Importance of Social Media Analytics
If you are using social media for business, you simply can’t ignore social media analytical data. Social media monitoring helps to develop a deeper understanding of how people are interacting with your brand, how they access and use your website, and what they are saying about you in the online community.
Analytics help you learn more about your customers. The more information you can collect about them, the better position you will be in to anticipate and serve their needs – whether it’s providing them with information they are seeking, answering a question, providing product and service options or helping them accomplish a task online.
The benefits of social analytics include:
- More targeted posts and content
- Saving money on advertising and marketing
- A more optimized content marketing strategy
- The ability to provide better customer service
- The ability to see the ROI for your investment in social media
3 Key Social Media Monitoring Tasks
Overall, social media monitoring helps you accomplish 3 key tasks:
- Diagnose: Assess what is working and adjust your communication strategies and timing to improve results.
- Prioritize: Determine which content, social platforms, users, and other factors get priority. Use the social data to plan your strategies.
- Evaluate: Use the analytics data to determine the success of your strategy and overall value to your marketing strategy.
Now that you understand the importance of social analytics, let’s explore the different types of social media metrics you can measure.
Types of Social Media Monitoring Metrics
One of the most important things to understand about social media analytics is that you can measure virtually anything, and many companies get caught up analyzing dozens and dozens of social media metrics. If you are just starting out, one of the best social media analytics tips to follow is that you can learn a lot by simply tracking the most important and popular metrics:
- Conversions: Arguably the most important metric is conversions. From a social media perspective, a conversion is getting a user to take a desired action on your social media profiles. For example, on Facebook or LinkedIn, it could be commenting on a post; on Twitter, it could be a reply or retweet. Conversions are defined by you and can also include filling out an online form, signing up for your website, clicking through from social media to your website, or any other goal that helps you achieve your marketing objectives.
- Reach: This is the size of the audience with which you are able to communicate. It can be defined on a per-post or overall reach basis.
- Engagement: The total number of interactions (likes, shares, comments, +1s, retweets) on a post.
- Impressions: This is how many people saw your post in their social media feeds.
- Audience growth rate: The rate with which your social audience has grown in comparison to last week, month or year.
- Visits vs unique visits: A comparison of the total number of visits and number of unique visitors who have not visited your site before.
- Bounce rate: The number of people who land on your website and immediately leave your site.
- Referral traffic: The amount of website traffic that is being driven from your social media accounts.
- Influence scores: These scores provide you with a social rating of sorts based on your social media network and activity. Klout is perhaps the best known platform.
Naturally, some marketers prefer some metrics over others and believe some offer more value and insight. Some prefer clicks over retweets on Twitter, shares over likes, daily traffic over traffic on a per-post basis.
The important thing to keep in mind is to choose the metrics that provide you with the social data and information you need to make important business and marketing decisions.