Whatever the term used, the number of people who have asked to receive your new updates is one of the most popular statistics. However, it does have limited information. For instance, are any of your 15,000 fans members of your target audience or are they from fake accounts?
The British Broadcasting Company conducted an experiment where they used Facebook Adverts to collect likes for a fake company they created. The first Facebook advertisement collected thousands of likes but many of them were found to be fake accounts. Their content was also shared very little with this influx of new fans.
On the second round of advertising they concentrated on a very niche target audience. They received very few likes in comparison but the engagement rate was much higher.
Your business should concentrate on the net effect of organic followers. A strong increase shows your content is highly valuable and likely to be shared in the future.
Whether it is commenting on a Facebook post or a reply to a tweet you have made on Twitter – the number of times people actively engage you is important. It demonstrates your target audience feel comfortable with approaching you and want to actively engage.
It also allows you to be featured on numerous social media threads and can lead to some excellent PR opportunities, so always ensure you are responding to comments, questions and conversation starters to make the most of your opportunities.
Noticing where these commentators are coming from allows you to discover what parts of the world are reading your content. If you are finding those in another part of the world from your target audience are commenting on your content, then you need to adjust your timings so your target audience are seeing your content.
The number of shares is great step for social media analytics. It tells you how many people have read your content and found it useful enough to share with their peers. The more they have shared with their peers, the greater the reach of your content.
You need to ensure your content is being shared with the right audience. There is no point having your content shared if the new audience members will have no interest in your brand.
You can’t control who shares your content, but you can control whether your content is viewed by the right audience. Target audience specific key terms within your content and use high impact hashtags.
Something going viral is very important. A viral piece of content can be seen potentially by millions of your target audience. It will also extend the life of your content.
One of the best examples of viral reach is when AMC launched the Mad Men Yourself avatar creator for the third season of Mad Men. The website allowed users to create a stylised 1960s version of themselves. The site worked so well that it received half a million visitors in the first few weeks of the season, raised ratings for the popular US show and is still going strong more than half a decade later.
Another example is with the Dollar Shave Club - a subscription service for male shavers. The brand created a video where founder Michael Dublin described the benefits of the service while also mocking other marketing used for shaving products. The video was an instant hit for the company and as a result they earned over 200,000 customers.
Monitoring your viral reach can be very difficult. You are not just looking at the amount of people who have seen your post from your updates but how many times the content has been independently shared and mentioned. Sometimes this can range across a variety of websites and social media accounts.