How to Evaluate Buffer’s Engagement Analytics
As you know, social media is all about engaging with other people, and for business, that means engaging with your existing customers and potential customers. So you need to be able to determine how well you’re engaging with them. Buffer’s other analytics (Posts, Analysis, and Insights) are geared toward individual posts and activity trends — both of users and yourself. However, Buffer’s engagement analytics (called Activity, and strangely not called Engagement) focuses on averages over a specific period of time, such as average retweets per post. This helps you determine your overall success over time.
To view Buffer’s engagement analytics, log in to Buffer, view your dashboard, and click the Analytics tab. Then choose the Activity subtab. You see the engagement analytics for the particular social media channel you choose on the left.
You can customize the timeframe of your engagement data by clicking the drop-down menu next to the Export button. You can also export the data into a spreadsheet program by clicking Export.
At the top, you see an overall summary for the chosen timeframe, giving you a count of important metrics. Below that, you can view the averages per post of the different types of interactions people can have with your posts, such as retweets, likes, favorites, mentions, pins, and so on (see Figure 1). Remember that this is an overall picture of your efforts; you still have to dig into the data on specific posts to figure out what you’re going right and how to improve your efforts.
A great way to use engagement analytics is to compare two different promotional campaigns. Look at the averages for the campaigns and pay attention to what you did in the campaign with the higher rate of engagement. Did you use more images and links? Did you use different calls to action?
Another good use of engagement analytics is to compare the same campaign across different social media channels. You may find that what works on Twitter doesn’t work on Facebook.
The other bit of engagement data Buffer gives you is which types of posts are most successful — image, link, or text posts (see Figure 2). It probably won’t surprise you that image and link posts tend to outperform text-only posts; in fact, for promotional campaigns, you probably won’t even use text-only posts. That said, text-only posts are still important, because that’s likely how you’ll carry on actual conversations with your followers, friends, and connections, which is also an important part of social engagement.