The data continues to show that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms help businesses find and keep customers; however, responsible content management is essential. To maintain an upward trend (or avoid a downward spiral), spend some time evaluating the responses to social media posts.

Let’s start with some stats – my favourite. According to Statista, 31% of the global population and 78% of Americans use some kind of social media. 68% of Facebook use occurs with a mobile device. We can safely assume that at least half of the people who see your business’s social media posts are on the go, rather than sitting at a computer desk.

We have already discussed how to use social media for your business (read: Butts In Seats) but it’s a great tool to maintain relationships with current customers, too. Sharing a photo of your current lunch special or Tweeting a one-day-only sale will bring in customers, especially when the post is perfectly timed. However, just posting photos and writing tweets is not enough. You have to figure out how your audience is responding to those posts.

The process is fairly simple: review the posts you have made, and take note of which posts evoked the greatest response. For example, assume you have written Facebook posts (with a feature photo) each day for the past week to advertise lunch specials, and you have noticed that lunch service increased dramatically on Wednesday, but Monday’s service was slow. How can the response to those posts help predict an outcome?

First, compare the responses on each platform. How many likes did each post receive? How many shares? If today’s post did not produce much of a response compared to yesterday’s double-digit likes, multiple comments, and half dozen shares – start there. Compare the posts to see if one post was more or less appealing, especially if photos are featured.  Photos and content can cause dramatically different results.

Remember that a greater response typically means that more people have seen the post. If your store advertises a one-day sale every month, the response is likely to be consistent. If there are huge differences by month (that are not due to weather or local events) and the posts are consistent, look at time stamps and the actual views. If your successful sales are typically advertised on Thursday afternoon, determine how many customers have seen that post. Successful posts are usually made about the same time of day, when customers are online. That will vary based on location, the business, and clients themselves.

A final note: it is not enough to aim for views, comments, and shares. You will need to read comments and discuss the ideas with your fan-base/audience (especially when posts are shared). Sometimes, a post is shared with negative comments. It is your responsibility to detect this problem and take action. Dissatisfied customers can have a lasting negative effect on business. Reaching out to those customers can make a huge difference.

Be real, be human.