Social media recruiting takes time and there are no shortcuts. How to make it work for you.
There is no way around it: social media takes time. There are no shortcuts.
I have been talking to a lot of coaches who bought my 365-day social media recruiting calendar and I’m finding that there is a common theme that emerges: we all want to reach our goals quickly and efficiently. We want to know that the things we are spending our time on are bringing us a return on our time investment.
What if I told you, you might be wasting 90% of your social media efforts?
I don’t know that for sure, but do you know either? The only way to know if what we are doing is helping us get closer to our goals is to conduct regular audits of our activities.
We need to use data to make decisions that help us be more successful in the most efficient way.
However, creating social media analytics reports can be confusing, or even overwhelming. There is so much data to look at in so many places, how do we know what is meaningful? And how do we interpret what this data is telling us?
Let me give you a framework for creating a monthly social media analytics report that will help you identify your best opportunities on social media.
Decide What to Track
There are what feels like an infinite number of data points you can track for your social media. Some ideas are:
- Top posts (by impressions, reach, and/or engagement)
- Inquiries (like direct messages, calls, or emails from social)
- Views (for Stories or video, number of views, average amount of video watched, etc.)
- Best days and times to post
- Best post formats (for Facebook and LinkedIn: what performs best? Is it links, videos, lives, or something else?)
Ultimately, I believe your recruiting goals determine what is most important for you to track.
I believe the #1 goal for coaches using social media shouldn’t be the total number of followers but the #1 goal should be to create conversations. Create videos or pictures to give a recruit an inside look as to what your team and coaching staff is like, and for the feel of campus before they come. Then you need to use the images or videos you post to have conversations with recruits to see if that is what they even want from their college experience. If there are no conversations, there is no recruiting, am I right? If you want more ideas for what to post and how to create conversations, check out Social Story Recruiting.
Let me give you some other examples from some of the most common social media goals my social story recruiting clients have set.
Increase Brand/Program Awareness
If your goal is to increase awareness of your program, you might want to track:
- Followers – More followers mean more new people are finding your program.
- Reach – Reaching more people this month than you did last month means more program awareness.
Improve Recruit Relationships
If your goal is to improve or deepen your relationship with your recruits, you can track:
- Number of Contacts – How many calls, emails, and direct messages are you getting from social platforms? (Facebook and Instagram track this for you in Insights) What information are you getting from recruits, and how can you use it to inform or build relationships better?
- Comments – Comments on your posts can provide a ton of insight about your ideal recruit, and what their wants and needs are. You can use this information to serve or sell them better.
Establish Credibility & Expertise
If you are using social media as a coach to build credibility and establish yourself as a coaching staff who can provide an excellent experience, you may monitor:
- Followers – More followers give you “social proof,” like a visual testimonial that you are worth listening to because you have X amount of followers.
- Video Views – If you use video to deliver content, you want to make sure that people are consuming your videos.
- Post Engagement – Increased engagement shows that people feel a connection to you and your program, and they feel compelled to engage with you.
A Basic Social Media Analytics Report
You get to decide what you include in your own social media analytics report, but a simple place to start is:
- The post on each platform with the highest engagement rate (total number of engagements like likes, comments, DM’s, and shares / total reach) This is again where I would start.
- Number of followers on each account
- The post on each platform that got the greatest reach
Completing Your Social Media Report
You have information now, so what do you do with it? It’s time to look at it, think about what it is telling you and turn it in to something you can use and refer back to.
Pick a Consistent Day
Do it on the same day each month. The first of the month, or the first Monday, is a great time! Put a recurring appointment on your calendar and keep the commitment.
Use a Template
Once you’ve decided what is worth tracking, create yourself a spreadsheet template that you can dump numbers into. This will give you a central place to look back at over time to identify trends.
Remember the Long Game
Remember that being successful on social media is an endurance sport, not a sprint. “Success” isn’t always about bigger and better numbers. Often it is about nurturing the relationships you already have.
Don’t make rash decisions based on single data points. Just because you didn’t gain followers on Instagram this month doesn’t mean you should trash it. Social media analytics are about looking for trends over time.
Once you have established this habit of social media reporting, compare results month over month, quarter over quarter, or year over year. Maybe you want to compare July of this year to July of last year.
We can’t do social media recruiting in a vacuum… or in our own heads. We can’t be married to our own good ideas. We need to understand our recruits and what they want and need… and we can only do that by:
- Looking at the REAL results of our past efforts.
- Talking to them to see if what you have is what they want.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then I hope you now think the path to success is using your experience to pivot and adjust where you should!
Success loves speed,