Whether you’re a big brand with an established social media following, or an up-and-coming small business starting fresh, data is likely playing a role in how your marketing activities run.
With nearly 49% of online shoppers swayed by social media in their purchase decision making, social media marketing has emerged as one of the most powerful ways to drive product sales and, in turn, generate massive revenues.
Data-driven marketing is the next step in bringing measurement and accountability to your campaigns—it’s something nearly every company can benefit from, and it has the potential to make all types of brands stronger, more successful marketers than ever before.
Understanding how to use data as part of your organization’s marketing strategy isn’t just about collecting numbers—it’s about using these numbers to answer questions and solve problems, which will ultimately enable you to create more strategic plans and refine your social media efforts to improve performance.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use data analytics to take your social media marketing strategy from good to great, respond quickly to upcoming opportunities by tracking metrics like sales and engagement rates, and establish a quantitative approach for evaluating success and failure.
Today, buyers research a brand or a product before making any purchase, with almost 54% of online browsers using social media to research products.
Take for example, Instagram – one of the most popular social platforms with the millennial and GenZ audience.
60% of Instagram users admit that they discover new brands on the platform more than anywhere else and 90% of Instagram users follow a business account. Hence, your brand’s online presence is very important and getting your marketing right on social media platforms is the key to gain it.
Here’s what you can do by having a strong brand presence on social media:
- Increase brand awareness in the most organic and cost-effective way.
- Stay relevant and on top of your customers’ (existing & potential) minds.
- Drive more website traffic and sales.
- Establish your brand as a thought leader.
- Humanize your brand to a great extent by simply allowing your existing and potential buyers to connect with you directly.
- Manage reputation and crises in a transparent and a quick manner.
Convinced that social media marketing is the go-to solution to get your brand the reach it deserves?
But, wait! Here’s the catch.
Just housing your brand in a nice business profile page on Instagram, Facebook, etc. alone will not help. Today, more and more brands are becoming cognizant of the power of social media. With 9 million+ small businesses that use Facebook, the competition for visibility is serious business in and of itself. It is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to get their social content noticed. And, the strategy of paying to get more impressions for posts is a never-ending tunnel. Whether you already have a social media page for your brand, or you haven’t created one yet- this article is for you.
Merely having a social media page and a social media marketing strategy won’t quite cut it. Data analytics, however, can change your social media marketing game, almost as quickly as you want. You can take your social media marketing strategy to the next level with the sheer power of data analytics!
Social media analytics is the process of gathering and analyzing data from popular social networks. From Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to Snapchat and TikTok, it includes all public forums of scale in a way.
Social media analytics is commonly used by marketers to track online conversations about their products and brands. It is also used by many to assess competitors’ products and the sentiment around the product category.
Social media analytics is important because it helps to keep you updated on your social media presence and how people are interacting with what you post. Metrics, such as likes, shares, comments on posts, and clicks, help you to see how engaged your audience is with your messages. This can be helpful for maintaining a social media presence, measuring the effectiveness of a campaign, or keeping track of changes in engagement over time.
Social media analytics can help your brand in the following 5 ways:
Social media analytics is important because it measures the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and offers insights into what you should be focusing on in order to improve your ROI.
Everyone guns for paid influencer campaigns, paid ad slots and curated content. Just doing this, however, is not enough. As a brand, you’d want to understand the ROI of every dollar spent on social media marketing campaigns.
For example, if a social media analytics tool can show that Facebook ads contributed to a 50% increase in sales, then the company would continue running Facebook ads. If the tool shows that Facebook ads resulted in a decrease in sales, then the company would stop running Facebook ads. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work allows a company to improve its marketing strategy.
Social media analytics is all about assessing the performance of each of your social media posts – be it ads or branded content. Here are some tools to help you get started with useful insights:
- You can start with Google analytics to identify social media platforms driving the maximum, targeted traffic to your site
- Facebook pixel is a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your advertising campaigns
- Instagram account and ad insights, YouTube’s studio are some popular destinations within these apps for assessing content’s performance
It may not be wise to base your business decisions on intuition or feelings. Use data to back up all your business decisions. Social media analytics and especially social media listening can be an absolute game-changer here!
● Social Media Listening: Gain the necessary social media listening intelligence and then use it to create impactful campaigns. To deliver an engaging piece of content, you must first listen to the conversation and understand the sentiment behind it. Tracking the number of brand mentions and the volume of conversation around your brand are the key steps to it. Social media listening, after all, is nothing but analyzing the conversations and trends within your brand and also in the industry, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions.
● Plan changes, expansions, extensions based on data: Listen to what your customers are talking about in real-time and base your next move on it. Planning to introduce a new product? Do a check with your customers and potential customers beforehand. Ask them about what features they would look for in the new launch. Make them a part of your business strategy from the start rather than waiting until after finishing the whole cycle of product development and sales to understand them.
Social media analytics gives you a way to understand what’s working within your social media marketing strategy and what’s not. A simple assessment of engagement on social media posts is usually a great marker to change your content strategy.
For example, you may notice that your customers prefer videos over static image posts and the shorter videos do 20% better than the longer ones. You’d immediately know where to focus your social marketing resources on. That’s the power of social media analytics. It lets you understand your customers, and what resonates with them, firsthand. You can develop your strategy as per their liking and hence, make them more likely to stick with your brand’s social media communication.
You can also use social media analytics to assess the volume of negative vs. positive feedback and the key terms that customers have been using. For example, if you sell nutraceuticals, look out for the density of keywords like ‘bad taste’ to see if that’s a feature customers by and large want you to improve.
To stay competitive, it is important to respond and jump onto the right trend bus in time! With social media analytics, you can understand the ongoing trends and demand patterns right in time.
For example, when the Korean beauty trend was picking up in Asia and the West, social media analytics could detect it ahead of time. As a result, Nykaa, a beauty and cosmetics retailer immediately introduced a few K-beauty product lines with the right amount of preparedness. The result? They won big time and gained an early mover advantage.
Social media analytics is not just limited to understanding your customer base. It also includes various methods and tools to assess the competitive landscape better. You can mine through the data of your competitors on social media (public data) and derive intel. You can start by analyzing your competitors’ social media activity and gathering data. Several tools can compare your social media performance vis-a-vis your competitors with just a few drags & drops.
For example, assessing your competitors’ most commonly used hashtags, media types, and top posts that have maximum engagement can give you ideas to better your social media marketing strategy too!
Learn more information about our offered data analytics solutions here.
There are a few key areas into which all social media marketing teams must dive deeper. Using social media analytics in these 5 areas could be extremely rewarding:
From understanding your audience to understanding their evolution in response to external events like the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, social media analytics can do it all. You can use certain social media analytics tools to see who your digital audiences are. You can segment your audience into different personas and ensure that the broader marketing strategy is aligned with that persona’s characteristics, interests, and behaviors on social media.
You may be tempted to ask whether there is a direct impact of audience analytics. The answer is a big yes! The better targeted and personalized your advertising is, the less it will cost you. By this, we mean you can lower your per-click cost and hence optimize the overall budget for a better ROI.
Sentiment analytics provides information about how customers are feeling about your company and its products, services, and more. Sentiment analysis can be used for various purposes in your business, such as determining which products are popular among your customers or when to provide customer service. Companies that use sentiment analysis usually have a very positive experience with it, both in terms of the quality of the data they get and the benefits it brings them.
Sentiment analysis allows you to track online mentions in real-time. So imagine if a planned PR campaign is beginning to take the wrong shape and a segment has taken offense to something, you can quickly terminate and take corrective action.
This is perhaps the most intuitive area where social media analytics come in handy. Analyzing a campaign’s performance in terms of engagement, CTR (click-through rate), impressions, etc. is the baseline of social media marketing. Assess your social media campaigns and compare them against each other using these key metrics to make sure the next one is more impactful than ever.
Social media marketing relies heavily on deploying influencers to create content for your brand. This league can however be very dicey at times. To assess if an influencer is a good fit for your social media campaign, you could use the power of data analytics.
For example, a lot of influencers beef up their follower count with paid bots. To assess their actual reach and impact, you can go deeper to analyze their interactions per 1,000 followers. Or, maybe analyze the number of posts a week to assess how active they are. The right tools can help you analyze the real engagement an influencer can generate – which is only what will matter to your campaign, after all!
Lastly, competitive analytics is one key area you mustn’t miss out on. Social media analytics lets you assess your competitors’ social media strategy because the content and response to it are almost all out there. Except for the DMs (direct messages), there is almost everything open for you to understand and learn from. The post formats, the quality of content, engagement metrics, etc. are all key parameters used by many leading analytics tools. Choose an AI-powered tool to use as a benchmarking solution. It will let you see your competitors’ performance based on industry, country, and region.
Marketing can be a waste of money and resources when you don’t know what is working and what’s not. Intuition, advice, and feelings cannot substitute for real data that can make your decision-making much more impactful. If you are a brand marketer, use the right tools to observe, measure, analyze and draw on the learnings from your campaign’s performance before planning the next one. Remember, measurement and analysis are the way to go!
Author bio: Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer at Radarr, a social media listening, monitoring and analytics tool helping businesses understand and stay ahead of their target market.