It’s all about how many followers you have, right? Not really. When it comes to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, followers aren’t the most important metric. Hospital and health system marketers should look deeper into their data if they want to truly measure their social media success.
Facebook Insights: www.facebook.com/insights
Metric to Track: Reach
Reach is the number of people that have seen a specific Facebook post. Facebook tracks the gender, age, country, and language of the people your post reaches. Reach is one of the best indicators of your Facebook strategy’s performance.
(An example of the Post Reach graph from the Facebook Insights dashboard)
In addition is overall content Reach, it’s a good idea to delve into and measure your Page’s “Fan Reach.” This is the number of people who have liked your Page (“fans”) and have also seen your posted content. To access this data, you will need to export the Post Level data from Facebook Insights and look at the “Lifetime Post reach by people who like your Page” in column T (click here for a visual walk-through). You can then compare the number of fans reached to the Page’s total number of fans to determine how many you have actually reached.
Reach, particularly Fan Reach, is a key indicator of the health of your Facebook Page, for two reasons. First, Facebook uses an algorithm based on engagement and other factors to decide which posts will appear people’s newsfeeds. This means that having a lot of fans doesn’t necessarily translate into a lot of eyes seeing your content. Second, Facebook’s recent updates have systematically reduced organic reach for all business Pages. Looking beyond the number of fans and assessing fan reach is the only way to tell how successfully your content is reaching your fan base.
YouTube Analytics: www.youtube.com/analytics
Metric to Track: Audience Retention
Audience retention shows the average length of time your viewers watch your videos. YouTube provides two types of retention metrics: absolute and relative.
(An example of the Audience Retention graph from the Analytics dashboard)
Audience retention data, or “watch time,” can be found in the YouTube Analytics report under “Views Reports.” You can analyze retention for specific videos or the entire channel.
The retention rate can give you insight into your videos in a way that the view count cannot. For example, a low retention rate can indicate that a video is too long, poorly paced, low quality, or simply not interesting enough to keep a viewer watching. To add some perspective, 30-40% retention is about average, while 60-70% is high. Monitoring this metric is important because it is one of the top ranking factors for YouTube/Google search results. If you’ve made a big investment in creating video content, the last thing you want is your viewers leaving before they can absorb your message.
Twitter Analytics: analytics.twitter.com
Metric to Track: Retweets
A retweet is a re-posting of someone else’s tweet. Twitter has an integrated retweet feature that helps people quickly share tweets with their followers. Other times people type “RT” at the beginning of a tweet to indicate that they are re-posting someone else’s content. Twitter recently released the new “retweet with comment” feature, which allows users to embed a tweet in a tweet and get around Twitter’s 140-character limit.
(An example of the Retweets graph from the Twitter Analytics dashboard)
Retweets appear in Twitter’s notification timeline, along with mentions, favorites, and new followers. To make this information easier to sort through, it can be exported from the Twitter Analytics page into an Excel spreadsheet.
Retweets are a very clear signal that your content is engaging and valuable. By tracking retweets, you not only gauge the effectiveness of your tweets, but also the formulation of a successful tweet. For example, you may notice increased retweets for tweets with pictures or tweets posted at a specific time. By tracking this metric you can tweak your Twitter strategy to strengthen your following and content. You’ll also be able to find, and engage with, the people that are sharing your content.
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