Social analytics is more than identifying the post with the most reach on your Facebook page, tracking the growth of your follower count on Twitter, or counting the likes on your recent Instagram update. It’s not just concerned with what is happening but also with why it’s happening.
Social analytics offers deeper insights into valuable user data—how they interact with your brand at different stages of their user journey across channels, how they really feel about your brand, what drives them to click, react, or unfollow, and so much more. Beyond just showing you the numbers, it helps you draw meaningful insights from them.
Luckily, today’s social channels boast their own analytics tools, making it easier for you to extract this type of information. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, you can easily track your social platforms without using third-party tools.
But if that’s not enough, you can still employ other solutions. There are a plethora of social listening tools you can use to track your social pages and draw valuable insights about your consumers, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Keyhole, and Sprout Social.
How Can Social Analytics Help You?
You might be using social but if you’re not leveraging its data then you’re missing out on a lot. Here are some benefits of using social analytics.
Managing Brand Perception
Brand perception is vital in building strong customer relationships—and social analytics plays a crucial role in enhancing how consumers perceive your business in the digital sphere. Through data from various social channels, you get to measure consumer sentiment and use it to build a more positive brand image online, which can help increase customer trust and loyalty.
Optimizing Social Performance
Social analytics lets you know which posts are racking up results and which ones aren’t. With the use of social data, you discover which types of messaging resonates most with your consumers, which types of content they find useful, and what their preferred channels are when interacting with your brand. All these insights help you make a more informed marketing strategy that can yield impressive results.
What types of content are your rivals putting out? Which posts are getting the most engagement? What’s causing their follower counts to drop? All these questions can be answered by social analytics. The data you get from social platforms will help you understand what your competitors are doing right—and what they’re doing wrong—which you can use to gain an edge.
How Do You Leverage Social Analytics?
Indeed, social analytics is a potent resource. All you need to do is tap into its power. Here are some ways to do this:
Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags. When reviewing your social data, don’t forget to look into these crucial social elements.
Hashtags basically tell you what’s trending on social. They tell you what your consumers are talking about, what they’re interested in, and what matters most to them, offering a level of insight that can give you a competitive edge.
If you want to track hashtags, Sprout Social is the way to go. This solution helps you discover topics that your audiences are buzzing about on social and the exact keywords they’re using on their channels. This is a great way to get an idea of what content or campaign to put out, as well as how to craft your messages to connect more with your target audience.
Ready, Set, Aim!
It’s hard to comb through each piece of information coming in—especially if you’re managing different social channels. The best thing to do is establish the goals you want to achieve, then identify which metrics you’ll use to measure each one’s success.
Whether you want to enhance your online visibility, generate new leads, boost user engagement, or increase in-person sales, you have to be specific when identifying your goals for each channel and your indicators for success.
For instance, if you want to enhance brand awareness, you should focus on social metrics centered around measuring community growth, audience reach, audience sentiment, and brand mentions. If you want to improve engagement, you should set your eyes on metrics that measure interaction, such as click-through rate, engagement rate, reactions, response rate and time, and so on.
When going through your social data, take note of your top-performing posts. These can be those that sparked the most engagement or inspired the most in-store sales from your followers. This will help you decide which posts you can republish or reuse on your platform.
There’s nothing wrong with repurposing an old post to drive results. There might be people who didn’t catch your content so it’s a good idea to publish it again.
If you don’t want to manually look at each top-performing post in your slate, there are tools that automate this process, including MeetEdgar, Hiplay, and ContentStudio.
When examining data, it’s always good to look at the big picture but you also need to look at it up close. By this, we mean from a post level. While you don’t have to go over each post on your social channels, you must be aware of how each one is performing across different metrics.
Reviewing your individual posts allows you to uncover patterns and spot opportunities for improving your social performance. For example, you might discover which content type drives the most engagement from your followers by scanning through your content.
This can also reveal the optimal time to share content depending on the channel. For instance, you might notice that Facebook posts published every 4 PM on weekdays get more reach than those published at the same time on a weekend. This can inform your strategy and help improve your numbers across different social channels.
Trace the Source
While there are in-platform features and social listening tools at your disposal, you can always add another powerful analytic solution to your arsenal—Google Analytics.
One of the most important things when looking at social data is determining where all the traffic is coming from and which channels are driving the best results. This is especially important if you’re using social to boost your site traffic.
This solution will help you identify which channels you should be paying attention to the most—and which ones you need to work on more. Of course, you would want to integrate your social seamlessly into your platform to give users a delightful experience with your brand.