsheet weekly or monthly and be sure to analyze what’s working and what’s not. You can always add or delete columns; keep in mind, more information is better than not enough information. If you want to know and  you can measure it, throw it on.

Where to find your social media stats

To get the stats you want to record on your spreadsheet, you will need to dig in a bit. You cannot count on getting an email notification every time something happens on a social media channel. This may mean some manual digging on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media channels your association is currently using. These specific channels have their own “mention” areas or analytics to help you gather some of the data you need. You may need to do keyword searches to catch untagged references to your association.

Be sure to download the .csv files that are made available, such as when viewing the Facebook insights page as a page administrator (see above).

Don’t wait until you’re ready to pull a report to check your engagement. Keep an eye on it daily or weekly. Make a habit of checking at a specific time each day or week.

The stats you record won’t mean much on their own unless you are also keeping track of what you are doing on social media to get the mentions, likes, and shares. Cross reference your spreadsheet with your content calendar. Presumably you are posting to social media channels daily, so the more often you update your spreadsheet, the more data points you’ll have for comparing what worked and what didn’t.

Outsource it

Outsourcing your social media monitoring is a great way for you to quickly and effectively figure out the state of your organization online: what people are saying about you and where else conversations are happening. This options allows you to focus on what you do best and leave your social media strategy and monitoring to someone who specializes in it.

There are a lot of great platforms out there that will keep track of your social media engagement for you once. It takes you as much time as logging in to see what’s happening on all your channels from one dashboard. I like Sprout Social, they have an easy-to-use interface and make it simple to schedule all your social media posts and track results. If budget is an issue, there are also a lot of great free options out there for you.

If you are using an agency or consulting firm, be specific about what you want and why. An agency offers you the best of both worlds: numerical data and analytics for measurement and recommendations for how to more forward and continue your social media engagement based on your business needs and data.

Consider investing in a social media audit, checking how effective your social media channels are and if you are taking them in the right direction. Figure out what you need and work backwards to find the solution that’s right for your organization.

Bottom line: Engage. Measure. Repeat.

Monitoring engagement on social media channels will give you the insights you need to add value and generate even more member engagement. Implementing a great strategy and creating excellent content is a start, but if you’re not monitoring engagement, you are not taking full advantage of your social media channels.

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