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Your social strategy needs the right analytics

Finding the right analytics for your social strategy is crucial. But how do you know what they are, and what do you do with the data when you have it?

Finding the right analytics for your social strategy is crucial. But how do you know what they are, and what do you do with the data when you have it?

Imagine having insight into which customer profiles are more prone to convert, which geographical locations have high pickup of sales, and what behavioural factors heavily influence purchase decisions.

Social media analytics turns collected data on social media websites into insights, for use when building social strategies. It’s the “secret sauce” to any winning social media play; one which even the most creative executions can’t succeed without.

Search for “social media analytics tools” and you’ll find countless suggestions ranging from the free to the budget-busting. Which ones are right for your business? There’s no one-size-fits-all analytics solution. The right tool, or tools, will depend on exactly what your business hopes to learn from, and achieve, on social media.

Choosing the right social analytics tools

This boils down to your business’ main strategy and social channels. The many analytics platforms can be grouped into core strengths that solely focus on channel, content, or engagement type. It’s best to choose one that will marry these strengths with your goal.

Are you directing traffic to a product landing page and pursuing conversions? Basic tools like Google Analytics will do.

If you’re building a community, influence and reach analysis tools like Hootsuite and Klout would fit your bill.

And if your concern is finding influencers and hot topics for your content, then tools like Buzzsumo and Mention would keep you on the pulse.

When selecting social media analytics tools, consider your budget, too. Keep in mind that broader, multi-channel marketing strategies often require more than one analytics platform. Where possible, include marketing experts or veteran analysts in the selection process, as their experience can really help.

Deciding the best metrics to measure

To find out if you’re getting the best return of investment, tracking the right metrics is crucial. If not, you won’t know if an urgent re-think of your strategy is required.

Again, this depends on your marketing priorities. If you have content that directs customers to a product website, click-through will matter more than impressions. On the other hand, if your focus is building community, volume, reach, and audience sentiment will matter more.

Don’t take this evaluation process lightly: tracking the wrong set of metrics leads to results that won’t justify your investment. Seek help from experienced marketers or analysts who can recommend metrics that will benefit you in the long run.

Reading between the lines (of data)

Now that you have the means to get the right data, your next move is to turn that information into useful insights. Doing so doesn’t come easy. In fact, it’s an ongoing process that will evolve over time as your goals and insights change.

Many businesses either have an in-house team or an agency to handle the work for them. Due to the high-speed nature of social media, your data can quickly lose relevance if not frequently updated. The faster you move from analysis to action, the better your chances of capitalizing on a trend, or joining a conversation. Experienced social media experts or data analysts can find more meaningful insights that less experienced marketers may miss.

Once you have solid insights you can create targeted social content that is more relevant to your customers. Having data that confirms the relationship between results and investment also allows you to further experiment with new ways to engage your audience, which may eventually lead to an exhilarating spike of engagement on the graphs of your social analytics platform.

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