How to Set a Baseline for Your Social Media Optimization Strategy

By Ric Shreves, Michelle Krasniak

One housekeeping matter you need to attend to for your social media optimization strategy is recording a baseline against which to measure your progress. This process is simple. Open your favorite spreadsheet program, and follow these steps:

  1. Create five columns, and give them the following labels:

    • Channel

    • Start (and today’s date)

    • 30 Days

    • 60 Days

    • 90 Days

  2. In the first row, type Facebook in the first column.

  3. Enter the following information in the second row:

    • In the first column, type Likes.

    • In the second column, put the appropriate number of likes as of today (your starting date).

  4. Enter the following information in the third row:

    • Type Reach in the first column if you’re dealing with a Page for a business; type Followers if you’re dealing with a Personal Profile.

    • *In the second column, put the appropriate number as of today (your starting date).

  5. Enter the following information in the fourth row:

    • In the first column, type Shares.

    • In the second column, put the total number of shares received as of today (your starting date).

    If you’re managing a Facebook page, you can get accurate data easily from Facebook’s Insights, a free analytics service provided to all Pages. If you’re managing a Personal Profile, and you want to track engagement, you have to do the calculations manually.

  6. In the fifth row, type Twitter in the first column.

  7. Enter the following information in the sixth row:

    • In the first column, type Followers.

    • In the second column, put the number of followers as of today (your starting date).

  8. Enter the following information in the seventh row:

    • In the first column, type Engagements.

    • In the second column, put the number of engagements recorded as of today (your starting date).

    You can find data on your success in generating engagement on Twitter on your Twitter Analytics page. Key actions, such as retweets and replies, indicate success at engaging with your audience.

  9. Save the spreadsheet.

    Keep the spreadsheet safe; you’ll want to update it as you move forward and keep track of these key items.

    A sample tracking sheet.

    A sample tracking sheet.