Scientists conduct tests, put in years of research all to prove a theory. Mathematicians and physicists keep track of their results, find their errors, correct them and so on until everything falls in place and the numbers works out. Why should the way that social media strategists work be any different? They put in just as much effort to set-up companies’ social media presence, find ways to attract followers, keep them stimulated and, as a result, boost up sales.

So how can you do it? How can you be sure that all the efforts you are putting into your social media marketing is paying off? And how can you understand what is working and what is not? The best way is to perform a social media analysis to see if your social media efforts are relevant to your current goals and objectives. These are a few ways you can go about it.

1. Measure results – the very first thing that needs to be done is to collect all of the social media measurements that indicate how well your strategy is working in order to evaluate your average results for all social media accounts. These measurements include the number of followers for each account, shares, clicks and comments. These results can then be fed into a social analytics tool to create a report. With the help of the report, you can compare the results for each account and see which account works better for your company, which strategy for social media interaction works better and, in this way, see which strategy can be carried over to another account and which strategy can be boosted to work even better.

2. Get to know audience demographics and interests – each platform is different and so will attract a different group of people. For example, there are more female followers on Pinterest and Snapchat tends to attract a younger population. Most social media sites already cater for analytics, so as the tools are already there, use them to find who your social media audiences are for each of your platforms. In this way you can re-work your strategy, if needed, for specific platforms to attract more of these kinds of people. The key is to know the specifics of your audience, see what you are doing already to attract them and see how you can do what you are doing even better to get even more followers.

3. Monitor your consistency and quality – with the first two suggestions out of the way, you can now analyse how you are using your social media platforms. You can look at this over a period of time to see how successful your social media strategy was when you were posting one kind of posts compared to how successful it is compared to another time period. For example, if you were posting more educational information verses when you were posting more intriguing and fun posts. It can be hard to recognise the difference between how you use your platforms, but if you look closely and pay attention to how they are being used you can find a link between them or see their differences in use. For example, are your using the same voice across all of them and if so, is that working on all platforms, if not, then try to tweak the voice on the platform that isn’t working so well to better match what your followers are looking for.

4. Do your budgeting – just like doing our budgeting for our financial year, we should also be preparing a budget for our social media strategy. Pull up all the records you have of money being paid out for social media activities, for example agency fees, photographers and employees who help with social media, and compare these with the results of your social media strategy. In this way you will find out if what you are doing with your social media management actually translates to profit. If not, then you might have to switch strategies and do what scientists do, go through a process of trial and error until you find what works best for your company and which strategy will bring about more profit.