As a photographer, I am a visual person. Numbers are my kryptonite. As an entrepreneur I recognize the importance of tracking a few specific metrics, which inevitably mean numbers (god forbid, possibly even a spreadsheet).
Goal setting with analytics for small business owners is an important way to prepare for, and measure growth.
Today is the second last day of the year, so I feel it is a pretty good time to take a look at a few numbers, and get ready to not only review the past year, but prepare for the next year.
Here are a few thing I did:
Paper & Pen Planner
First, I cracked open my brand new Yearly Planner. As much as I love digital, I like a good paper and pen planner. Sometime mid year I even started colour coding my entries. Using my brand colours, orange means a booking is specifically business related, like a discovery or client call. Green means it is revenue generating, like a photoshoot or coaching session. Blue is for networking or personal time.
Back on track . . . first thing I did was go to the very back of my planner and wrote down a few stats from the end of this year.
Number of photo shoots.
Number of coaching clients.
Number of social media followers.
Then I wrote down my goals for the new year. By having it at the end of the book, it is a reminder next December to go back and see how I did.
Second thing I did …. each of the months in my planner has an overview page, so wrote down a few monthly goals.
Social Media Analytics
Third, I went into my Facebook Business Suite Insights. On the top right of the desktop screen it defaults the calendar stats to 28 days. I went in and created a custom view for the year. I could immediately see that my Facebook reach was down, but my Instagram reach was up (800.2%!)
Next I went into the Content Report, and selected Likes & Reactions. I was not surprised that neither of my top posts were not business related.
My top Facebook post was of my husbands recent retirement from the military, from November
My top Instagram was a Reel of my girls building the new pergola on our deck, from July. It is important to remember this was based on Likes & Reactions. At 2,617 views, it ranked my 3rd highest viewed Reel.
What I also confirmed is that Reels reached a far greater audience than the amount of followers I have, so they will be a big part of my content strategy going forward.
Next I went into the Audience Report. I was not surprised to learn that my key audience is women 35-55. What I was a little surprised by is that 40% of my Facebook audience is still from Alberta, even though last week was my 3 year anniversary as a Haligonian.
On the flip side 40% of my Instagram audience is from the Halifax region.
A big contributor to this is likely that the Instagram account was created when I launched Dandelion Digital in 2020, whereas the Facebook account was renamed Dandelion Digital from my previous photography business in Edmonton.
Analytics as a Goal Setting Tool
Here is the take-away, and the importance of knowing this information.
I work with small business owners to post with purpose through photography & social media. What has gotten me through the pandemic was the use of zoom, and social media coaching to other new entrepreneurs. So I now recognized that I will focus on that more heavily on Facebook, where the bulk of my followers are long distance and available virtually. Instagram will not ignore the coaching at all, but it will prioritise my key service of local brand photography with social media strategy.
So, are you reviewing your past year, to start planning your new year? What insights have you made for your business?