11 February 2014
Social Media
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The Excel Way Of Analysing Online Engagement For Social Media Marketers


Many businesses are active on social media, which is a great thing especially for small businesses. Since, it offers you with ample amount of opportunity to promote your business. However, to marketing your product in an efficient way online, one needs to regularly analyse their business strategy find their strengths and loopholes.

Keeping a track of all your daily social media activity can be a tedious task without proper management. There other application would be better than the Ms Excel to manage and organize your day-to-day activity.

Using an application like Excel could be a great idea, if you cannot afford expensive software’s or applications. Speeding up little bit of your “Valuable” time on excel could result in productive outcomes with minimal efforts.

So, in this article I will be discussing about how you can analyse your daily engagement and improve your social media performance using Ms Excel.

Importance of Analysing?

It does not matter whether your business is big or small. When we are talking about improving your social media presence, you need to keep in mind to elements: Community and Engagement.

It is very important that you analyse each and every content posts. You need to identify what kind of post intrigues your followers. Therefore, you need to Track, test and weigh every post you share.

So, let us to see how to do it.

We start with:

1) Creating the Spreadsheet

Open a new Excel document and create columns 14 categories that will require analysing your social media activities.

  • Date
  • Network
  • Categories
  • Subcategories
  • Target
  • Calls to action
  • Meta-tags
  • Posts
  • Impressions
  • Comments (replies)
  • Likes (favourites)
  • Shares (retweets)
  • Clicks
  • Total engagement

Spreadsheet | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


Today almost every social media network has three common engagement behaviour:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

These behaviours have names in different names in different social network but the idea intent remains the same. For example, in twitter they are called Replies, Favourites, and Retweets.

Creating your Excel spreadsheet in the following manner will allow you to store and analyse your data.

2) Determining the categories and their subcategories

Create your categories based on major subjects of your posts. Use these subject fields to recognize the major popular trends in your field of interest across different social media networks.

For example:

  • Products and services: Post about major product categories.
  • Seasonal/ Holiday posts: Seasonal or theme-based post can be very effective of e-commerce companies. Example: Post about Valentine’s Day.
  • Other third party Post: Sharing from other websites such as articles, surveys, blogs, news etc.

Create any number of categories that you can manage. You can be more specific through your subcategories.


Divide your categories into finer subcategories. Doing this will allow you to recognize the micro trends along with identifying which type of content gets better engagement and which ones are the least effective. According to the above-mentioned categories, the we could include:

  • Product/Service names or features.
  • Names of the specific seasonal campaigns or Holiday names.
  • Names of websites you refer for information, content ideas, topics, or categories such as food, travel, lifestyle, or humour.

You can create subcategories as precise as you want but make to be theme-specific.

3) Plan your call to action and targets

To plan your call to action and targets in a better way, you need to understand every aspect of your target market and business goals. These informations will help you fill out your spreadsheet.


A Target is person to whom you are trying to connect with your content. Your services may have many different kinds of targets who engage with your posts and buy your products. To make it simpler let us take to general targets such as male and female.

I would recommend that you do some research on different type of audience for your business and build your context around these target individuals.

Calls to Action

A “call to action” has different objective depending on each post and its category. However, make a note that it is not necessary for every post to have a CTAs as well as it is fine if some of your CTAs are not related to the products.

Types of CTA:

  • Visit the website
  • Subscribe
  • Buy now
  • Share
CTA | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


Using extra meta-tags to define specific elements of your content will definitely help you to analyse your content type in detail

You can use element such as Keywords, Image descriptions, tone descriptors or such type of content can be used as Meta tags.

This will allow you to find out which content is creative and engaging. Thus, you can produce such kind of content more in the future.

4) Collecting data:

Let us fill the spreadsheets. Different techniques can be used based on which social network you use.

Displayed Below is a snapshot of a spreadsheet used for a retail business comprising of categories, subcategories, targets and meta-tags mentioned above.


Collecting Data | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


A feature in Twitter analytics allows you to examine your last 500 tweets; even the Facebook Insights allows you to analyse the data from the last 180 days. Use tools such as Bit.ly to keep record of your link clicks. If you use the same link many times, make sure you use them on the appropriate content. Use tools such as BufferApp or HootSuite Click Report to keep proper track on the type of content that produces clicks. You check the free versions of these tools to check them out.

5) Sorting the Data

Identify contents that performs the best across all of your social networks. Sort your Total engagement column into descending order.

Sorting Data | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


Post on the top are the best performing ones with respect to user engagement:

Sorting Data | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


Find the post that performs the best on a particular social media. For example: Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. To do this you have to:

Step 1: Filter by Network
Step 2: Filter by Total Engagement

Sorting Data | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


6) Analysing the Categories

Filter by categories and subcategories that you want to analyse.


Analysing the Categories | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


Excel allows you to be accurate. Thus, if you have more than one categories or subcategories for a content then make sure you use the “contain” input within Filter feature of Excel. Check out the image below understand how to have multiple categories in one column.


Analysing the Categories | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


As soon as you identify the best performing post in your categories. The next step is to analyse the content based on post copy, images, sentence structure extra. Identify what kind of trends is best for optimizing your content.

Example: Three post use the same link.



Analysing the Categories | image credit – socialmediaexaminer.com


However, the shorter post has received better engagement. Similar, post with more may have better CTR that similar post with few images.

Therefore, hope that you know how to use Excel to track you social media engagement. So start using this wonderful application for planning your content or social media strategy.

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