Social Snapshots serve as a baseline to help you establish a standing among peer institutions and measure any goals your institution has already agreed to. What?! Don't have one? Click here to order your own.
Keep in mind that this snapshot only provides information about one piece of the puzzle - Facebook. When you run an audit of your social media presence, you’ll want to take other tactics into account - Twitter or Pinterest, for example. You'll also want to take a look at your internal processes and procedures.
We've created a 7-Step Action Plan to grow and improve your social strategy through measuring performance.
- Analyze what you have
- Develop realistic goals
- Develop strategy based on audience
- Build audience
- Test/refine content
- Survey matriculants
In today's post we are going to focus on step one, analyze what you have. Looking at your Social Snapshot (order one here, they're free so no excuses) we will introduce you to the key metrics as well as the story they are telling. Additionally we will reference ways to fix or improve what you have based on our industry-wide study on Facebook. Download the full report in this previous post.
While each metric will tell you more about the performance of your page, the first three you want to hone in on are Fans, Engagement per Fan, and Active Fan %, boxed in red above. The chart below is a guide based on enrollment size.
Now, let's look more in-depth on what these metrics really tell us.
Ultimately this is a measure of Reach, how many people have the potential to interact with your Facebook communications. If you find you are falling short in this area make sure you are integrating Facebook communications with your entire campaign, on- and off-line. Changing your content and frequency of posting can also enhance your Reach, but you must look at other metrics to determine how this change should take place.
Engagement per Fan
One of the most discussed metrics in our industry, but the calculation varies somewhat depending on the source. Here we are looking at the number of comments, likes, comment likes, and wall posts divided by the Fan count of the page. Simply put this is the average number of times a Fan interacts with your page in a year. In order to improve this you must produce content your audience will react to. Look at what posts are getting the most responses and adjust your content strategy around them. Also asking questions or specifically asking for a response can increase a post's engagement.
Active Fan %
Personally I find this to be one of the most telling social metrics in our industry, however it is widely underused. This tells us how many of your Fans have interacted with your page over the past year. It varies slightly depending on your school's size, but most institutions should be getting about a third of their audience to interact with them. In order to make the best strategic changes, you must also look at the demographic makeup of your Facebook page as well as the overall character and personality of your school.
I often see institutions with a very high Engagement per Fan and a low Active Fan %. This means the page has a relatively small number of people interacting a lot. Usually this happens when the strategist finds a topic that gets a high response and stays inside that topic without expanding to topics other audience members would respond to. While it is important to maintain a high engagement, a social strategy must account for the entire audience they are reaching. Just as a diverse campus builds a strong institution a diverse Fan page creates a healthy and well-rounded experience.
Look for my next post to learn more! Also, please sign-up for our newsfeed in order to receive more information on Social Media and Higher Education Marketing.