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Track follower metric across social organic platforms
Track follower metric across social organic platforms

How to track total and net new followers using Data Studio

Ishan Shekhar avatar
Written by Ishan Shekhar
Updated over a week ago

Followers, unlike a like, share, or retweet, show a higher level of engagement. It indicates the user is interested in getting constant updates. Hence, it is critical to have an overview of the total number of followers, and its trend. Looking at this trend can help you understand if your social media activities are helping in driving your follower objective.

Sometimes it's not enough with the total followers, you want to be able to track net new followers i.e. number of followers you gained/lost during a day. This gives you the ability to deep dive and identify which social media activities drive followers.

In this article, we would show you a step-by-step guide on how you can achieve the same result using Funnel with Data Studio.


Before we get into the details it is important to note that we start collecting the total followers from the day the data source was added into Funnel. This is the limitation on how these APIs are designed and we have no way to fetch historical data.

Once the data source connection is established in Funnel, from that day we will store all the total follower metrics.

Step 1: Connect your data sources

Start by connecting all your platforms as a data source to Funnel, so it can start collecting data. Different platforms use different reports types that contain the follower metric, below is the list of the platform and report types which need to be connected at the time of configuration.

Step 2: Grouping the follower metric in Funnel

Different platform has their own way of naming metrics, so it is important that we group our follower metric into a single unified field across platforms.

Create a custom rule-based metric, having different rules for selecting native metrics for different data sources.

In the case of followers: use Lifetime Total Follows (Lifetime) from Facebook, Followers from LinkedIn, and Followers from X Ads to group into one.

Step 3: Export the data to Data Studio

To create a visualization to track your followers across platforms you will at least need Data, Traffic Source, and Followers fields. Once we have chosen the fields that need to be sent to google Data Studio. This can be done easily using Data Studio views, by going to Export -> Data Studio -> New View and connecting this to a report.

Step 4: Create a new offset field that adds a day to Date

We already have the information regarding the Total followers for that day, now we need to create a field to calculate each day's net new followers gained. Create a new custom field in the Data Studio for 1 day offset by adding a day to the date field.

Go to your Data Studio connection - Your Data Studio connection can be accessed through the report (Resouces -> Manage added data sources) or by going to the data source page directly. Once you have selected the data source, create a new field.

Use the formula : DATE(DATETIME_ADD(Date, INTERVAL 1 DAY))

Step 5: Blend the data source to itself to subtract today's followers with yesterday

Now we can calculate the net new followers by self-joining the data source using the data studio blend. Start by adding a new blended data source to the report (Resouces -> Manage blended data -> ADD A DATA VIEW)

On the left side select, Date, Traffic Source, and Followers, now select the same data source on the right side. Instead of Date, select Date_offset_1_day created in the previous step. Make sure to select the join conditions on which the datasets need to be joined its a small button between the two data sources, as shown below.

Once you have selected "Left outer" join the above, and conditions for Date and Traffic source. Press Save to create the blended source, which will be made available in the report.

Step 6: Use the blended source to calculate net new followers

In the new blended data source, both today's followers and yesterdays are on the same row. Use a simple formula field to calculate the difference in followers.

Great now you know how you can create a view to track how you are performing in gaining followers across different sources.

[Expert tip] You can use this method for calculating the difference between any metric, just make sure that you are selecting the correct breakdowns and apply the blend on those.

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