Social media has transformed the way we communicate with one another, and the way businesses market themselves. Not only that, but now anyone in the world can earn a living as influencer if they have a large enough, and engaged enough, following.

With all this in mind, it’s never been more important to properly understand how to accurately calculate social reach in your digital marketing campaigns.

Evaluating Social Media Reach

Let’s take a look at how you can get yourself up to speed in no time at all…

There’s More to Social Media Reach Than Counting Your Followers

Counting your followers is something that’s so simple that we all do it from time to time. While it’s true that if you have a tiny number of followers, you won’t make much of an impression online, the converse is not necessarily true.

Large followings look great on the face of it, but they can prove to be a misleading distraction if they’re your only performance indicator. A big following that doesn’t engage with anything you post is no better than a smaller one, and it’s actually a lot worse than a small highly engaged following. Clearly, if we’re going to properly figure out your true social reach, we have a little more work to do.

Reach: Account vs Post

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you want to look at specific posts or your account as a whole. Ultimately you want to do both, but for now, let’s focus on a specific post. Imagine that it has a cool hashtag sign-off, links the reader to your main website, and it’s part of a larger campaign that you’ve been running for a while now.

These three details we now know about your post are great as they will lay the foundations for your key performance indicators. Let’s take them one, by one so you can see the specifics of what we’re talking about.

Hashtags Are More Than Just Cool Add-Ons

Firstly, we have hashtags, and we’re about to see that they’re far more than a cool sign-off statement. Hashtags are actually designed to track which topics and events people are discussing on any given social platform.

The #MeToo movement is a great example as the hashtag is now global and has actually become the face of the campaign. If you want to know whether people are joining in conversations that you’ve started, or are about you, then hashtag tracking is a must. Focus on a window of a few days after your post and see if there was a spike in activity. If there was then it’s safe to say that your post chimed with a particular section of your intended target audience.

What’s Your Click-Through Rate?

Next, we have the click-through rate, and we need to be a little bit careful here. The click-through rate is defined as the percentage of people who use a link embedded in one of your posts. It won’t necessarily tell you how useful they found the content once they got it — that’s where Google Analytics and your bounce rate come into their own.

What it does tell you, however, is how many people liked what you had to say enough to take a closer look. It’s a measure of your ability to direct people’s attention away from the seemingly endless flow of content on social media and have them start a one-to-one dialogue with your content. Clearly if we want to quantify your social reach, this is a metric we need to be paying particular attention to.

Is Your Campaign Being Talked About?

Finally, we have the campaign itself; how’s it doing? If you want to see how your posts are performing across days and weeks, then it’s really important to make them coherent.

A well thought out campaign will allow you to track whether you’re gaining a foothold online as time progresses. Take the time to come up with a memorable hashtag and a suitable content calendar and you’ll be well on your way to building a dedicated and engaged following.

Professional Social Media Training Will Bring You Up to Speed

Social media is a multi-billion-dollar arena, which means if you want to get ahead of the crowd then you need to seek the advice of a social media professional from time to time. By signing up for a training course from some experts, you’ll be able to understand the key concepts we’ve discussed above in even greater detail.

You could even ask for input on how best to shape and manage your social media campaign so that you easily track its impact on your reach.

Hopefully, you’ve now got a much clearer understanding of what social reach actually is, and how you can start calculating it for your posts and profiles.

michael deane

Our guest author Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine.

When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.

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Staff Writer