Social Analytics: Why and How
Social Media Marketing is now an integral part of many businesses’ online marketing efforts, with social media marketing spend set to more than double in the next 5 years. As social media grows as a marketing channel, so the need for social analytics becomes stronger. If companies wish to get the maximum return from their social media investments, it’s important to fully understand the need for analytics and to be able to decipher the statistics to drive meaningful decisions on social activities. Put simply, if we don’t measure, we don’t really know what works and what doesn’t.
What Can Social Analytics Show Us?
Many business owners feel confused as to which social media strategies actually work for them. They are concerned about customer interactions on social media, and are often confused about how to find their target audiences in the ever-changing social media landscape. Unsurprisingly, every business owner typically wants to focus on the bottom line, and find out exactly which social media tactics are providing a direct return on investment. All of these issues can be helped with a robust social analytics strategy.
1. Start With a Plan
Without a social media plan, it’s impossible to know whether your social activities are working. A social media strategy should identify what audience you have and what audience you want to target. It should also identify specific goals for your social media activities. These goals might include social conversations or reviews, click-throughs, shares and likes. Without a plan, you can certainly measure metrics such as click-throughs, shares and likes, but you won’t be able to analyse that data to see how it measures up to your objectives.
2. Key Metrics
Some of the most widely measured metrics in the social media space include conversions, engagement, reach and audience growth.
Conversions are obviously the metric that gets the most attention, since they ultimately translate into sales. But social media can often be important to a consumer at the start of a purchasing journey, so too much focus on the final sales conversion may not be appropriate. Measuring leads and positive brand conversations may be a better way to look at social media performance.
It’s of little use spending time and budget on social media tactics if the targeted audience doesn’t engage with what you are offering via your social channels. By identifying what social content works best for your business, you can optimise future content to maximise the potential results of that content. Measuring engagement in terms of likes, shares, comments and conversations is vital to be able to improve over time. Simply identifying the optimal time of day for posting can provide real insights into building a bigger, more engaged audience.
3. How to Measure
The easiest way to start measuring social media metrics is through our Social Media Dashboard. Our tools offer a user-friendly way of identifying how visitors from each social channel interact with your website and how people are talking about your brand on social media.
While social reports have been a part of Google Analytics for some time, we find over time GA is becoming less user friendly and filled with complexities. Our service shows only the stats you need to build a full social analytics process, helping you optimize your social performance.
4. Advanced Measurement
These snippets of code can be added to a “Thankyou”, “Order Completed” or other landing page to track signups and sales from beginning to end.
From here we can get really good insight into if a social campaign works or fails – and if it fails you can usually see at which point its failing and then look to fix it.
Tools such as CrazyEgg help you see what visitors are clicking on and scrolling to on your landing pages, you can use them to troubleshoot anything than might be preventing conversions.
With the right social analytics you should be able to answer these questions at every stage of each campaign:
The Ad / Post / Tweet:
- Is the Ad / Post engaging the audience?
- What percentage of the audience are clicking through?
- What percentage of click-throughs are from mobile compared to desktop?
- What is the cost per click-through / impression?
- Are they sharing the Ad/post?
The Landing Page:
- For every click-through, what percentage is converting?
(If this percentage is high – Congratulations … Otherwise…)
- What is the “bounce” rate of the landing page?
- Is my landing page resonating the message conveyed on the Post/Ad?
- Are there distractions on the page that pull people away from the CTA?
- Are there technical reasons why people are not following through with the conversion?
- With trial, effort and detailed measurement you can hone your social campaign to achieve the results you need.
Spend £1 make £5, Spend £100 make £500 etc..
People and their browsing habits can often be elusive when it comes to Social Media, your campaigns will usually fail or under perform when you start out – but if you fail with good analytics in place you can see every area that requires improvement, and tweak all aspects until your campaign delivers ROI impressive enough that you should be able to spend every pound knowing it will return a profit.