In the marketing business, data plays a major role in guiding strategy. Businesses of all sizes have now come to realize that much of their success hinges on connecting. Connecting, with their target audiences. There is no better way to accomplish this in this day and age than through social media.
There are currently 4.55 billion social media users in the world, making for a rich consumer pool from which to connect with and convert paying customers. Social media marketing has thus not surprisingly become an essential part of most businesses marketing strategies and budgets.
This brings social media analytics into play as a critical key resource for strategic marketing decision-making. The ultimate goal is to secure the highest ROI possible.
What are social media analytics
When we think of social media, initial thoughts are likely to be about images, videos, and posts that you have to click through. Social media is, however, more than just entertainment. It is an incredibly powerful channel through which to connect with audiences and boost brand awareness.
It is also unique in its ability to empower users to share content and opinions with others they have a common interest with, even if they do not personally know each other. Hence the reason terms like “trending” and “viral” are commonplace in social media. Therefore, for businesses seeking to build a strong presence on social media, it is vital to ensure that campaigns result in positive references to their brand.
Social media analytics provides a way to track how well-received campaigns are by gathering data on social consumers that interact with the content. Analytics refers to the metrics or data collected from using social media platforms. This data provides valuable insights as to how social media campaigns are performing. This is measured through different types of metrics, including likes, shares, clicks, conversion rates, and so on.
You can then use insights provided by this data to guide decisions made on any further social media campaigns. The insights are useful in guiding future marketing and can also help in other areas of the business like product development and customer care.
Benefits of social media analytics
1. Sales Funnel Guidance
Managing a social consumer’s journey through the sales funnel means tentatively taking them from awareness to conversion. Social media analytics helps manage this relationship to its maturity by providing valuable data like what type of content delivers the most engagement.
Keeping up strong engagement will eventually encourage conversion by using content and campaigns to heighten brand awareness and knowledge, build trust, and eventually promote the desire to buy.
2. Boost Innovation
Social media channels are full of discussion and opinions on various products and services. Whether brand-specific or generalized, this information can be highly useful in product or service innovations. In addition, businesses can use social media analytics to gather such valuable information and apply it in improving or adding to their offering.
This data can be collected from customer reactions to existing product lines mentioned on social media, their reaction to competitors’ products, and any conversations on the product category.
Starbucks at one time harnessed this idea by providing a direct channel for such contributions through its now-ended “My Starbucks Idea”. This campaign allowed customers to share ideas on products and vote on them. Those that were selected are then highlighted, offering a chance to see their development, launch, and success.
3. Monitor Brand Reputation
The ability to monitor mentions of a brand can help businesses learn when and where there is a discussion about them. Businesses can also monitor the mention of their competitors and the general product category. This can provide insights into what public opinion is like and take action quickly. This is how social listening works and should be an ongoing effort.
By learning if there are issues to address early on, quick action can be taken that may help salvage the reputation of the business or even boost it. For example, Booksellers Waterstones had an unfortunate incident in 2014 whereby a customer was locked in their Trafalgar Square store. His tweet asking for assistance went viral quickly and luckily brought to the company’s attention that swiftly arranged for his release.
4. Optimizing Marketing Spends
ROI is important for any business. Social media analytics provides data that shows businesses where their campaigns are reaping the biggest return. They come to understand the platforms that provide them with the largest audience. Also, the most engaging content and even the time of day users are more likely to click through.
All these metrics mean businesses can gradually improve on their campaigns, investing more where the engagement and return are highest. Choosing to scale Facebook ads is one of the ways businesses can maximize their most profitable campaigns, ultimately delivering more leads and sales for the business. Businesses that first start on social media marketing will cast a wide net. But as more information is collected and analyzed, they can modify their strategies and campaigns to guarantee the best return.
5. Insights Provided by Social Media Analytics
Social media analytics provides a range of metrics to work with. Businesses need to select those that provide them with insights that are most valuable to making marketing decisions. This requires some attention to what goals the business hopes to achieve by running campaigns and working backward to identify the tools that will provide them with these insights.
Analyzing social media audiences makes it possible to build profiles of what kinds of users are drawn to the brand and will engage. Once you have better information on your audiences, such as their age, gender, location, and interests, you can better tailor your content to appeal to them.
You can also better target your adverts to appear before other online users who share these demographics, increasing their likelihood of clicking and following. It can also help identify users within your following that may make good influencers based on their own following and the content they share.
Content creation guidance
Social media analytics provides data on how audiences respond to content that is posted. Businesses can establish what content is most engaging and use this to guide future content creation.
GoPro found that video marketing was an excellent means of promoting their technology and tapped into user-generated content from customers to show off the quality visuals that could be captured. They have built up a massive library of video content over the years that have helped promote their brand
Different businesses will see success in building audiences and engaging them on different platforms. For instance, those in the fashion and beauty industries tend to find more interested audiences on visual platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Social media analytics can help identify which platforms perform best for your business. Where there is a limited response, the business can consider dropping out and focusing on developing content where engagement and conversion rates are higher.
Marketers have found that there are times of day when engagement tends to be highest. This is when your audience is most likely to log in to their social media accounts and look through the content. Most users will get to a certain point and lose interest. Avoid posting too early to lose out on visibility.
Analytics helps to identify the most promising periods during which you should post content to encourage users to notice and click through. You can use tools to upload the content and have an automated system post it at predetermined times.
Discussion is rife on social media. Social listening allows businesses to capture information discussed by their brand, competitors, and the rest of the industry. It helps businesses ensure their reputations are not being harmed. They learn about competitors’ mistakes they should avoid, trends to capitalize on, and much more.
Analytic tools allow for this monitoring to be easily carried out by drawing on the most relevant banter and then ascertaining what audiences feel about their brand, products, and industry. They can let you cut through the noise and get to what is most impactful.
How to use social media analytics to run campaigns effectively
You have now drawn insights from the collected social media analytics. The next step is to use this information to guide your future campaigns better. This step will improve your next campaigns’ chances of success, reaping a greater reward for your bottom line.
1. Focus On the Best Channels
Once you realize that some platforms are simply not working for your business, it is time to end their use. You do not need to be on every social media platform. Especially when you consider there are hundreds of social media sites, yet the online users have just 8.5 social media accounts on average.
2. Determine The Purpose of Your Campaign
Businesses will have various reasons to run a social media campaign. It could be to promote brand awareness, launch a product, or boost following. Once you have a goal in mind, you should be better able to identify what metrics will matter most. The likes, shares, and follows will determine the success of a brand awareness campaign. The same may not apply strictly when trying to launch a product where conversion is more vital.
3. Keep Tracking Analytics
You can make adjustments to your marketing campaigns regularly. Tracking metrics will ensure you are making optimal use of your marketing budget. This also helps you focus on providing you with the best ROI. Audience responses to your campaigns can change with time. This is why the need to track and keep refining your approach for the best results.