My friend Stephanie is graduating this spring with her PhD. Now, I can’t remember the exact name of the degree (hopefully she will comment and share) but I do know this… Stephanie is focused on teaching the teachers how to teach better. Her love as a student and a teacher is math. And her mission has always been to make sure that students have confidence in what they are learning and that they don’t hate math

As a child, this was not my experience. In my elementary school I was pretty immediately deemed a kid who wasn’t good at math, and therefore I immediately did not like math. It’s hard. There’s no arguing an answer. It’s black and white. IT’s HARD. When I got to college, in my junior year I received a postcard in the mail from the school administrators that I needed to take another math class or I wasn’t going to graduate. I found a computer class that qualified and that was that. 

But Stephanie and her love for the numbers, her passion for understanding what they mean, has been a true influence on me. Each month, I prepare a report to send to my clients to let them know how we did… did the content we published reach far? How was the engagement on each post? And compared to the number of followers in that community, how was the engagement rate? 

We work with the client’s web SEO manager to determine the traffic sent to the website based on the content we published. How else would we know if we are hitting the mark if not for the numbers? 

But here’s the key…. social reports can provide A LOT – a LOTTTTTTT – of analytics. It’s important to know what you are looking at and what really matters to your brand. And it’s my job to be sure our clients understand what those numbers mean. 

Recently we reported a 30% engagement rate for a piece of content. The client was nearly flabbergasted at this low number. But when I showed evidence that the standard average of engagement is 8%… well 30% is truly STELLAR. 

So my point is, make sure you are reading your numbers – not just looking at them, and determining what KPIs make the most sense for your brand. Once you know where you are you can start focusing on goal-setting and improvement. 

My best advice has two parts: 

  1. Stop comparing your numbers to someone else’s and 
  2. Stop obsessing about follower numbers. That’s not it. It’s just not. 

As for your monthly analytics…. if you are working with a social media management company and they aren’t presenting you with analytics and insights each month, give me a call. I have seen time and again in social media manager networking groups that some agency owners feel a client should pay extra for such knowledge. I disagree. We always include monthly analytics and some thoughts on what they mean so that clients know what they are getting. How can an agency prove their value without… well.. proving it? 

As I wrap up this piece, a small appreciation note to Stephanie. You’ve been to hell and back and I’m so proud of you for earning this degree. You are an inspiration to us all and anyone who knows your story is beaming with pride. Congratulations, friend. Now go teach everyone how to do it better. Here’s to you and your health! xo

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