Businesses of all sizes use social media for promotions, customer engagement and increase sales. The role of social media in terms of business marketing and customer engagement has continued to grow. Now businesses of all sizes including big and small maintain social media accounts to reach their customers and grow brand awareness. However, the role of social media has grown much larger and apart from marketing campaigns, it has a special importance in terms of branding and marketing strategies.
Social media has made several tasks easier for businesses including growing brand awareness, researching customer interests, and targeting particular group of customers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube offer special tools and methods to target more precise audiences. However, in order to produce extraordinary results, the marketers need to dive deeper into their social media accounts to learn how customers are interacting with their social media pages and about user engagement. These are important for marketers who want to successfully grow brand awareness and conversion rates.
Understanding the role of social media analytics in terms of marketing and business success is important for digital marketers. Reviewing social media metrics helps marketers learn more about their audience interests and preferences. Marketers can use this data to improve their marketing strategies and improve customer engagement which is key to growing their success in the online environment especially.
What are social media analytics?
Businesses and marketers use social media analytics for collection and analysis of customer data especially data related to user engagement with the content on various social media accounts. These tools are now being used commonly across organizations. Digital businesses particularly depend heavily on social media analytics heavily to drive the success of their social media marketing campaigns and improve user loyalty. The data collected from the social media platforms include various kinds of information that marketers and businesses will find very useful. For example, marketers can collect data related to user feedback for new products and services or engagement level on particular social media posts.
This data can provide critical information for understanding user habits and consumer behavior apart from user preferences. It can also reveal critical information related to marketing content and what type of content is most popular among the users. It helps create more engaging content and drive higher conversion from your promotional content posted on social media channels. Companies use especially designed software platforms that perform like search tools and offer results for specific search queries. It can help identify problems and opportunities. The insights gathered from social media analytics can be used to make important business and marketing decisions.
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Why social media analytics are important for businesses?
Organizations regularly publish content on social media. However, marketers also need to know about the effectiveness of their marketing content being published on social media channels. They can use this information to create more effective social media campaigns and drive higher user engagement. The reasons that businesses and social media marketers must rely on social media analytics are listed below:
Spotting trends related to the brand and its offerings:
One of the key reasons that businesses must rely on social media analytics is that they offer them the ability to spot key trends related to their brand and offerings. Businesses can easily track consumer behavior patterns related to a particular brand or its offerings by using social media analytics. Businesses can gain insights related to the popularity of particular products and services using social media analytics. They can use the insights gathered to create and sell products that are in high demand. Understanding consumer preferences related to offerings helps create products that meet customer needs better.
Social media listening is a key component of social media analytics. Businesses need to observe what is being said and how it is being received about their brand across the various social media platforms. While these conversations are important from a marketing point of view, they are also important for creating products that meet customer needs better and for publishing content that drive higher user engagement. A lot of conversation happens across the social media channels daily and it can offer a vast amount of useful information that marketers can use for improving the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Marketers must tap into this resource to grow their success from their social media marketing efforts.
customer sentiment regarding particular products and services:
Customers frequently talk of particular products and services on social media channels. Marketers can know what customers feel about a particular brand or product using social media analytics. Knowing consumer sentiment regarding products and services is essential for businesses since it can be effective at making changes that make the product more popular. Apart from that how people think of a particular brand affects its image and popularity as well as customer loyalty. Businesses can use the insights from social media analytics to make strategic decisions driving higher success.
Understand customers’ response to social media and other communications:
Every business wants to drive the success rate of its social media marketing efforts higher. Social media analytics is useful for understanding the success of the content you publish on your social media accounts. It helps you analyze and understand how the customers react to your social media content and which type of content finds more popularity among the users. Measuring customer response to social media communications is important to understand how marketers can create more effective content and drive higher user engagement.
Identifying important and valuable features of a product or service:
Many times, businesses can derive a lot of critical data from social media analytics that can drive more effective strategic decisions. For example, businesses can understand what features or a product or service are of special importance and higher value for customers. It will help them make products that can enjoy higher demand. By learning what special features people are looking for in a product or service, companies can focus more on those features to bring improved products or to differentiate their products from substitutes. This can drive higher popularity, sales and customer loyalty.
Tracking the competition and competitors’ social media strategy:
While it is important to understand the effectiveness of one’s own social media marketing efforts, it is equally important to keep an eye on the rival businesses and how they are performing in terms of social media marketing. Businesses can also learn what the competitors are saying about their brand and learn about special techniques their competitors might be using to grow the impact of their social media marketing efforts. It can also help the business improve its own social media communications and marketing.
Identifying the impact of third-party channels on social media marketing:
Social media analytics can also be useful in terms of understanding how third-party websites or partners affect the performance of their social media marketing campaigns. A large number of businesses across various industries including fashion depend on influencer marketing to grow their business. The rise of Instagram influencers shows that the power and impact of influencer marketing has grown. How these influencers or other partner websites affect the success of social media content and social media marketing can be learnt using social media analytics. Businesses also need to know if their investment in social media influencer marketing is paying off.
What are the benefits of social media analytics?
While the insights gained from social media analytics can be used to make small or big adjustments, they can also be used to drive strategic marketing decisions. Across various industry sectors, social media analytics has made its way to the core strategic business decisions. Social media analytics can be beneficial in various strategic areas including the following:
Making improvements to products:
Businesses can use social media analytics to discover the features of their products that people like the most and the areas where there is scope for improvement. Businesses can analyse Facebook posts, tweets, and Amazon product reviews to gain insights and know the problematic features as well as changing needs and preferences of consumers. It can also help analyze trends and accordingly manage existing product lines as well as decide on new product development. It will allows the brand to develop more successful products in the future and improve profitability.
Beat the competitive pressure:
Companies need to monitor what people are saying about other businesses and assess what things their competitors might be doing right. It is always critical to know what the rivals are doing and how their customers are responding to it. If a particular product made by one of the competitors is enjoying heavy popularity in the social media, companies can build disruptors. Doing a competitor analysis scan also allow to find new and unmet consumer needs. Based on this information, companies can develop new and highly differentiated products. In case, a competitor decides to discontinue a product, the company might bring its new variant to acquire the customers who previously bought that product.
Improve customer experience:
Businesses are moving from a product led model to an experience led model. Social media analytics can help gain fresh insights regarding what customers expect from an organization and improve customer experience. Companies can also apply behavioral analysis to learn how customers react to their social media content and create delightful moments. If customers are pleased with the social media experience a company offers, they are also more likely to buy from it. Behavioral analysis can also be very helpful in terms of branding and help improve the aspects of a business that can benefit from changes in branding strategy.
Improve operational efficiency:
Social media analytics can also help businesses improve how they measure demand. Retail businesses can find this information especially helpful to improve business efficiency. They can use this information to manage inventory and suppliers. Apart from that, it can help them reduce costs and optimize resources for higher efficiency.
Useful metrics for social media analytics
Here are some of the most important metrics for social media analytics that businesses can consider.
The engagement rate is a metric that businesses use to track audience involvement with their content and how effective their brand campaigns are. Most important signs of engagement are likes, comments and social sharing. Engaged users like, share and comment on posts. A higher engagement rate shows that a large part of the company’s audience is regularly interacting with its posts, which means that the company’s social media marketing strategy is effective. Organic mentions of the brand are also a sign of strong brand awareness. However, companies need to look at a combination of metrics. It will help you create the right strategy to meet your goals. Marketers must look at various engagement metrics such as likes, comments, retweets, account mentions, shares etc.
Awareness: Impressions and reach
When the goal of your social media marketing campaign is to increase brand awareness and improve perception, then marketers must measure impression and reach. Impressions imply how many times a post shows up in user’s timeline. On the other hand, reach implies, the number of potential unique views that the users post could have. Impressions help you learn about the potential of your content in terms of social media visibility. However, that is generally not sufficient and the social media marketers also need to consider other metrics like engagement rate. If the number of impressions is high but the engagement rate is low, it means the audience did not find your post interesting. Especially, in the cases when your goal is not just to increase brand awareness but also to educate your audience, you must look at a combination of awareness metrics and impressions.
Customer care: Response Rate and Time
While most marketers focus on the performance of their social media content, they might miss the customer experience part of the story. It is also important to track one’s own performance in this area like how quickly the team responds to messages. Metrics like response rates and response times, help measure how quickly the team responds to important messages and how many messages does it actually respond to. It will help the company improve customer experience and customer satisfaction. In turn, it will have a positive effect on the company’s image and brand loyalty.
ROI: Referrals and conversions:
ROI metrics are applicable mainly in the case of companies that have websites or e-commerce platforms. Social referral traffic and conversions are related to marketing and sales. Referrals indicate how a user lands on your website and usually marketers track various social media networks sending user traffic to their website. When a user purchases something from your website, it is called conversion. Social conversion indicates the social traffic that were converted into buyers. Apart from referrals and conversions, marketers also track Click Through Rate (CTRs) in ads and posts. CTRs compare the number of times, an ad was clicked with the number of times it was viewed. A higher CTR indicates that the ad was effective and was clicked a high number of times. Marketers also like to measure CTR on the social media ads as well as on site elements like buttons and images.
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Types of social media analytics:
Companies can use various types of social media analytics to improve several aspects of their social media marketing content.
Performance metrics assess the performance of the social media content. It helps marketers know how well their social media content is performing. The performance metrics analyse the CTRs, user interactions etc and allow marketers to track if these numbers have been improving or not.
Audience analytics is focused at the target audience of the firm. It helps analyze who are regularly viewing its social media content and who are the target audience of the firm. Marketers can use social media analytics data to know about their audience demographics, behavior and areas of interest. It helps them create the type of content that their audience likes the most and drive audience engagement higher.
The focus of the competitor analytics is on the social media content of the competing firms. It analyses the social media accounts of competitors and the performance of their social media posts as well as audience engagement. In this way, marketers can also learn from their competitors and industry leaders. This will help them know which methods they can adopt from their competitors and industry leaders.
Paid social analytics:
The focus of paid social analytics are the sponsored posts. They help know which type of social media content is worth investing in on the basis of the target audience’s interaction with the social media posts. These analytics cover the number of ads, their cost, the number of times ads were clicked and how much each click adds to the company’s revenues and profits.
Influencer analytics is applicable in the case of businesses that rely on influencer marketing. The companies using this approach use influencer analytics to learn if their approach is successful. Marketers can analyse how many posts the influencers create and the total number of interactions every thousand followers or the hashtags that generate the highest number of likes.
This type of analytics tracks the audience sentiments towards social media posts. For example, companies can track if their audience likes a specific type of social media marketing content or not. They can also measure if a higher number of customers made purchases following the release of a social media campaign. Sentiment analysis helps measure how the social media content affects the customers’ sentiments.