Social media is by far one of the most effective marketing strategies, and it has become an indispensable weapon in any marketer’s arsenal, and rightfully so if we bear in mind that there are more than 3 billion social media users all around the world. This strategy is also cost-effective, which makes it perfect for startups and companies with a tight budget.
However, although to a layman it might seem like a pretty straightforward thing, managing social media channels and running campaigns both require a lot of work, not only beforehand, but also afterwards. If you want to make the most of this useful strategy, you need to keep track of your metrics and analyse them so that you can tweak and fine-tune your efforts. Here are some tips on how to leverage social media analytics, what to measure, and how to make the most of your data.
The performance of your products and services
Customers have a wide variety of choices nowadays, and they won’t settle for anything that falls short of their expectations. In other words, if they’re not satisfied with your offer, they will go to your competition. That’s why you need to carefully monitor how your products or services perform on social media and make changes and upgrades accordingly. Given the fact that most people genuinely trust other users’ reviews and comments on social media channels, it’s clear that businesses need to take social media listening very seriously and improve their marketing strategies based on this metric. If you don’t engage in social media listening, you won’t be able to truly connect with your customers, and that can seriously damage your business.
Many business owners mostly pay attention to so-called vanity metrics – the number of followers, page views, the number of downloads of their free white paper, or the follower ratio. However, these metrics don’t exactly impact your bottom line. While it’s true that these metrics are extremely important in their own right because they signify a certain level of interest of the audience and also contribute to brand recognition and awareness, it’s the engagement rate that matters most. The number of organic shares, likes, comments, and mentions is something that you should carefully monitor. It’s no use if you have a huge following that doesn’t interact with your content. As one of social media’s purposes is to expand your reach, attract the attention of your target audience, and send traffic to your website, it’s essential to know how many visitors come from each particular channel.
Social media analytics gives you an insight into these numbers, and it also shows you how each piece of content performs, meaning that you can figure out what your audience wants. In this article by a media monitoring agency Isentia, from Australia, an interesting point has been made that social media listening, by combining marketing and communications, can help create effective social media marketing campaigns that ultimately benefit the customer.
Pick the right channel
Facebook is the social media platform with 2.23 billion monthly active users, which makes it the most popular social network. It’s suitable for different industries, and it stands to reason that your company needs to have its own Facebook page. On the other hand, Instagram and Pinterest are visually oriented platforms, which means that mainly “glamorous” industries such as fashion or design can actually benefit from these two channels.
However, before you dismiss any channel, it’s essential to do your research and find out where the members of your target audience frequently hang out. Similarly, if your brand has products for different demographics, you need to take that into consideration and use different channels to reach out to these different segments of customers. For example, Coca-Cola has separate pages for its different products, as well as separate accounts for different countries and regions in which it operates.
Spy on your competitors
Social media analytics can also be used for keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing and how their campaigns are performing. Businesses with similar products undoubtedly share similar audiences. This means that you can observe your competitors’ social media profiles and see how often they’re posting content, what kind of content they create, and how their followers are responding. This way you can get some ideas for your own content and social media campaigns. The data you collect can be used for targeting your competitors’ followers with Facebook Ads too.
Influencer marketing is all the rage at the moment. No wonder when 70% of millennials say that their purchasing decisions are influenced by recommendations from their peers, while 30% of them admit that they’re more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Influencers can promote your content, or even recommend your products or services to their following which can bring you lots of potential customers.
However, identifying the right influencer for your business can be tricky, but there are tools that can help you, for example, find the most shared content on a certain topic and give you an insight into who shared it. It’s better to opt for a micro-influencer with a smaller but more responsive and loyal following than to chase after some big-shot celebrity blogger who doesn’t have a particularly close relationship with their followers.
Recycle your evergreen content
All of your social media marketing efforts heavily rely on the quality of your content. And as you know, coming up with superb and compelling content, which will engage your target audience, can be challenging. So, when the metrics show that a particular piece of content you posted some time ago still drives traffic and engagement, make sure to repost it on a regular basis. However, it’s a good idea to update it and add a new perspective on things or the latest stats and information. There’s no reason to be worried that by posting the same content several times will annoy and bore your readers. The truth is that your community grows, which means that not everybody has had a chance to read it.
Don’t just simply throw darts in the dark and expect that your social media efforts will be worthwhile. Social media analytics will provide you with an accurate and precise roadmap to success.
Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger, currently writing for Bizzmark Blog. Topics that she covers include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMBs. She’s especially interested in social media and technology. Loves coffee, music and video games.