If your boss asked you for a location breakdown of your social media audiences, would you be able to provide that? Last time, we discussed the relationship between customer value and location, and how to determine if your customers’ locations are affecting your bottom line. This week, if you get the order from above to look into follower location, here’s how to use social media analytics and Google Analytics to locate your audiences and what that information might mean for your brand.
Navigate to the Insights section of your business’s Facebook page. (This will require you have the proper permissions for this account.)
From there, select the People section from the left-hand column. There you can see a breakdown of your audience demographics and locations. You have the option to see information on your fans, your followers, people reached, and people engaged – each will tell you different things, but the two most important ones that we’ll focus on is Your Fans and People Engaged.
Starting with your fans – these are the people who like your page. Look at the chart at the bottom –you’ll see what country your fans are located in. Are they mostly in your brand’s country? It’s ok if they aren’t all in one location, but the majority of fans should be in your country of operation. You want your fans to be paying customers, and if most of them are where you can’t sell, your time and efforts (and therefore money) are being wasted on people who can’t buy.
Follower breakdown of a US company with light ties to Canada
But what about the fans in other countries – is that a problem? Switch over to the “people engaged” tab. These are the people engaging with your brand’s Facebook page – talking about it, clicking on your posts, commenting on your page, etc. Even if you have a mix of fans around the world, the overwhelming majority of people interacting with your page should be in your country. The people who engage with your page, the people most likely to be current or future customers, need to be where your brand is. Engagement from China won’t help if you only sell in the US.
In Twitter Analytics, navigate to the Audience Insights section.
Switch from All Twitter users to Your followers, and select Demographics.
Scroll to the bottom to find country and region. This will show you where your Twitter followers are. Your followers are important, but similar to Facebook, it’s also important to know who is engaging with your page, and not just following. It’s easy to follow a page, it takes a lot more to actually engage with the page.
Switch from Your followers to Your organic audience, and add the filter of “Engaged”.
This will show you the people who like your brand enough to engage with you, and are much more likely to be current or future customers – make sure that you can reach them.
Instagram offers insights, but only on the app. Login on your phone and navigate to your profile page. Select the Insights button at the top, and scroll down to the followers section.
Instagram offers broad insights on just followers, and not on engaged followers. Furthermore, traffic data for Instagram will be limited to people who visit your site from the link listed in your profile, as you are unable to add links to non-paid posts.
Pinterest is relatively new to the analytics game, but you are able to check location and other demographics. On the Pinterest Analytics page, select People you reach.
You can choose between All audiences and Your followers, and it is important that you look at the geographic data for both. Your followers are just the people who follow your profile, and All audiences are the full audience of people your pins actually reach. Pinterest operates differently from other social platforms. Rather than limiting your newsfeed to only the recent content from people and pages that you follow, Pinterest operates on a more interest-based approach. A post that has a year of being shared and viewed is more likely to be seen than a recent post; it has proven itself to be popular and high quality, whereas the new pin has no such track record. When it comes down to it, Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media network – choosing popularity (and in their eyes, quality) over newness. People who see and interact with your content most likely came upon it in their search results. Therefore, it is important to focus on the audience you reach rather than exclusively your followers.
Once you analyze the location of your followers, you next need to look at who is coming to your site from your posts. We’ll do that by creating segments in GA for all of your platforms. Create a new segment each for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Setting the source to the platform and then excluding all paid mediums ensures that all organic and referral traffic from the platform:
Those are the settings we use in all of our paid campaigns; set yours accordingly.
Go to audience > Geo > Location.
Take a look at your map – is it mostly lit up in your country?
Now that you know where the people interacting with your brand are from, let’s analyze what it means.
Followers vs Engaged Followers
Throughout the research outlined above for each channel, we’ve recommended reviewing both your followers and your engaged followers. As stated previously, anyone can hit the Follow button, but the people who engage with your brand beyond that are the people most likely to be current or future customers. If most of your followers are from a different country, but most of your engaged users are from the correct country, then that’s not necessarily a problem. It shows you are reaching the right people, people who are interested in becoming paying clients, and are located in areas that allow them to do so.
Look at the example below.
This is a US brand, but most of its followers are in the United Kingdom. Red flag? Take a look at the same brand’s engaged followers:
We can see that most of the people engaging with the brand are in the US. That means that the majority of people who have taken the effort to actively engage with the brand, not just passively follow, are possible customers/clients.
If your audience is international but you aren’t:
Check if you have crossovers from other locations: If you are an international brand and have different websites or social pages for the different countries you operate in, you may experience location crossovers. This occurs when followers from the original/other location want to stay involved with the brand and choose to follow the other location’s account. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as outlined in the example above. Continue to monitor the account and confirm that any continued growth is due to followers in your own country.
Check your ad settings: If you’re running paid campaigns, make sure that they are set to exclusively target your country. Platforms offer variations on location targeting, with opportunities to reach people whose main location is your country or people that are in your country. Targeting people who live in your country ensures that you don’t accidentally reach travelers or other people temporarily in your location.
Check that it’s an issue: If you have a lot of followers from a country you don’t service, maybe you should! This could be an opportunity to tap into new market in a location that has shown to be interested in your services.
If all else fails, call in the experts: If you’ve checked your settings and monitored your traffic and you’re still stumped, call in SHIFT! From social media audits, follower growth, social campaigns, and more, we’ve got what it takes to get your social media accounts back on track.
The internet allows everyone be everywhere, and as a world we’ve never been more connected – make sure those connections are working in your favor. Some customers are worth more than others due to their locations – once upper management calculates the customer location-value ratio, you need to be prepared to show where your followers are. Once the order comes in, you’ll be ready to wow them by following the steps outlined above.