Marta Robertson
Marta Robertson 24 January 2019

Top 10 Ways to Get Meaningful Social Media Analytics

Social media is becoming one of the top marketing channels. Analysing your impact there is the only way to optimise your ROI.

Social media has become a marketing tool so powerful that it makes sense to devote time, energy, and budget to get the highest ROI possible from it. However, because it is quite new, compared to other channels, not all companies are used to look at it from a quantitative perspective. It’s still a gray area with few reliable benchmarks, and good practices are still underway.

Yet the trick is to look at it from a business perspective, applying the same logic that you would use for more traditional channels such as radio and TV. Here are the ten steps that you need to follow for excellent results.

1. Establish a baseline

Look at the analytics from your past months or even the entire year to see how your brand is currently performing on social media. The noteworthy KPIs are total reach, click-through rates, and various engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares).

Go further down along the sales funnel and track the interactions until the final point of conversion. Perform this step for each social media channel, as the results tend to vary significantly.

2. Benchmark against the competition

You can’t say how well you are doing if you don’t compare your results to those of your competitors. Look at the type of content they are posting, the structure of their audience and what kind of engagement they are getting. Also, take a look at their evolution over time to identify growth patterns and viral content.

Once you know the best in class and the averages for your industry, try to get to the top quarter at least. If you consistently hit that point, raise your bar a little higher to keep yourself motivated.

3. Set SMART goals

There is a saying that what gets measured gets done. As in most business projects, SMART goals help you stay on the right track. Part of this model, specific refers to the fact the for each KPI you need to set a benchmark that is attainable and has a definite timeframe.

In its turn, relevancy is attained by choosing the right KPIs for your brand and campaign (awareness, end-of-season sales,  rebranding receptivity, etc.).

4. Pay attention to your audience

Social media is all about community, and it’s a game of numbers. Your aim should always be to grow your audience while keeping high engagement rates. It helps if you can find the right balance between high-quality organic posting and sponsored posts to get more followers. Never engage in buying followers since it will have near zero return on investment.

From time to time, run a report to see what is the structure of your audience and if it is close to your ideal buyer personas. Use embedded audience targeting tools like Facebook analytics to estimate the general size of your audience. Then, refer to this number as a way to predict what percentage of your total market you have influenced.

5. Optimise your posting time

Since content tends to drop too low in the feeds after just a few hours, the posting time is essential for maximum impact. You need to look at your insights and find the best performing times which are dictated by your audience. Although posting at low-traffic hours would give you less competition, it will provide you with less interaction as well. Aim to post in the prime time per your audience.

6. Look at the best performing content 

You need to analyse what type of content is performing best on each social media channel and try to carry on with that. Create a posting calendar to avoid repeating yourself and to offer exciting and engaging information.

As good content is hard and expensive to generate, make sure you also have some evergreen posts which you can reuse from time to time. For best results, try mixing content types and be realistic. Not every post will perform well, and that is totally fine.

7. Get active in tagging

Hashtags are not just trendy, they serve the real indexing and classifying purpose. Asking people to use a specific hashtag makes it easier to identify the locations and contexts where they have mentioned your brand. Conversely, attaching more general hashtags to your content makes it discoverable beyond your circle, and can get you some new clients without spending money on targeted advertising.

8. Analyse your influencers’ impact

One of the most disputed practices in social media, collaborating with influencers can have huge benefits if it is used in connection with clear metrics. You could reach out to an influencer and strike a deal, or you could be lucky enough to get your name mentioned organically. This happens when the influencer genuinely likes your product or service. If you initiate the contract, use online tools to assess the estimated costs and the relevance of the chosen influencer.

9. Employ Sentiment Analysis

With the help of natural language processing, now you can go way beyond simple hashtag analysis or the amount of likes and shares. You can find out what your clients are saying about you and identify any problems promptly by analysing the comments. Although highly subjective, comments are more important than common reviews, yet have been largely unexplored until now.

10. Add context

When you analyse social media data, try to identify peaks and valleys and find explanations and triggers for such behaviors. Causes can be internal, like a promoted post which causes a spike, or external one like the crash of the stock market which causes a sudden drop in sales, or a competitor running a promotion. Once you have identified such factors, you can analyse their probability and act preemptively on them.

Putting it all together in analytic dashboards

Of course, each of these steps can be further broken down into more specific actions, depending on your company’s marketing maturity.

As you can guess, going through these steps day after day can taxing on your workforce. It is better when you can automate such routines through a social media analytics platform to keep all under control and even entice users to give more feedback.

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