Why you need social media analytics

Marketing your business on social media is a must, but in order to do it effectively, you need to learn about social media analytics.
Jan 30, 2020 • 5 minute read
Lee Patten @leepatt3n
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for Why you need social media analytics

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Be smart about your social media presence by digging into the data

One of the most important steps to developing a successful business or venture is to make sure you’ve got a beautiful, functional website. A well thought out website serves as a portal. It’s a place where customers can make contact, a library of information about the services or products you provide.

All savvy marketers recognize the importance of the internet. An effective online presence combined with good branding equals sales. Most sellers and advertisers also appreciate the potential for social media to drive traffic and generate leads. Everyone is on social media these days. In fact, the average buyer has somewhere in the region of eight different social media accounts.

However, many entrepreneurs and marketers fail to focus their efforts where results are most plentiful.

Your website and social media channels have the potential to be the perfect partnership. Your website is the shop window of your business. Social media serves to stop shoppers in their tracks – enticing them to take a look inside.

Social media posts should set the tone and create interest, driving traffic to your site. Your website is an opportunity to set out your virtual stall, with every new visitor a new chance to sell.

Both your site and your social media work best when you can see what’s driving clicks and what’s not.

Digging for what’s in your user data

That’s where analytics comes in. The internet and social media are almost bottomless pits of information for businesses. Where users go and how long they spend there. What they like and what they just like the look of. The things that make them want to buy and the reasons that they don’t.

These user behaviors are all distinctly visible with the right data mining tools. In the digital world, everything is trackable and there for the counting. The most successful companies and ventures exploit that aspect of the web to hugely successful ends.

The good news is that there’s nothing to stop smaller enterprises doing precisely the same. What’s more, doing so is achievable on a tiny or even non-existent budget.

The number of social media channels multiplies daily. Consumers increasingly use social media to make decisions, pay compliments, make recommendations – and complain. The potential for platforms like Twitter and Instagram to make or break your brand is enormous.

The internet never sleeps, and the noise can be deafening. For marketers, the struggle to stay on top of social media campaigns and conversations is real.

Social media channels present a number of potentially positive opportunities for brands. They’re a chance to reach out, to sell and to assist. Outlets through which you can show what’s beautiful, unique, or useful about your product or service. However, they also provide a chance to get inside your customer’s head. One thing social media doesn’t lack is opinions – knowing what people think about your performance and products can give you the edge.

So, how can you make sure you hear every conversation that matters? Know which campaign, on which platform, is performing well? There are only 24 hours in the day, right?

Well, while some social media platforms provide limited analytic data about your campaigns, there’s so much more to know. Feedback about your marketing is power. The more information you can get, the better your chances of success. If you want to ensure your social media marketing budget gets well spent, it’s a great idea to delve a little deeper into analytics.

Social media analytics as part of your social media strategy

Social media analytics means keeping your eyes and ears open – and using what you find to your advantage. In conjunction with social media listening and social media intelligence, analytics is a way to make sure your social media management is reaping maximum rewards.

Social media listening is all about watching conversations, spotting opinions, and interpreting the general tone to assess your reputation online.

Social media analytics is measuring the hard currency of social media. Counting the retweets, likes, and shout-outs your brand and products generate.

Social media intelligence is all about putting those figures to work for you. Accentuating the positives, eliminating those negatives.

Your social media management will improve when you pay attention to the conversations and numbers that matter to your brand.

Social media analytics: How to get it done

There are no excuses, only ways you can improve your social media marketing – no matter the size of your budget.

Learning where to focus your efforts requires data. It’s true that the more money you can afford to spend, the less time and energy you’ll need. Free analytics won’t give you the depth of insight most paid tools can, but don’t let that put you off – there’s a tool out there for everyone, and they all help.

In fact, there are so many social media analytics tools available; you may need a head start deciding. Here are just a few of the best products out there.

Best Freebie: Facebook Insights

Free once your account has 30+ followers

If you’re looking to improve your social media game, but funds are tighter than tight, Facebook is a great place to start. The best things in life can indeed be free, and Facebook Insights gives you access to engagement metrics about your posts. User location and some demographic data will come in useful when you’re looking to boost your follower numbers. Facebook Insights also offers the chance to improve both your ads and general content. You can view metrics for each post you construct, and results get broken down into paid and organic numbers.

Best budget option: Awario

From $29 per month

Manage your reputation, count your mentions and respond quickly to complaints and service issues, all for $29 every month. Not free, but one of the cheapest paid social media analytics tools providing this level of insight. Awario works well with Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Insta, YouTube, and many more.

Best competitor analysis tool: Rival IQ

From $199 per month (14-day free trial)

If you’re operating in a very competitive field. If your social media strategy is lagging, Rival IQ could be the tool for your brand. This analytics tool is geared very much to keeping an eye on the Joneses. Compare your brand’s performance with that of your competitors – on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

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