The benefit of using social media for business begins with understanding that more than 3 billion people (almost half of the world’s population), can be found on social media.
Every single one of these people is using the various social networks to engage with all kinds of brands.
According to a recent social media report, the number of people following brands was reportedly higher than those following celebrities — with 80% of all Instagram users apparently following at least one brand.
It goes on to show that people are beginning to associate social media as a place of making sound business decisions. So if you’re NOT cashing in already on the prevalence of social media, then you’re probably missing out on the fastest and least expensive way to reach an active half of the world’s population.
It’s to be however noted that marketing on social media isn’t just about creating and sharing succinct posts on social network platforms. It goes way beyond that – for instance, you have to learn to optimize your social media content.
But even more crucial is that you need to learn about monitoring the performance of your social media content so you can calibrate and improve on the value of the content you deliver to your target audience.
In other words, you need to understand how to read social media metrics to come up with clear marketing goals and avoid making the rookie mistakes marketers make all the time.
Start by choosing the right metrics to use, and here are some solid tips to help you out:
- Develop a clear understanding of your social media goals and objectives. With enough clarity, you’ll have a better understanding of what you wish to achieve and the most suited metrics to use for that feat.
- Pick a set of tools you understand to a T. The more knowledgeable you’re about the tools you choose, the more you’ll able to reap the most from them without spending much of your hard-earned cash.
But first, before you understand the above steps and be able to efficiently apply them to your social media marketing plan, it’s important that you also understand how social analytics actually work. In broad summation, the tools involve two things: first one is) collecting useful data from the campaigns you make and across different social media platforms and the second one is) using the collected data to both track and improve the performance of the social media campaigns you’re conducting.
- Social analytics, as the name suggests, is the process involved in collecting and interpreting social media data – with the intention of:
- gaining a better insight of the current condition of the market you’re in for an in-depth market research.
- Understanding the nature of your target consumer so you can make necessary adjustments to your marketing strategies.
- Learning more about your audience preference and likes.
- Collecting feedback from your target consumers for sound business decisions.
It’s almost impossible to completely turn a blind eye on social analytics if you’re planning on leaving a mark behind with the campaigns you make. As a serious marketer, failing to pay attention to social media conversations can have a serious toll on the progress you make as a business.
The problem comes with going through the colossal amount of data on social media to pick a thing or two on how best you can improve the campaigns you make.
However, with a set of right tools, you can capture and interpret well-organized conversations on the various social media platforms and be able to make real sense of the supplied data without hurting your brain.
Designed to extract relevant data and organize them in digestible chunks by monitoring a vast array of social signals, the tool can filter all the social media noise and offer you sensible information that you can use to plan your social media campaign in advance instead of running it on a humble.
The tools go beyond helping you gather social media data. As a matter of fact, their primary role is to measure the impact your social media marketing efforts have on both your fans and followers.
The Key Metrics to Keep Track of
There’s no limit as to how you can use social analytics. However, how you use the tools will always vary depending on the nature of your business. Which is to say, what you intend to use the tool to measure may NOT be the same as what a different business owner intends to use the tools for.
Here’s a list of some of the key metrics you can use the tool to measure:
At what rate do your social media following engage with your posts in terms of likes, comments, and shares?
With this feature you can keep track of the number of times your brand name or a particular catch phrase or word has been mentioned on the various social media platforms and in what context.
Besides your name or catch phrase, you can also keep track of the number of times the visuals on your page or social media account has been reposted or shared on the various social media platforms.
This feature focuses on gathering the sentiments social media users have regarding your brand, competitors and the industry at large.
How popular are your posts on the various social media platforms? How are people sharing it and what is its viral rank?
This feature compares the number of mentions your brand is receiving to that of your competitors.
Social media is loaded with all kinds of data, and which you could use to better understand your business and the competition you have.
The problem is that NOT all the information you get can prove to be useful to your business. However, with social analytics you can filter through all that data and only pick out what’s valuable.
Designed to organize social media data, the tool allows you to turn all that data into useful and actionable insight that you could use to make well-adjusted business decisions and moves.
The data supplied is however NOT the same. Depending on what you wish to achieve, the kind of data the tools provide can be broadly grouped into four.
Descriptive analytics reacts to the kind of data you’re getting by focusing on the current and past happenings in the industry. This is like the most fundamental aspect of social analytics, but important in the sense that you can use it to consolidate all form of social media data in comprehensible forms such as reports, clusters and visualizations.
With the reports you compile you can easily identify the core problems affecting your business and even come up with original business opportunities.
The comment left behind on the various social media networks also fall under descriptive analytics. They’re details you scrap off social media to develop a clear understanding of the sentiments they share.
The analytics take a hindsight approach by reflecting on the past and comparing it with the present happenings.
Descriptive analytics also react on the collected data but by focusing on the rationale instead of making comparisons. It basically helps you figure out why your business is failing or succeeding.
It works to give you a broad overview of the performance of your campaign. Designed to filter through a broad range of data, the tool can look into your past campaign and pull out a few key points as to why it failed.
It basically offers a telescopic view into a campaign performance with enough insights for you to figure out how best you can improve the campaign for even better results in the future.
Predictive analytics takes a proactive approach by taking a detailed look into a broad range of the social media data mustered over an over-stretched periods of time. With the aim of looking into the future and predicting possible occurrences and events, the tools focuses on what’s likely to happen and the reason backing up the claim.
It walks you through what to expect and the sequences of occurrences leading up to that event.
For instance, assuming your plans were to generate more leads or sales in future, with the tool, you can analyze the social media data you’re getting and pick out on users intentions. This will in turn help you predict would-be purchases, buys, wants, and needs so you can position yourself favorably for the future.
The idea is to prepare you for the events to happen, much earlier so you can prepare instead of waiting to be caught unaware. If it’s apparent a social media user has expressed interest in purchasing one of your products or services, with predictive analysis, you can use the information supplied by the tool to find out if the user will hit the buy button or NOT. If not, explanations as to why they’re balking at making the decision will be provided in a way you can easily understand and be able to make a few necessary adjustments to get them to change their mind.
Prescriptive analytics also takes a proactive approach, but by offering some clear insight on the approach to take for every possible scenari
Social media is inundated with all kinds of users. It’s therefore important that you learn to sort them out into groups based on similar interest and attend to them in a calibrated manner.
The type of group you’re targeting on social media doesn’t matter a whit. With the prescriptive analytics, you should be able to take a detailed look into each group and figure out the best way possible to achieve a widespread reach.
Assuming you have a group of related users whose actions clearly show they have some vested interest in the products or services you offer. You can use the tool to fully optimize the approach you take and adjust your campaign strategies for better results in the future.
It’s only through proper measurement and tracking of your social media performance that you can realize optimal results. Fortunately for you, social analytics are a cinch to both use and interpret – no special training is required provided you know how to read.
You’re however required to be super-smart with the kind of approach you take. Otherwise you’ll end up investing a lot of time with little to no results to show by the end of it all.
This section of the article looks at the various ways to harness the most out of social analytics by investing your time and effort wisely.
Start by Coming up with a Proper Plan or Baseline
Don’t just rush into analyzing your social media data without first establishing a solid plan or baseline.
Take some time to go through the data provided by your social analytics over an overstretched period of time and scour it for details. Your goal should be to find out more about your average performance across different social media platforms for notable patterns.
For social networks such as Facebook, you’re allowed to save the analytic data you get into a spreadsheet.
Take note of all the KPIs. Write them on paper where possible. This should help you figure out the best way forward and where to make necessary adjustments should there be a need for it.
Google analytics is one of most effective data mining tool out there. It’s therefore one of the tools you certainly don’t want to miss in your social media marketing toolkit
The referral section of your Google Analytics should have a list of the social media channels sending traffic to your site. They’ll all be arranged in order of their performance, with the best one featuring atop.
You should be able to tell from a casual glance which channel is driving off the most traffic.
More interesting about Google analytics is that it allows you to examine critical data including page views and the amount of time people are spending on your site. That way, you get to learn more about the quality of traffic you’re getting from each social media channel for proper adjustments.
The top most social media channel will be sending you the highest count of converting traffic, and it therefore passes as the channel to devote most of your social media marketing time and effort.
The social media marketing goals you set should be realistic enough for the strategy you’re employing to be termed as successful.
Without proper goals, you’ll certainly have a hard time achieving anything tangible with the online effort you apply.
Set your goals in terms of targeted visitors, conversion rate, engagement, and follower growth, and use social analytics to make necessary adjustments to your plan of action until you’re finally able to achieve them.
It’s also important that you make your social media goals correlate with your ultimate business goals. That’s another way of saying your goals should be SMART – that is, specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
In the virtual world of social media, timing could mean the different between running a successful online campaign and crashing hard.
Start by experimenting with different timings. Find out what time of the day your online visitors are at their most active.
Be consistent with the posts you make, making sure your posts are made at exact intervals of time or days.
It’s a Wrap
You’re NOT going to fully understand how to make the best use of social analytics within a day or two. If anything, it’s going to take you several weeks or even months for you to wrap your head around the tools and understand them on a professional level.
But with the right determination, it should take you way lesser time to observe notable results with the calibrations you make based on the data the tools provide. For further clarification and inquiries, make a point to get in touch with MediaOne for a free SEO consultation.