The biggest challenge that small businesses face is customer acquisition, according to a Campaign Monitor survey. What they probably don’t know, is that they can use social media analytics for small businesses to overcome this challenge.
When marketing plans are based on solid data and insights, their failure rate is low. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that data is the single most important factor that differentiates a successful social media marketing strategy from a failed one.
When you understand your audience, platforms, and competitors thoroughly, you can use that information to outperform everybody who’s just shooting in the dark with social media marketing. Quite naturally, such purpose-driven marketing can help acquire customers, leads, and a lot more.
In this post, I will walk you through use cases wherein social media analytics can prove to be a gamechanger for small businesses. Each use case is supported by relevant examples and actionable tips so that you can start leveraging them right away.
Let’s get started.
5 Applications of Social Media Analytics for Small Businesses
For small businesses, social media analytics is like a swiss army knife. It helps accomplish multiple tasks and achieve various goals from generating leads to reporting performance.
But when marketing budgets are small, it’s essential to prioritize use cases that directly (and favorably) impact the bottom line of your small business. Below are five such use cases.
1. Strategy Assessment
As social media adoption increases, it becomes an even tougher terrain to navigate, especially for cash-strapped small businesses. With more and more players entering the turf with each passing day, you need fail-proof marketing strategies to outperform your competitors.
That’s where the use of social media analytics comes into play. By using social media analytics, you can identify the strategies that work for your audience, location, and niche.
For small businesses with small budgets, analytics-driven marketing can result in major cost savings as well as assured returns. It has become a necessary tool to accomplish your marketing needs.
Need an example?
With 81% of people using Instagram for product discovery and research, the platform is the focal point for marketing for small businesses.
Like them, if you too intend to harness Instagram, it makes sense to use Instagram analytics to track your impressions, engagement, hashtag performance, and post-performance. You can assess your influencers’ performance and your ad reach as well.
In short, you can take the guesswork out of Instagram marketing and wade the waters on more than just gut feelings.
If you need inspiration on using social media analytics like a pro, check out CLUSE’s feed. The watch and jewelry brand uses analytics to drill down into their most successful Instagram marketing strategy — user-generated content.
In the post below, they even identified a brand advocate using the strategy, all thanks to social media analytics.
Image via Instagram
2. Lead Generation
Social media analytics can reveal unexpected lead-generation opportunities for small businesses. No amount of prior market research can compete with the real-time insights that social media analytics yield.
Let’s say you own a health food business that caters to health-conscious consumers in the 18–35 years age bracket. Based on this broad assumption, you create social media marketing plans that appeal to them.
But sophisticated lead generation tools may indicate a high-potential market in an older age group that may be untapped. Armed with that intel, you can divert some resources that way and boost your lead volume.
3. Content Posting and Scheduling
Social media platforms are inundated with tons of stellar content every second. In order for your content to grab the right eyeballs, you need to time it strategically — when your target audience is most active. At the same time, you need to be mindful of audience fatigue and avoid spamming feeds.
You don’t need to make a manual effort to identify the ideal posting frequency and posting times for each platform. Powerful social media analytics can reveal these insights with ease.
Analytics-led social media scheduling tools enable you to queue content in advance and put your marketing on auto-pilot. You can even bulk-post content on multiple platforms without losing sleep.
Social media marketing is not only about posting your content but also about engaging the audience and building a community. Analytics tools can identify user sentiment around your brand so you can craft appropriate responses and time them perfectly. Proactive marketing can amp up your brand reputation and user satisfaction in a big way.
Starbucks is hardly a small business but their social media marketing is an inspiration for all businesses. Note how they strike a conversation with their customer in the wee hours and come up with just the right answers, owing to smart social listening tools.
Image via Twitter
4. ROI Measurement and Forecast
Small businesses don’t have the luxury of large disposable incomes. They need to ration their expenses and overheads, which is possible only when they are able to measure revenue precisely.
With social media analytics tools laying out the numbers unambiguously, it’s impossible to be distracted by vanity metrics. You know exactly which channels, posts, influencers, and tactics have the potential to give solid results.
Additionally, you can compare and contrast your YoY performance objectively and communicate the results to internal and external stakeholders. All of this adds to the transparency and efficiency of small businesses.
Is that all?
Above all, social media analytics can help C-suite executives make intelligent financial decisions. Knowing that all the data in there is accurate, real-time, and authentic, they can set short and long-term revenue goals with confidence.
You can also forecast monthly, quarterly, and yearly ROI with precision, and get management buy-in for future marketing campaigns. Not only that, budgeting and resource allocation become easier with real numbers to guide you.
5. Performance Reporting
The onus to show solid marketing results can be stressful, to say the least. But, with analytics tools constantly measuring your KPIs and metrics in the background, the stress can be alleviated to some degree.
These tools can not only fetch relevant data points from a sea of data but also crunch them efficiently, according to pre-fed algorithms. Above all, they can identify hidden patterns and trends that can help shape your marketing plans and make a big difference to your bottom line.
Report creation is a breeze with analytics tools that have the capacity to build visual data representations. They can present enormous amounts of data packaged in digestible formats.
Ready to Use Social Media Analytics for Your Small Business?
As is evident, social media analytics is the secret sauce to success for small businesses. It can optimize lead generation efforts and help with strategic planning, reporting, and ROI measurement. In short, it is crucial for smart marketers and entrepreneurs alike.
Are you looking for more social media marketing tips by any chance? Write your requests in the comments section and I’ll try to respond as soon as possible.