Every day more schools are getting social in their marketing, but not everyone is getting the best ROI out of their social media strategy. But you can stand out from the crowd by using social media analytics to become more efficient and thereby optimise your social media efforts.
Sharpen your social media edge by determining your key metrics upfront, scheduling regular metric analysis, using social media management tools, and posting on sites where your audience already congregates.
Determine your key metrics
Joe Pulizzi in his book Epic Content Marketing states there are three levels of indicators you need to watch in order to analyse your content marketing effectiveness:
1. Primary Indicators
2. Secondary Indicators
3. Key Performance Indicators
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Let’s dive in.
These numbers measure the activity of your audience. Page views, Facebook likes, and Twitter followers are all examples of primary indicators. These are the easiest metric to track because every social media platform can produce reports for you.
These numbers track the activity of your marketing team. Examples of activities secondary indicators track are:
- How many posts were written over a period of time,
- When were they published, and
- In what channels were they published.
Key Performance Indicators (a.k.a. “results”)
This the most important indicator you should be monitoring. It also takes the most diligence to track. KPI’s are the metrics directly connected with your organisational goals.
Example of a KPI would be:
- Goal: Increase enrolment
- KPI: 100 students signed up for our open day visit because of our campaign, 20 filled out an application, and 5 were eventually enrolled.
Spend time learning how to capture and analyse data for each level of metrics you’re tracking. It will be well worth the time and frustration when you can show your KPI’s to the president or VP of Enrolment or Advancement.
It’ll probably bring more money to your budget, too.
Schedule time to analyse your results
As you can imagine, it will take a reasonable investment of your time to produce the metrics listed above.
But if you want to get efficient with your social media, stand out from your competitors, and prove your efforts are working, you must schedule the time to analyse the data.
Technology makes it easy to make reports from primary indicators. You can track secondary indicators and KPI’s using spreadsheets. Unfortunately, technology cannot interpret the data for you or give suggestions on what to do next.
Understanding the data takes time. The best way we know to make time for critical thinking is to put it on the calendar and treat it like an appointment.
Use social media management tools to save you time in collecting your social media analytics.
These tools are designed to save you loads of time and give you more reporting capabilities than social media sites offer you. We personally recommend Buffer for social media management.
Buffer makes your social media posts more efficient by scheduling them to publish on each social media platform at the optimal publishing times for each social media platform. Buffer will distribute your content at times when social media users are more likely to see and share your content.
Post in places your audience is hanging out
Watch where you’re getting the most hits, shares, and comments. Focus more of your time and effort on platforms and communities with higher rates of activity. If the key to social media success is to fish where the fish are, then social media analytics are your fish-finder.
Best audience social media platforms for educational institutions:
- Current Students — Twitter — Instagram — YouTube — LinkedIn
- Parents — Facebook — Twitter — LinkedIn — Pinterest
- Influencers — Facebook — LinkedIn — Pinterest
- Alumni and Development — Facebook — Twitter — LinkedIn — Pinterest
Is social media marketing working for education marketers? Yes. Is it worth the investment? Absolutely. But only if you’re willing to implement an efficient social media strategy.