Unlocking Insights from your Café’s Social Media Analytics

Sara Lindsay, Digital Content and Social Media Manager

What do social media metrics mean and how can you use native social analytics to inform your future activity?

It’s important you know how your socials are performing. It’s not enough to post a picture and hope that people enjoy it enough to come and buy a coffee. You need to know your audience and tailor your content specifically for them. For example, do you know the average age of your followers or their location? Are you thinking of this demographic each time you post? Do you know which type of post gets the most engagement or what time of day your posts perform best?

If the thought of analysing data sends a shiver down your spine, I want to let you know that analysing your social media performance is not detailed number crunching and it’s a lot easier than it sounds.

If the thought of analysing data sends a shiver down your spine, I want to let you know that analysing your social media performance is not detailed number crunching and it’s a lot easier than it sounds.

You can find the data for free (and it’s all literally tailored to your own content) in the native social analytics and insights within each social media platform. The insights you can garner from these analytics can help you get to know your audience, understand what resonates with them and learn how to optimise your social content for maximum engagement. They show top level stats that give you a good steer on your performance - and you don’t need a Business Analyst’s degree to understand them.

Facebook recently announced it was retiring access to its analytics on June 30th 2021. The good news is you still have time to access your analytics between now and then. Set aside some time to review what is outlined in this article for Facebook and download the reports available to you before this is retired. After June 30th, Facebook advises us we can use Facebook Business Suite, Ads Manager and Events Manager to understand activities and performance.

1. WHO ARE YOUR FOLLOWERS?

A good place to start is by looking at the general demographics of your following across your social platforms. This will give you an estimated overview of the type of follower you have. In marketing, we talk about customer personas – our ideal customer based on our target market and our offering – and this is a similar concept. Get to know who they are and think about this customer whenever you produce any social content to attract new followers who fit your target audience.

Practically, it can help you with your organic post targeting. If you see a substantial percentage of your following is in Cardiff, but your café is in Glasgow, you probably want to rethink your tagging, captions and hashtags and will want to include your location on your posts to attract local customers.

In future, you may decide to run paid social ads. If you do, your demographic data will be invaluable to target a like-for-like audience, so do keep on top of who is following you!

2. ARE YOU GAINING NEW FOLLOWERS?

Keep a close eye on what those followers are doing. Make sure you look for trends as to when you gain more followers or lose them. What is it you posted on the day for this to happen? Analyse your activity in this way and make sure you aren’t repeating any behaviours that are losing you followers!

3. POST & PROFILE VISIBILITY

Once you are familiar with your audience, the next step is to take a deeper dive into your visibility. All social platforms will tell you this is one form or another, but the tracking is not uniform across all platforms. Some focus more on reach, others on impressions (see the glossary for full definitions) and some will show both depending on what you are interested in measuring.

Check out how far your profile or page has been seen across the platforms for an idea on how your actual account is performing. It’s good to look at this over a longer period of time so you can track whether your exposure is growing or declining month on month.

To keep growing, you will need to keep your audience engaged (we’ll come on to measuring that later), as your goal is to encourage shares, likes and comments to increase the likelihood of people seeing your account and following you.

Importantly, you’ll want to measure the reach and impressions of your individual posts and stories too. Which ones performed best in terms of reach and impressions? Once you know the answer to this, you know these are the types of posts to prioritise in future.

Top Tip! Some of the key ways you can increase your visibility organically is by tagging your location and by carefully choosing your hashtags. Do some research on which hashtags to use before you post – Instagram, for example, will tell you number of uses of each hashtag when you do a search. Look for the middle ground. Hashtags that are used millions of times mean your post can easily get lost within them (something generic like #coffee), too niche and no one will ever search it (if it’s got less than 100 uses, don’t expect much traction from this hashtag alone). I recommend using about 5-8 hashtags on any given post.

Don’t forget to have your own hashtag – use it on your posts and encourage others to use it when sharing your content or their photos.

4. WHEN IS YOUR FOLLOWING MOST ACTIVE?

A straightforward way to maximise the reach and engagement on your posts is to check when your audience is online and most active. Most social platforms will show you this in the analytics. Make sure you review them and try testing your posts at the times you know your audience is active. You may find that posting at 7am is ok, but if you post at 10:30am you get twice as much engagement.

Use this insight to inform tests to ensure you maximise the potential of your social activity

5. INTERACTION WITH YOUR CONTENT

Your interaction or engagement is one of the most important analytics to look at when you are reviewing your performance.

You may be glancing at the likes, comments and shares you are receiving on any given post, but the native analytics will show you a round up relative to your other posts, so you can see the overall picture easily. In general, videos tend to perform well, as do posts with people in. For example, a barista pouring a coffee is often more engaging than the coffee alone.

It’s easy to look at the tables in the analytics, sorted by which have performed best for you. Look at them broken down by individual metric and you’ll start to learn how your audience responds to certain types of content. Instagram breaks these down at the most granular level. You can view your posts then filter by likes, saves, comments, follows and everything else you could possibly want to measure in between.

If you’re looking to analyse overall engagement for the bigger picture, the engagement rate is the metric to look at. This will show you a calculated score based on all your interactions relative to your impressions or reach. It is an interesting metric that indicates how well received your posts are by your audience.

One final aspect I wanted to highlight when looking at your engagement, is the Click Through Rate (CTR). This measures how often people click on the links you put in your post. These might be to visit your website or order online. Tracking this will give you insight into how compelling your images/videos and captions are – what is it that resonates with the audience to make them click that link? Measure this, notice the trends and you’ll be onto a winner.

6. TOOLS OF THE TRADE

There are a few tools out there that will consolidate all your socials and show your metrics in a uniform way, but for those with smaller budgets or who are just starting out, the analytics readily available in your social account are an invaluable resource to monitor your performance.

Taking the time out regularly to look at how your social posts are performing is important for any café keen to use social media to its full potential. Take some of the guesswork out of your social media strategy. Look at what your audience is telling you and respond accordingly by tailoring your content.

Finally, this is an ongoing process. The social media landscape is changing and evolving constantly, so what works now, may not be as successful six months down the line. Keep yourself in the know and you can’t go far wrong!

7. WHERE TO FIND YOUR ANALYTICS

Facebook: FACEBOOK ANALYTICS IS RETIRING ON JUNE 30th 2021. On desktop, navigate to your business page, go to Insights. The left-hand menu then allows you to look in more detail at your following, reach and engagements. Facebook also allows you to download an Excel sheet of your analytics.

Instagram: On mobile, go to Insights and choose a date range to see more about your audience and the content you shared.

LinkedIn: On desktop, go to your business page > Analytics. There, view by Followers, Updates or Visitors. The graphs and tables make it easy to use and understand.

Twitter: On desktop, go to More > Analytics. Home shows you a 28-day summary and Tweets shows your activity broken down into more detail.

8. A SOCIAL ROOKIE'S GLOSSARY

Reach: The number of people who have been exposed to a post or page.

Impressions: The number of times your post has appeared in timelines or feeds.

Engagement: Actions taken on a given post (like, comments, shares etc.).

Engagement rate: A formula used to calculate engagements relative to audience numbers, to give an overall percentage.

Click Through Rate (CTR): Number of clicks on a post relative to the impressions, to give an overall percentage.

About Sara Lindsay

Digital Content and Social Media Manager


Sara has worked in Digital and Content Marketing for over eight years, with a focus on B2B web content & SEO, copywriting and Social Media. She worked with global healthcare brands for several years before moving to the coffee industry three years ago.

In her role of Digital Content and Social Media Manager at Matthew Algie, Sara is responsible for our websites and delivery of the lead generation strategy, our social media platforms and digital paid advertising.

Sara enjoys absorbing the knowledge and passion from the industry experts at Matthew Algie and translating that into engaging stories for our visitors and followers online.