Social media analytics can be a powerful tool to guide your current and future campaigns in the right direction. Just like social listening, you’ll use analytics to help you make better decisions, solve problems, improve performance, and understand your audience. With social listening, the information you gather is qualitative. Qualitative data describes qualities or characteristics. It is data gathered through observation, such as listening to the language people use when talking about your business.
Analytics, on the other hand, looks at quantitative data. Quantitative data is information that can be counted or compared on numeric scale. It’s data you can measure numerically, such as a number of clicks on a platform in a certain time period. Analytics will be a crucial component of all of your marketing efforts.
Imagine you developed and launched a social media campaign for your company’s latest product. To find out how your audience is receiving your campaign, you might want to learn some specifics. The percentage of your followers who interacted with your post or the number of views. Social media analytics can provide you with insights into how your content are doing.
Understand social media analytics
Social media analytics is the process of tracking, collecting, and analyzing data from social media platforms to improve an organization’s strategic business decisions. So how social media analytics can support your campaigns?
First, social media analytics can help you better understand your audience. Using analytics, you can learn which types of content result in the best audience engagement. It also shows you when your audience is most active online. This can help you determine the best time to post on different platforms.
Draw insights from data to inform your platform choices. Your content may perform better on some platforms than on others. Using analytics, you can measure your engagement, traffic, and sales on different platforms. You then use the information to decide which platforms to publish on and how to prioritize your time on different platforms.
Through analytics, you can learn what content drives the best results. For instance, you can monitor whether images, videos, or links do better on particular platforms or which types of images perform best. Most social media platforms offer analytic tools for businesses and creators free of charge.
Analytics can help you learn from your competitors too. Twitter, for instance, allows you to analyze all public conversations on the platform. Analyzing your competitors’ data allows you to evaluate what they do well and what mistakes they make. This can inform how you adapt and improve your content and strategy.
Social media analytics also allows you to measure your social media ROI (Return on Investment). If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might use analytics tools to measure how many followers you’ve gained on different platforms in a given period. Presenting this data to your stakeholders helps prove the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.
The insights you gain can help you improve your social media strategy. Analytics helps you understand what is working well in your social media strategy and what is not as effective. This allows you to better focus your time, efforts, and budget. For example, you can refine your audience demographics based on new data and adjust your contents accordingly.
In addition to that, there are third-party platforms like Google Analytics, Sprout Social, Hootsuite Analytics, and Buffer Analyze. These tools provide you with compelling insight in one place, which we will talk about later.
Metrics to track with social media analytics
There are dozens of social media metrics you could track to help you measure progress towards your campaign goals. Let’s explore some of the most common social media metrics and how they fit into the social media marketing funnel, and why it’s helpful to track them.
A metric is a quantifiable measurement that is used to track and assess a business objective. Your social media goal will determine which metrics you focus on and work to optimize. Your social media strategy is based on the larger marketing campaign, which is often determined by the goals of your business.
Each goal of your social media marketing campaign will be geared at guiding people through the stages of the social media marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. Consequently, each goal will have related metrics that will help measure progress toward that goal.
Let’s discuss some common metrics related to goals in each marketing funnel stage.
The first stage of the marketing funnel is awareness, which is when your goal is to capture your audience’s attention. Brand awareness metrics measure the attention your brand received across all social media platforms during a reporting period.
Metrics related to brand awareness includes the number of shares, mentions, links to your content, and impressions your brand has received in a given time period. Impression is when a piece of content is displayed to your target audience.
Another common awareness-related metric is potential reach. Potential reach measure how many people have potentially seen a post since you published it. For example, if a person Retweets a post on Twitter, then you can assume that potentially a certain percentage of their followers will also see the post. These metrics helps you access your progress towards expanding your social media audience.
Once your potential customers are aware of your brand, they enter into the next stage in the marketing funnel: Consideration stage. This is when potential customers are thinking about doing business with you. At this point, you can start to measure engagement metrics like applause rate. Applause rate is the number of approval actions such as likes, mentions, retweets, or favorites that a post receives relative to your total number of followers.
A high applause rate shows that your audience finds that piece of content valuable. It indicates a level of interest in your brand, which could lead to making a purchase. It helps you to decide what to create next.
Once potential customers have decided to make a purchase, they’ll enter the conversion stage. At this point, you can measure things like a referral. Referral indicates how someone was guided to your website. You can track how many people were referred to your website form all your social media platforms and measure the referrals you receive on specific platforms.
You can also measure conversions. Conversion – the completion of an activity that contributes to the success of a business. These activities can include anything from clicking on a link to buying something. Social conversions are actions a person takes on your website because of having seen your social media campaigns recently.
After someone becomes a customer, your goal is to build their loyalty. In this stage, you might measure things like the number of customer testimonials your receive. Customer testimonial – any customer review, assessment, comment, endorsement, or interview relating to your brand. When people are enthusiastic about your brand, they are more likely to share their positive feelings with others. This will boost both trust and credibility in your brand while boosting your brand’s social media presence.
Another metric to measure customer loyalty is the Net Promoter Score. Net Promoter Score – a metric that helps predict future customer engagement by asking customers: “How likely is it that you would recommend our product to a friend?” Customers respond on a scale of 1 to 10. Depending on the number they choose, they are considered either unhappy customers, satisfied but unenthusiastic customers, or loyal enthusiasts. Reviewing NPS can help you measure customer satisfaction and predict potential future sales.
Metrics are important because they show whether your social media strategy is successful over time. By studying different metrics from each stage of the marketing funnel, you can better understand your brand’s social media performance.
Popular social media analytic tools
Social media analytics tools allow brands to identify trends and gain actionable insights to optimize overall performance. With so much consumer data being posted on social media daily, social media analytics tools have become a critical component in audience analysis, competitive research, and product research. Gathering data and insights can help companies inform and make business decisions for their brand. Below are the industry-trusted tools for social media analysis.
Sprout special is a cross-channel social media analytics tool, which means you can compare performance across all your social media channels. You can view how your company’s social media accounts are measuring up against one another, and determine which one you should invest time and effort on. It also allows you to compile data into reports, so keeping team members up-to-date on your progress is a seamless process.
You may have heard about Google Analytics before, it has many functions to aid not just your social media analytics tool. It can be used for tracking how much traffic your website receives from social media.
As you post across social media channels, you may decide using hashtags is an important part of your strategy. If that’s the case, a tool like Keyhole is useful because it provides real-time performance reporting on any hashtags relevant to your campaign.
TapInfluence offers unique features that specifically help brands track influencer marketing campaigns. With TapInfluence, you can track engagement, reach, and return on investment for each influencer. You can view each influencer’s typical reach and engagement to help you decide if you want to reach out to them to create a partnership.
There are numerous tools out there that will help you optimize your social media marketing strategy. As you do more research into the various social media tools, keep in mind what your business goals and priorities are so you can make sure you are using the right tools for your brand.
Social testing is an experimental process that shows how social media content is performing among target audiences. Let’s learn about the different types of social testing and how each can help a brand’s social presence.
Intro to social testing
Social testing is important because like any type of marketing analytics, it provides data-driven insights about a brand’s social media performance and audience preferences. Social media marketers use social testing to determine which content is effective, which types of posts the audience engages with most, and how to allocate budget towards effective types of posts.
There are several types of social testing. Which type(s) to use depends on your brand’s business goals. Once those goals are outlined, you will be able to determine which type(s) of social testing will help you uncover the information you need to be most effective. Some of the most common types of social testing include A/B testing and multivariate testing.
A/B testing compares two versions of a post with a single differing variable. For example, to test how to increase website traffic, you might run two paid social media ads that send the user to your homepage. The ads can be exactly alike, except for one changed variable. Maybe on ad includes a headline with a popular song reference in it, while the other one doesn’t. If your audience clicks on the version with the popular song reference in it more often than the other version, you may feel more confident using pop culture references in the future.
Multivariate testing compares two or more versions of a post with several differing variables. For example, to find out how different variations of an ad you created perform against each other, you might create four different versions. Version one would include an image with a caption. Version two would include a GIF instead of an image and a different caption. Version three would include different copy and a different color scheme, and on the fourth version, you might change the color scheme and also include GIF you used in the second variation.
Social testing results
A very important part of social testing is the results you get after you’ve completed testing. Correctly evaluating results and drawing conclusions based on statistical data is important for future social media campaigns and strategies. To get adequate results, consider running tests several times. You may want to run your tests for a week, month, or longer, and observe what your audience liked and didn’t like. The more tests you run, the more certain you can be of your results.
It’s also important to make sure you are thoughtful about selecting which variables to alter, so you have results to learn from. It will help you optimize your strategy.
Use social media data to drive marketing strategy
Once you’ve identified metrics, chosen a tool to track them, and collected the data, you need to determine what the data means and which strategic decisions you’ll make in response to it. Let’s discuss some different ways data might affect your decisions and strategy.
Improve your social media content.
Measuring engagement data shows you what content resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. You can have access to post length, visuals, hashtags, and tone affect engagement. You might decide to adjust your content strategy based on those findings. For example, if data shows that contents with infographics are getting higher engagement, you can plan to publish more infographics in the future.
Track your competitors
You can track competitors’ engagement data to identify their success factors, including which of their content performs best, which platforms their content is shared on the most, and which influencers are most effective at promoting their content. Based on that information, you can adjust your strategy.
Spot emerging trends
Furthermore, tracking data like the shares or retweets of different content can help you spot emerging trends across social media. For example, augmented reality has become an emerging trend on social media that’s very interactive, and therefore, highly effective for engagement.
Analyzing this data can give you insight into what content, products, and advertising are creating the most interest online. This can help you create real-time marketing content that’s relevant to what people are most interested in at any given time. If you find that a large percentage of your audience is sharing posts about a particular news story, for instance, then you might create content related to that story.
Target the best platforms for your brand
Analytics can also help you determine the best platforms for your brand. When you track different metrics on each of your platforms, you can get a better understanding of how your content performs on those platforms. Then you can target the platforms on which your content performs best. For example, if some of your posts are performing much better on Facebook than on Instagram, then you could continue to publish similar content on Facebook while adjusting your content strategy for Instagram.
Analytics enables you to customize content for your customers. By gathering data about specific customers based on their personas, you can provide customers with customized content. For instance, you might create targeted content for a local audience that references local issues, interests, locations, or weather.
Customized content has been shown to drive engagement and conversions. This is because customers appreciate brands that seem authentic and trustworthy, and personalized content can provide that impression.
Social media marketing and analytics go hand in hand. Analytics allows you to learn more about your customers and find out how they feel about your brand and your competitors’ brands. More importantly, make data-informed decisions to improve your content and marketing strategy.
Happy learning and good luck!