For brands looking to leave their mark in the industry, adopting a data-driven approach and using social media analytics can improve and optimise their business performance to a great extent.Sachin Karweer
On social media, publishing the best content regularly is an important task for most organisations, but something much more crucial than that is knowing how well your content is performing. This is an accurate indicator of whether your social media strategies are working, or need to be tweaked to perform better. Better content leads to a higher return on investment (ROI), and businesses can also benefit by utilising the power of social media analytics, which is easily available today in a wide variety of tools, ranging from automated to manual.
The crowded and competitive arena of social media brings to the fore many opportunities to connect, engage, service, and nurture customers. It’s a space where customer-relationships are at the centre of marketing strategies. And for brands that are serious about leaving their mark in the industry, keeping a sharp eye on these relationships, with the help of social media analytics, can improve and optimise business performance.
There’s no doubt that the benefits of social media are wide ranging and plenty, right from effectively assisting customer service and interaction, retention, and brand recall to product announcements, launches and much more. But when you adopt a data-driven approach and track all the above-mentioned customer-centric activities, you open up avenues to a whole new level of focused strategies that can help you get the most out of your social presence. In fact, social media spends are expected to increase by 71 percent in the next five years, according to this recent report.
Social media analytics and metrics can gather all types of information and is commonly referred to as ‘social listening’. This simply means that all the on-going activities on social media platforms are monitored and tracked. This data is then collected and filtered to reveal a wealth of information and insights about your audience for better decision-making abilities.
Here’s how you can devise effective social media strategies for your brand through regular evaluation and analysis of social analytics and online conversations.
Make smarter business decisions with data-driven customer insights
Gather information from all your social networks to delve deeper into the psyche of the active and potential customer with reports, charts, and graphs that include crucial and robust data. This data can range from who the customers are to where they are from, their marital and financial status, how much they purchase online, their likes and dislikes, preferences, interests, gender, and other demographics that can be systematically used to create user profiles. Once enough profiles are gathered, personas can be created, around which marketing and campaigns can be built.
Take a measured and thoughtful approach that first allows you to understand your audience. Understand which platforms they respond to the highest.
These findings will help you to optimise your services, offerings, and content to offer an experience they will remember and come back for. The idea is to transform this social information into actionable insights, and when you have an idea of what your audience wants, you can invest in the right direction.
Identify and encourage influencers to increase brand reach
In every business’s roster of followers, there are bound to be a list of people who are more active than others, it could be by liking, sharing, interacting or creating activity around your brand and content. They may not be famous influencers, but to your brand, they are influencers nonetheless, as their activities drive engagement and conversations.
With the help of social media analytics, you can identify these brand loyalists and engage or encourage them to bring in a larger audience to your brand’s circle. By identifying these micro-influencers, you can reward them for their allegiance, thus encouraging them, or incorporate them in social conversations and campaigns to drive interactions among your followers.
Use metrics to benchmark the competition
The best method to know where your brand stands in your industry is to constantly monitor your competitors. Thankfully, social media analytics offers a wide range of competitor analysis tools that can quickly reveal how you perform compared to top competitors in your business.
These social tools come in handy to monitor crucial metrics of other players in the field, what their audience size is, how fast they are growing, brand mentions, campaigns and content strategies, what they are sharing with their fans and followers, along with their levels of engagement, to name a few.
Once you establish the difference and determine what types of content and social tactics are working for them, you can target the same areas for improvement, thus increasing your edge over your competitors.
Regularly monitor brand sentiment
Sentiment analysis is the breakdown and study of all the positive, negative or neutral mentions and interactions your brand receives on social media. Social sentiment monitoring tools can measure and report these sentiments on a consistent basis so you can identify certain pain points that may have gone unnoticed on your support channels.
Customers are a tech-savvy and social bunch, and they may not necessarily use the channels you have provided for issues, choosing to go the social route instead.
Analysing the sentiment can also uncover demographic or location-specific issues, which would otherwise be difficult to spot. This information can then be isolated and solved with the help of targeted social media marketing or focused campaigns that can resolve these pain-points for specific audiences, thus enhancing operational standards and improving customer experience.
Increase web or platform specific traffic
When you use social media analytics, you gain access to important metrics such as traffic source analytics and web visits. These stats are a great way to classify and categorise the social networks that bring in the most audience visits, either on web or social platforms.
When you have this information, you can immediately decide which platforms to continue supporting and which platforms you can cease activities on, if they are not performing accordingly. This method also allows businesses to track their most popular social media pages, posts, and other well-performing content so they can continue offering their audience high-performing engagement opportunities.
Increase online conversions
Similar to the scenario above, social media analytics provide a vast range of metrics to track, one of these being conversion sources, which reveals the sources that are actively bringing in the most conversions for your brand.
For every business, revenue generation is the most important goal, making this a significant metric to carefully monitor. Once you can see which platforms are bringing in the most conversions, you can align your social media and content strategies to focus on these high performing areas, thus increasing growth and conversions for your brand.
People are not shy to speak their mind online these days, and as a business, you should strive to listen to what they are saying about your brand. Social analytics help collect real conversations from several social networks so you can listen and make changes, amends or even improve your targeted marketing.
This social research will disclose a lot about what your customers think about your brand and its offerings, thus giving you a chance to improve on your services, social strategies, and marketing initiatives.
If you feel that your brand is barking up the wrong tree or that you have misdiagnosed your target audience and your social and content strategies are not performing or bringing in conversions, social media tracking will help your brand get right on track.
The data collected by social tracking tools are statistically significant and can provide in-depth representation and insights in the form of reports, stats, charts, and much more. It is possibly a business’s most potent lead generating tool, when used correctly, and can mean the difference between a successful brand that understands the needs and background of its audience and one that doesn’t.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)