By Michael Krizic

How can you use the numbers to work for you?

Social media is beyond how many followers you have or many likes you can gain. Although, they are important they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t talk about how you are engaging your followers or the people who like your organization. They also don’t talk about how those people are engaging with you and your organization or movement.

Beyond how big your community is, you also have to look at how much your community is growing and how is that community engaged into what you are doing. This is where numbers are your friend. You may know what these numbers mean but your boss may not. So you have to think about how to use them to make your case. When you think about these numbers in terms of how they are growing and how they are engaging your organization it can simplify your argument and help you explain your successes and failures.

Is my community growing?

This is an easy argument to make when you are talking to someone that might not fully understand what Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or any other social media tool you are providing for your organization or movement. Or this is a helpful argument to make to yourself when defending the work that you are doing.

Community growth is as simple as checking your Likes or Follows and comparing yourself to where you were at some point in the past. If your numbers are growing are they growing at the rate that you expect or hope for? If your numbers are declining what is the reason? Are you not as engaged this month as you were last month? You can take these numbers and see where you are heading as a movement.

Is my community engaged?

This might be a little more complicated but when evaluated correctly it can be more powerful when making your case. A great and simple way to accomplish this is to set goals. Once you know what you want your community to do you can see if you are reaching that goal. This can be done with a number of comments on a post, looking if links, videos, or photos are getting more likes, or even how many times your post is shared by your followers. This all can help you make an argument to someone that might not understand what it is you are actually doing and why it is helping the cause.

Let the numbers work for you!

The important part of the numbers and social media is let them work for you. If you don’t know what a tweet, a like, or a blog comment is you probably know what a number is. Use this knowledge and let the numbers tell your story. Let the numbers close the gap between you and your audience.