Social media platforms have been around for more than two decades now and were initially developed as platforms for interaction and entertainment. More recently, these platforms have been explored by brands and marketers to forward their agenda of marketing and sales. As of today, it is hard to imagine a day without social media and the internet. These platforms are being developed and gaining fame with each passing day, especially platforms such as Twitch, which bring something new to the offerings of traditional social media platforms.
Social media has established itself as the backbone of digital marketing as marketers leverage these platforms for their campaigns. With the help of social media, marketers can now reach out to many more people and make their offerings available throughout the world. This amplified and extensive nature of social media marketing necessitates the measurement of campaign posts’ success. It is crucial for brands and marketers to check their analytics on a regular basis to spot trends and stay updated.
What Is Social Media Analytics?
Social media analytics is the gathering and analysis of data from social accounts and campaigns, which is used to track and improve performance. It includes the tracking of conversations, measuring of campaigns, and requires marketers to figure out how a brand’s social activities influence its business results.
Brands that provide a great customer experience leverage the data they gather using social media analytics and combine it with customer feedback from different sources, such as surveys, ratings, and review sites, among others.
Why Should Social Media Be Analyzed?
Before digging deeper into the nitty-gritty of social media analytics, let’s understand why tracking, measuring, and analyzing complete social media performance is important. Mentioned below are the key reasons that summarize the necessity of social media analytics.
Despite being crucial to success, many brands still fail to leverage social media analysis by using only native tools and analyzing each channel individually, A.K.A, the bare minimum. This is a huge loss of key data points and other social media insights that brands could discover with the help of analytics. With today’s tech-savvy business nature, brands cannot provide effective customer service, optimize strategy, save money, compare performance with competitors, and be profitable without social media analytics.
Benefits of Social Media Analytics
Social media analytics comes with many benefits for brands and marketers. Some of these benefits are as follows.
- Marketers can measure the ROI they generate from social media
- Allows brands to make improvements to their social media strategy
- Gives brands a better understanding of who their audience is
- Pinpoints differences between a brand and its competitors (both advantages and disadvantages)
- Enables analysis of social media metrics to know where a brand’s campaign stands in the industry
- Points brands to the direction in which their industry is headed (future of an industry)
How Social Media Analytics Is Used and How It Works
Implement the following steps in the digital marketing campaign to track, measure, and analyze data and gain a better understanding of what parts of the marketing process need improvement. This can also be referred to as a social media marketing strategy for some.
- Set the campaign’s social media analytics goals
- Determine which social media metrics are to be tracked
- Know which analytics tools to use
- Measure the success of the campaign via social media analytics efforts
- Improve the process by making necessary changes to social media analytics
5 of the Best Social Media Analytics Tools
Now, as for the social media analytics tools available in the market, here’s a list of select tools that do the job better than the rest.
This tool provides marketers with an in-depth look at strategizing in order to grow their brand on social media. Buffer does this by measuring brand performance on multiple social platforms, creates detailed reports, and recommends improvements.
Logo by Buffer as seen on the Website.
This analytics tool is specific to Twitter and works in real-time. Tweet Deck enables marketers to view and analyze their Tweet engagement, management, organization, and tracking on the platform.
Logo by TweetDeck as seen on the Website.
It allows marketers to create customized social media reports by leveraging over 200 metrics on any social media channel and campaign. Reports generated by Hootsuite can be shared easily with team members and clients to increase transparency and prove ROI.
Logo by Hootsuite as seen on the Website.
This analytics tool tracks customer needs by looking through the conversations of the brand’s customers and followers on social media. Sprout Social measures specific content and campaign work across multiple channels and platforms and determines what works best for a brand’s audience and what can be improved.
Logo by sprout social as seen on the Website.
It enables brands to monitor, listen, and analyze the brand’s posts and interactions with the audience via various social channels and platforms. Mention eases the process of automated report creation to share the data with employees or clients.
Logo by Mention as seen on the Website.
Benefits of a Dedicated Social Media Platform
In terms of marketing, every social media platform comes with its own set of advantages and limitations. To better understand the benefits that are on offer, here is a list of some mainstream social media platforms and their strong points.
- Sends more website traffic than any other social media platform
- Focuses on both news and entertainment
- Places a strong emphasis on content in video format
- A highly visual platform for images and short videos
- Not recommended for the driving blog or website traffic
- Best for brands with strong visuals
- Works as a news and social media platform
- Retweeting and curation is encouraged
- Suited for brands to share blog posts website content
- A highly visual platform that works on strong imagery
- Inspires people to take up projects
- Not recommended for news articles and posts
- A social network where professional content is shared
- Specifically used for sharing industry articles and professional content
- Recognized as one of the leading social media platforms by digital marketers
- Basically a social layer across Google’s web properties such as YouTube
- Hosts communities and different types of interests
- 21% of internet users utilize Google+
Social Media Analytics Use Cases
While the functioning of social media analytics is clear, many marketers do not know which areas of their marketing campaign can benefit from analysis. Here’s a list of the areas that social media analytics can be leveraged.
Any brand must know its customers thoroughly for a successful marketing strategy. Brands must know what their customers want and how they respond to marketing efforts. This enables the creation of hyper-personalized marketing content.
A brand’s social media performance must be measured regularly to know whether the marketing strategy is working or not and to make necessary changes in areas that require improvement. Tracking important metrics allows marketers to uncover trends in real-time and know how much return they obtain from their initial investments.
To be doing the best business out there, brands need to study their competitors. Learn how competitors fare and what processes they make use of. Brands must look at every advantage that a competitor has over them and aim to do better than that. Regular analysis of competitors enables brands to stay at the top of the market.
Paid Social Media Analytics
Brands make use of paid media for their social marketing strategies. Now, whether these strategies work or not must be measured. Even a single non-performing asset can spell trouble for brands, irrespective of whether they paid for it or not. Regular and consistent analysis of paid media provides brands with an edge over their competitors. Wasting money and time on resources promoting content that performs badly is too easy, and marketers need to be aware of the investments they have made and see to it that they gain effective outcomes from them.
Brands obviously pay to get influencers on board to promote their offerings to a wider target audience. Track influencer data to ensure that their performance metrics are high and in-line with your offerings. Influencer analytics allows brands to find the right influencers and measure how their campaigns help a brand and to what extent.
Brands need to keep track of sentiments because if not done, they run the risk of alienating their target audiences and damaging their own brand image in the eyes of their customers. This is why sentiment analysis is important. Brands need to know of any negative sentiment as and when it occurs, understand its underlying reason, and formulate a way around it so that customers feel a sense of satisfaction and maintain brand image.
Customer Service Analytics
As almost everybody in today’s day and age utilizes social media, it’s only right to think of providing customer service to customers on the platforms they prefer. Measuring the efficiency of social media customer service requires brands to look at their average response times and other such metrics. It is crucial for brands to nurture their audience across multiple platforms by keeping track of their team’s speed of answering and solving customer queries.
Marketers benefit a great deal from social media analytics as it enables them to prove the impact they have made, improve performance, create strategies, optimize marketing budgets, and form meaningful relationships with their audiences, in order to nurture them up until they make a purchase. Social media analytics is imperative to social media marketing. Without social media analytics, brands will not know whether they are doing well or not and render such marketing efforts pointless.