A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Analytics
There are two types of data your business should pay attention to: small data and big data. Google-ing the terms will result in a slew of definitions but for our purposes they can be defined as such:
- Small Data: Data that can be found in someone’s home or in the way they act, the small but important details that uncover our hidden desires and fears.
- Big Data: Trends and associations uncovered from a large data set. This information can be used to inform businesses of the average age, income, gender, location, etc. of the marketplace and can be interpreted to deliver important information about consumer behaviors.
Both types of data can be found online, however it takes the right approach and interpretation to create meaning from the data.
It’s extremely important to keep one thing in mind: social media’s purpose is not to product instant sales, but it’s incredible at building awareness. Social brings in new consumers and builds reach, while search optimization and e-mail marketing close the sale. Therefore, when analyzing your social media efforts, monitoring following, reach, and engagement prove incredibly important, while ROI and conversions are far more difficult to accurately report.
Social analytics reports are generally exported as large excel files of unorganized data. Using the right metrics and methods those numbers can be rearranged into very meaningful ratios that provide insights into awareness, engagement, website traffic (with restrictions), advocates, and share of influence. This is all possible because every social site provides the same basic information: a measure of reach, comments, replies, sharing, likes, clicks, opens, contributors and their respective influence, and company volume compared to competitors. This information, if used correctly, will also tell you how successful your social efforts are, what your consumers are interested in, and what more they want from you.
Before you tackle ratios it’s important to analyze reports as both ongoing and specific to campaigns. Without splitting your data, averages will be skewed and overall patterns will have confusing spikes. Campaign specific results are often far larger than day-to-day results. For campaign-to-campaign analysis, you can set up an individual campaign report and a comparison report. To analyze the relationship between campaign results and ongoing effects, you can set up your report to compare the before and after changes in ongoing data.
Creating a strong social foundation takes years of dedication and a true understanding of your audience. For smaller businesses, it may come slowly but the use of social can magnify your brand awareness and overall conversions greatly:
“60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites.” – Nielsen
Leave Analytics to the professionals and save time, money, energy, and improve on reporting accuracy. Let Orbit help your business grow!