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Telling the story of your social media success

Headshot of Nicholas

6 June 2023

by Nicholas McDonald

Communications Officer.



Discover the importance of measuring social media success and gain practical tools to showcase your achievements.

Your charity may be leveraging the power of online platforms to connect with your audiences and drive meaningful change – but do your stakeholders and wider team know this? To create a truly successful digital communications strategy, it is crucial for you have internal buy-in and that for your charity understand the importance of measuring impact. It’s also important in showing your team just how vital and amazing the work you are doing is! 

In this guide, we will explore why measuring social media impact is so important. You’ll read about practical tools that will help you show off your achievements.

Why it’s so important to measure 

Measuring impact is paramount for your charity’s digital communications for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you assess the effectiveness of strategies and tactics, enabling you to refine your approaches and maximise reach. By monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), your organisation can gauge online visibility, engagement rates, conversion metrics and so much more, providing valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. This is important for checking your return on investment (ROI) – are the tools and platforms you’re putting time and money into working? Are they worth it?  

Secondly, measuring impact aids in reporting to the board and other internal stakeholders. Clear and comprehensive data on the outcomes of digital communications efforts empowers charities to communicate their achievements, demonstrate the value of programmes and events, and so much more. And if you want to push the boundaries of traditional content, being able to show it’s working will help you convince your team to continue being bold.

Leveraging analytics tools and social media insights lets you gain valuable data on audience demographics, content consumption patterns and engagement metrics. This allows you to create content that works for those that support you, donate to you, follow you – and beyond.

Use Google Analytics

This is the most obvious tool for this goal, but that’s for a good reason! By integrating Google Analytics with your charity’s social media and website, you can gather valuable information about your traffic, audience demographics, engagement metrics and conversion rates. 

To measure social media success effectively, set up specific goals within the platform that align with your objectives. These could include tracking the number of website visitors referred from social media platforms, the time spent on your website, or the completion of key actions such as donations or newsletter sign-ups. By monitoring these metrics, you can assess the impact of your social media campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimise your future communications decisions. 

As of 1 July 2023, Google will be closing their Universal Analytics programme to make way for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). We’ve put together a glossary with some of the key terms used on the GA4 to help you with the transition, or if your new to all thing’s social media analytics!

Check out your scheduling platforms

Every social media manager knows scheduling platforms are our best friends. Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Lightful and Sprout Social (our choice here at Media Trust!) make the job so much easier by allowing you to streamline the process and post automatically, creating an efficient content calendar that works across multiple platforms. But that’s not where the help ends – these platforms also often have their own analytic tools! 

You can use them to track key metrics such as engagement rate, reach, impressions, and follower growth. With this data, you can identify trends, measure the success of specific campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to optimise your social media strategy. 

Platforms such as Sprout often have social listening tools. These allow you to monitor mentions of your charity, campaigns, key topics or discussions across various social media platforms. This helps you understand public thoughts and feelings, spot emerging trends, and gain feedback on your content. 

Interpreting the data

Once you have gathered data from Google Analytics and scheduling platforms, it’s important to interpret it effectively. Begin by identifying your KPIs and the important numbers from your social media accounts. Look at patterns and trends overtime, rather than solely the daily statistics. For instance, observe which types of content generate the most engagement or conversions, identify peak times for engagement, and analyse the demographics and interests of your audience. This information can inform your future content strategy and help you optimise your social media efforts. 

Additionally, consider benchmarking your data against similar sized charities to gauge your charity’s performance relative to others, or against your own previous campaigns to see your growth and change. 

Make it digestible 

When presenting social media impact to senior staff and the board, it’s essential to make the data digestible. Making it visually appealing can help with this! Utilise graphs, charts, and infographics to present key metrics and trends that are concise and easy to understand. Free tools like Canva have an endless supply of graphs and chart templates designed exactly for this job, that you can tailor to your needs and brand identity. 

Don’t forget to highlight the most important insights and outcomes that demonstrate the success of your social media efforts. This storytelling helps engage internal stakeholders and enables them to grasp the impact of your social media strategies quickly – this means they can understand how the important the work you are doing is. Additionally, make sure you are also prepared with succinct explanations to provide context and ensure clarity. 

Having this data presented and stored clearly means when it’s time to work on projects such as annual reports and case studies, all you have to do is extract the relevant information – easy! 

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