How to track social media analytics and what they can teach you

You should know by now that your company needs an active social media presence if it is to succeed at optimising its marketing campaigns. Social media can help build brand reputation, engage a wider audience and ultimately improve ROI. But when it comes to tracking social media analytics, do you have any idea what you’re looking for? You can track quantitative social media analytics such as visitors to your page and their sources, the size of your following, and your social signals (likes, comments, shares, etc.). Then on a more qualitative note you can look at what exactly the comments are saying, and the general sentiment of them. It can be difficult to draw any solid conclusions from all this data, though. Someone may like your page and share your posts but never turn into a purchaser. Another person may see your post and not click on it but later make a purchase directly from your website.

Knowing what social media analytics to measure

So what exactly should you measure in order to determine the success of your social media campaigns? Part of the problem is that there are so many different variations. These include followers, subscribers, likes, shares, retweets, pins, mentions, comments, replies and so on across all the social channels. But all of these social media analytics can be simplified into four categories: traffic volume, growth of following, interaction quantity and interaction quality. You can, of course, break these down further by looking at age, gender, location, time of day, etc. but let’s keep it at the top level for now. The matter of what to measure comes down to what you want to achieve. What’s the purpose of the social media campaign you’re running? The four metrics above can be tied in with the following four goals: If your goal is to generate traffic to your website: measure unique visitors from the social sites where your campaign is running. If your goal is to create a larger following: measure your increase in subscribers, followers etc. on each of your social pages. If your goal is increased interaction: measure the number and type of comments, replies, mentions etc. your posts generate. If your goal is revenue (and this should be the ultimate goal of every campaign): measure the exact dollar value of every lead from a social post or page. Some brands may want to track multiple metrics or be more specific in what they measure. However, it all comes down to working out to what extent your campaign is meeting your original goals. Measuring likes, retweets, pins etc. – although a good indicator of how well your content is engaging your audience – is not really a useful metric to track as it doesn’t mean anything in isolation. You can celebrate all you like when a post gets 5,000 likes, but if none of those users take notice of your brand or feel compelled to do anything further, you haven’t achieved much. Keep in mind that a comprehensive social media marketing campaign should look beyond the core social networks. Other social hubs like Reddit, LinkedIn, and niche sites which can also be a valuable source of traffic.

Why bother with social media analytics?

Social media may seem so abstract that it’s not worth the effort of measuring additional metrics. But you measure every other marketing channel you put effort and money into, so why not social media? In this digital world where the balance is slowly shifting towards social for search, advertising and even customer service, it would be foolish to continue going into it blind and not knowing how your campaigns are performing.

How to analyse social media campaign success

At the end of the day, there’s no point in companies hiring people to manage their social media channels if it doesn’t ultimately deliver more revenue. But how do you track your social media analytics and ROI? There are a lot of tools available to help with this, but here are some that you may find useful in analysing different aspects of your social media campaign:

Google Analytics Social

You’re more than likely already using Google Analytics to track your website traffic, but with the Social feature you can measure traffic from over 400 social channels. For many campaigns this may be all the data you need. You can apply specific funnels/filters to get insight into more advanced metrics, including conversions.

Brandify

This free tool is useful for any companies wanting to track social media analytics around their brand and implement better brand management practices for their social channels.

Unified

This tool will tell you everything you want to know about your shares, and it comes with a free trial.

Simply Measured

For a more advanced level of social media analytics, this tool will let you track a vast array of metrics.

Clarabridge

This tool will give you complete control over your campaigns with its powerful social media analytics.

Crowdbooster

This tool uses data from successful social media marketing practices to provide recommendations specific to your campaigns. It lets you manage multiple channels easily with its Hootsuite-like features.  One additional tool which you may find of use is Facebook Insights. Although it doesn’t provide complete analysis of your campaigns, some of its metrics can be useful, especially if your focus is social engagement.

Conclusion

Social media is a personal, powerful and cost-effective marketing tool. However, without social media analytics to show the success of your efforts, it’s difficult to judge your campaign’s effectiveness and identify possible improvements. Get on top of your social media analytics now and you’ll be well prepared for growth in the future. If this or any other aspects of your marketing campaign are making your head hurt, let us ease the load a little. Get in touch with the Consultants.digital team to find out more about how we can help.