In an age of digital transformation, the way we communicate is constantly changing. The internet has opened up communication through technologies as simple as a VoIP router or social media, and as complex as chatbots. In 2020, businesses are utilizing these dynamic communication channels to build and strengthen customer relationships.
Social media is used by 3.5 billion people around the world. Not so long ago, it was simply a communication platform where users could share sporadic updates and regrettable photos. Nowadays, it’s an invaluable asset for business growth.
If you use social media, then you’ll have some idea of just how much information people share across various platforms. So how can you leverage all that information from social media to create data-driven marketing strategies?
What Is Social Media Analytics & Why Is It Important?
Social media analytics involves gathering and analyzing data from social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and using that information to inform business decisions.
Data collected from social media analytics reveals how users engage with, view or share content. Tracking and analyzing social data can help marketers to identify high-performing content based on the audience, recognize trends on different platforms and track the overall effectiveness of a brand’s social media strategy.
Social media analytics is important in helping businesses to:
- Measure ROI: With the right analytics tools, marketers can measure their ROI and prove the impact of their efforts on business results.
- Make better strategic marketing decisions: Data-driven marketing strategies perform better. By allowing your data to drive future marketing decisions, you can focus resources and time on efforts that yield results.
- Compare performance against competitors: You can understand the context of your efforts by comparing them to competitors and performance averages.
Identify & Track KPIs For Different Platforms
Before you delve into using social media analytics, you’ll need to outline your key performance indicators (KPIs). Your KPIs help you understand how your efforts translate into business results. It’s crucial that you track KPIs in the following areas:
- Engagement: Clicks, shares, comments, profile visits, etc.;
- Reach: Followers/fans, impressions and traffic data;
- Leads: How many people are actually interested in your product or service; and
- Customers: How many leads become customers after engaging with your brand on social media?
Choose Your Analytics Tools
Much like a virtual switchboard phone system directs customers to the right operator, your analytics tool should direct you towards the parts of your strategy that need to be optimized.
Your analytics tools should:
- Have a simple, easy-to-manage interface;
- Measure brand performance across multiple social platforms;
- Create detailed reports that can be shared between teams; and
- Highlight what is working well and recommend improvements.
Digital transformations are taking place across industries. Used in tandem with machine learning, social media analytics tools make it simple to analyze and target your audience based on their habits, likes and behaviors.
Use Data To Optimize Your Marketing Strategy
The social media landscape is rapidly evolving day by day. Whether your business slots into B2B, wholesale or retail sales channels, leveraging data from social media analytics is an ongoing process that requires constant attention.
The data you collect and analyze will provide insight into a variety of business areas, including customer experience, content engagement, audience growth and even sales prospecting. When it comes to data collection with social media analytics, the more the better. Armed with all that data, you can understand which content is performing well and which isn’t. You can then identify trends across platforms that can inform your future marketing campaigns.
Data provides key insights into your target audience. Using these metrics, you can personalize content based on your audience’s needs and values. Eighty percent of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with personalized experiences. By being authentic and trustworthy, consumers are more likely to engage and buy from your business.
Data gleaned from social media analytics is also crucial in analyzing competitors’ strategies and determining your brand’s position in the market. You can learn from their successes and failures and devise better, more robust marketing strategies to drive growth.
With millions spent on paid social media advertising every year, it’s essential for businesses to justify their investments. Analytics allows businesses to measure paid advertising ROI and optimize it for results. What’s more, analytics can provide insights into customer service, community management and influencer performance.
By leveraging the data from analytics, you can scale content efforts up or down and justify your social media expenditure. Moreover, you can ensure that your social media strategy is meeting your marketing needs and achieving tangible results in the form of engagement, leads and sales.
A platform that reaches so many people in real-time can open up new avenues for lead generation, boost brand awareness and result in cold, hard sales. When done well and augmented with analytic insights and AI, social media proves a powerful platform to grow your business.
Sam O’Brien is the Director of Digital and Growth for EMEA at RingCentral, a Global VoIP, video conferencing and call center software provider. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as Freshdesk and JaxEnter. Here is his LinkedIn.