Optimizing Social Media with Analytics: BlogHer 2016 "Experts Among Us" Part 3

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The world of social analytics and metrics gets a little bigger each day. You probably already know that analytics are integral to the way we structure content marketing strategies. Analytics can also help us get to know our audience. Social media traffic provides a valuable opportunity to observe engagement through the advanced analysis tools modern technology offers. So how do you know which metrics hold the most weight? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here, we'll scratch the surface of some of the ways bloggers and affiliate marketers at the BlogHer conference put their analytics to work for optimizing social media for traffic and engagement.

What Do You Measure?

You might guess that when it comes to blogging, all visitors are equal. And while any visitor is good, obtaining repeat visitors should be your top priority. Having an idea of how many repeat visitors you attract can help determine whether your brand is growing. Another key metric to keep an eye on is bounce rates, or the number of visitors who leave your page after viewing just one page. Facebook's algorithm tracks bounce rates to discourage clickbait. Thus it's beneficial to research ways to improve your bounce rate, such as better demographic targeting, faster loading times and fewer annoyances (distracting ads, etc.).

Your Tribe's Characteristics

Super mom and Social Media Manager for BlogHer, Brandi Riley suggests getting in tune with your audience to discover what makes them engage with your content. Getting to know your audience might just be the most important metric to take advantage of. By getting to know them, you are discovering what kinds of content will perform well for you in the future. Factors such as scale, demographic, geographic location and device type can all help guide the content you create. For example, knowing that your audience is urban as opposed to rural will dictate what they relate to and what kinds of products they'd be interested in. Most social media channels have built-in analytics to get you started, but you may want to consider another outside tool to dig deeper. Some of these tools include Buffer, Quintly and Cyfe -- all of which offer free plans.

To Automate, or Not to Automate?

With such a wide range of variables in play, it's no surprise BlogHer speakers like Yolonda Spinks and Kimberly Clayton Blaine have experienced mixed results with automated scheduling tools such as SocialFlow. This tool for optimizing social media uses real-time data to positively impact conversions, reach and engagement. When you use SocialFlow and tools like it, your posts go live based on the predicted optimal timing for each section of your audience. Different content performs better at different times. As a rule of thumb, business-oriented content is best published in the day, and lighter, more fun content at night.

Social Media Best Practices

No two brands are alike, and the same goes for brand audiences. However, statistics have uncovered some overarching trends across social media platforms. So if you're feeling lost, here are some best practices to test out for each channel:

  • Facebook - images win, content performs best Wednesday through Friday.
  • Twitter - relevant and timely content wins, retweet content, test out Twitter cards.
  • LinkedIn - post mornings or evenings not during office hours.
  • Instagram - hashtags win, posts perform best between 3 and 5 p.m.
  • Pinterest - SEO for images, use highly descriptive text, create many boards.
  • Snapchat - silliness wins, keep closed to smaller group of followers.

Overall, we see that there are no hard rules for what works for everyone. But with the knowledge provided by analytics and the assistance of automation tools, you can carve out a social media strategy that brings your business to the next level. Optimizing social media isn't rocket science, it just takes a little elbow grease. We hope you've gained a bit of insight from this section of our BlogHer conference wrap-up. Stay tuned for the next piece, as we delve into how you can utilize hyperlocal marketing tactics to gain more exposure. As always, don’t forget to follow eBay Partner Network on social media for more tips and updates, or to leave us a comment or question. Find us on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook.