How to use social media analytics to make marketing decisions

It’s no secret that brands need to be active on social media platforms to be seen by the masses and hopefully by their target audience. But what do the numbers on the server say? How can you use data from your social media feeds to help improve your marketing strategy and tactics?

It is one thing to be present on social media, but if you don’t make decisions based on the data it provides you, it’s a waste of time and effort.

The kinds of data you get

All social media platforms collect data on a wide variety of things. Data is the numbers that you will see on the backend, and you will use those numbers to do some analysis and figure out what is successful and what is not. Here are some examples of the data you will get from social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook:

  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Click URL
  • keyword analysis
  • new subscribers
  • comments
  • mentioning
  • screenings
  • Using a hashtag

If you use Google Analytics for website data, you can also use it to get information related to social media. For example, Google Analytics will report things like:

  • which social media platform brought users to your site
  • how much time these users spend on your site
  • What percentage of users leave your website after just one view

Google Analytics offers several other pieces of data and can help you decide what to post on social media.

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Define what success looks like

Before you even look at the numbers, figure out what social media success looks like for your business. You can do this even if you haven’t created your social media profiles yet. For example, for some brands, the goal is to get more followers. But for others, it may be about promoting content and getting conversions based on promoting content.

There is no right or wrong answer here. Use your business strategy to guide you through the process and determine what social media success will look like in your company. Defining these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before you get started – whether you’re just starting out on the platform or just starting to analyze data – will help you understand all the data and really see what works and what doesn’t.

Create and publish content that is consistent with trends

Once you’ve identified your KPIs, you can start looking for trends related to your business or brand. For example, when you look at your Instagram data, it will show you which posted content has performed the best. Looking for a trend there – are they all animal images? Are these all the graphics that include inspirational quotes? If so, use this to create future posts.

You may need to dig a little deeper to find a trend. Perhaps the trend is the time of day when you post content, or the way your signature is written grabs people’s attention. All of this information is helpful and should guide your future posts so that you can get the most out of everything you post.

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Content customization for each platform

with so many different social media platforms, it’s easy to break down which content to post on each. You can post similar content on any platform, but it will work better if you customize each post to better fit the platform. When you look at and analyze your past content, try to understand what post types are best for each platform.

Each platform has its own way of presenting data, but they will all give you access to numbers. This way, you can see which posts reached the most number of people (got the most impressions), were the most engaged (users viewed or “liked” or even shared them), and which posts received the most comments.

Once you begin to understand the types of content that work best on each platform, you can better plan your content strategy for the future. You may have notes like this:

  • Twitter : short, witty statements combined with images and appropriate hashtags
  • Instagram: gorgeous images with informative captions, hashtag combinations and links in the biography section
  • Facebook : longer captions with quality links and great photography
  • Pinterest : infographic related to informational list / article
  • LinkedIn : Articles and links to content for business or personal development with targeted hashtags

The more detailed your notes are, the better you can plan for future content, no matter what marketing challenges come your way. It will also help you take one piece of content and customize it to work successfully on each platform.

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Using audience profiles for custom content

The more you become familiar with the social media analytics for each platform, you will almost be developing characters for each. Some social networks even provide information about users interacting with your brand. For example, you can get information about their interests – sports, food, politics – and even their hobbies online. All of this information will help you better target the content you publish.

Keep in mind that these personas or profiles are likely to evolve over time. The more subscribers you get, the more data will come in. Whether you’re creating social media reports or documenting your characters, make it a habit to keep track of changes in the data you see so you can continue to customize and target your content.

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