Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island for the past several years, you know the power and impact that social media can have in today’s internet culture. Businesses have been built—in some cases overnight—on the strength of a Tweet, Instagram post, or Facebook message. At the same time, some businesses have felt the adverse effects of such power: a poor review, a complaint that wasn’t handled properly, or a service that wasn’t performed as promised.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools available today to help grow your business. But how do you decide how to work your way through this sometimes complex, often confusing field of tweets, photos, and blog posts? And how do you know that what you are posting on social media is being read (and turning into business)?
Measuring Through Social Media Analytics
It’s important to first understand how social media analytics can help gauge the power and reach of our customer’s social media platform. In a nutshell, these metrics help measure the performance of social media channels. Using this information, you can analyze the content to optimize a strategy to drive your business forward. One example of a social media analytics metric is click-through rate, which is the percentage of people that click your link from a social media post to your actual website.
Sounds simple enough, but in practice, it can get quite complex. Because at its core, analytics is data—lots of data. Combined with experience and expertise, that information is analyzed to develop a social media strategy that meets your target. Social media analytics can give insight into a variety of topics, including audience growth, content engagement, customer service, and even conversions from prospect to customer. Are you attracting new customers with your social media? Is what you are posting interesting and are your customers engaging with the content? How quickly does your customer service team react to customer inquiries via social media? Is the response from your customers positive? Does a click-through lead to a sale? These questions can be answered with social media analytics.
Leveraging the Numbers to Increase Your Market Presence
Here’s where it gets a bit confusing. There’s a difference between simple engagement via your social media platform and analytics. It’s pretty easy to look at how many inquiries you receive and how you responded to each one. That would be engagement. When you look at analytics, you can also determine where these inquiries came from, how quickly they responded to your social media post, their habits when engaging through social media. It’s a broad snapshot that you can use to help tailor your message to the needs of your audience.
It’s not just one single number or analytics tool. With analytics, the more data available, the better. This includes data from competitors and customers. Ultimately, this drives the decisions on social media content topics. It also determines the form that the content should be delivered in (video, text, graphics) and even how often and when the content should be shared. It may be a lot of data, but each aspect of what is gathered is essential in the development of a comprehensive social media strategy. Relying on only one result, or one data point, may not provide a complete picture.
Can Social Media Grow My Business?
As we’ve discussed, social media is a powerful tool. And it’s something that, done correctly, can have a significant impact on your bottom line. We like to look at three areas where social media can advance your business.
Research shows that 67% of consumers have interacted with a brand via social media regarding a customer service related question. Those questions, and answers, can be shared quickly through social media. That expands your reach while doing something you are doing already—servicing your customer base.
Build Your Brand
The power of social media to build a brand’s image can’t be understated. A positive message about your brand, or a photo that highlight’s your product, can be shared by thousands of customers via social media. Social media is an excellent place to share your brand personality.
Make a Sale
The bottom line with any campaign is to turn prospects into customers. Social media is very powerful in this arena. Recent research from Sprout Social shows that answering a customer’s question on social media prompts 49% of consumers to purchase.
By leveraging data you gather from social media analytics, it’s easy to determine if your investment in content was correct, whether you need to provide additional content, different content, or even scale back on content. This is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop with the first social media post. It’s imperative that data is continually analyzed to ensure you are getting the most out the investment you make.
At the end of the day, it is all about the amount of data that is collected and analyzed. Armed with that information, you are prepared to ensure your social media strategy is meeting your marketing needs. With the right analysis and implementation, social media can be a powerful platform to grow your business.