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When you work for a company that specializes in content marketing and online brand management like Raidious does, there are often a lot of numbers flying around behind the scenes. As a production specialist and one-half of the Raidious analytics and strategy team, I get to wrangle those numbers into charts and tables and figure out what they even mean. And let me tell you, sometimes the numbers don’t do what you want them to.

When I started working here back in January, I learned the ropes by diving in and making sense of things along the way. Now, months later, it’s become way easier to understand when it’s time to cool my jets versus when it’s okay to panic, yell “Fire!” and reevaluate the situation.

1. If monthly gains are smaller for the reporting month than they were the previous month, that’s okay. The key thing to remember is that there were gains. Even with the most-talked-about, highest-profile clients, there are still occasional dips in gains. It just happens, man. Fortunately, even the smallest gain will cause a total month-over-month percentage increase.

2. If there’s a holiday coming up, depending on your brand and the holiday, you could see great engagement and reach gains on your social channels. And then, after the merriment has settled and the holiday has passed … your numbers could drop. That’s completely normal. Your decrease in numbers is likely just a return to normalcy.

3. If you just held an awesome social media contest that went over really well, you’ll likely see lower numbers the following month. This is totally fine, as well. Just remember, you were probably publishing way more content at that point that more or less demanded engagement. If you were able to hold a successful contest, your audience is clearly interested in what you’re all about, and they’re probably going to stick around to see what else you’ve got.

4. If it’s a shorter month, and as a result, all of your numbers are in the red, that’s okay, too. Shorter months often lead to smaller numbers. Think about it: With fewer days to publish content, there is less for your fans and followers to engage with and share.

1. If gains get smaller and smaller or completely disappear, you’ve got yourself a problem. In that case, look for new people to follow on Twitter that might like your brand; they’ll likely either follow back or look at your profile. Also, keep pushing out content that is consistent in tone and frequency. Finally, engage with your fans and followers. Being human and showing a little personality will make people much more interested in what you have to say.

2. If there is a holiday and your company is one that could cater to that holiday, but your numbers don’t increase … you’ve got yourself a problem. In this case, start showcasing your products and any specials you might have that make your company different from the rest. Look for new followers on Twitter, and interact with your audience on all of your social networks to make sure your brand is out there as an option.

3. If you’re holding a contest but nobody is entering, there are several things that could be going wrong. First, your audience could be too small. Second, your audience might not be appropriate for or interested in the contest you’re running. Third, there wasn’t enough build up or publicity for the contest before it started. Forth, you might not be doing a good enough job at consistently reminding people about your contest. Finally, the prize isn’t enough to motivate people to do what you’re asking of them. Figure out what the problem is, and the solution should be pretty self-explanatory.

4. If a situation occurs or news breaks about something bad happening and you’re not all over the situation, you’ve got a whole slew of potential problems coming at you. The most important thing to do here is to monitor and moderate the situation as best you can. If you don’t, you could risk brand and reputation damage depending on the situation. Along with that damage comes the possibility that your social media audience could diminish and your content engagement numbers will decrease as a result.

Learning which numbers matter, which numbers don’t, and how to manage it all can take quite a bit of time and work, but in the grand scheme of things, it really does make all the difference. Fortunately for many companies in need, that’s what Raidious is here for.

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