The VPM Blog

The Importance of Social Media Analytics

Posted by Don Crow on Dec 7, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Social Media has given individuals an unprecedented level of authority when it comes to shaping the business narrative. Even casual readers of the Verge Pipe Media blog over the past seven years know that we embrace using social media in all phases of the buyer's journey. New readers have no doubt noticed on their own the outbound marketing days meant the marketers were in charge, dictating what products and services we were exposed to through massive spends on TV, print, radio, spam, direct mail and telemarketing.

Those days are gone but not forgotten based on the number of organizations we still see spending money on dumb s&*t. But you don't have to be in that group! A great way to start leveling up is to take what you have from all of your social media and online platforms and understand the importance of social media analytics.

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Photo by Burak Kebapci from Pexels 

Today, individuals are empowered to search for and get near instant answers to their questions, needs, wants and anxiety relievers. "Google" and social media has shifted marketing to the consumer who determines through their research, friend recommendations and behind the scenes invites into a brand's inner workings, exactly what they want to purchase and when.

All of that activity means one thing to marketers and business owners: tons of data!

With all that information on your shoppers, customers and casual onlookers, you have the ability to tailor literally everything to suit the wants and desires of those hungry mobs. So how do you get started?

Understand the difference between Analysis and Analytics.

When you think of your social media analysis, imagine yourself as a time traveler. You're taking a look back over time at what actually happened. You can sort, categorize, label and otherwise organize the data that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat filters and Google provide you. With a few quick key strokes, you can see demographic data, engagement and follower growth (to name a few).

When you think of social media analytics, you can again imagine yourselft as a time traveler, but you'll be basing your travels on what you believe will happen. That's not to say you're going to use Kentucky windage to determine what the future holds, but rather you will use the historical data from your analysis to measure campaign effectiveness, attrition, purchase behaviors and more. You will begin to make educated guesses on what content performs best with women who are between the ages of 17 and 25, whether or not to include one or multiple images with your tweets to encourage men in the southeast to purchase your t-shirts from your online store, and so forth.

Test and Learn. Test and Learn.

Oftentimes, you will share the data with your marketing team (or just yourself if you're a solo shop) and discuss external factors and refine your assumptions about the future until you have a testable proposition. It is a process best developed over time with a strict discipline of Test and Learn.

test and learn.png (NOTE: we have a weekly Facebook Live and Podcast devoted to the topic of Test and Learn - it's a core belief at Verge Pipe Media)

Dont' be afraid to use third-party software to help with sorting, tabulating and otherwise helping you drill down to the level of detail you need. The goal with a Test and Learn strategy is to get to the point where you can create segments of customers or shoppers (or both) whose behavior exhibits patterns or almost predictable behavior. Once you have segments, you are able to create an informed opinion on how to further market and sell your products and services to not only your existing customers, but those shoppers who have similar behaviors.

We recommend a regular review of your marketing assumptions with every review of your social media analysis. It is after all the foundation for all that you're trying to achieve as well as your historical roadmap to course correct your Test and Learn strategy.

Don't Favor Analysis over Analytics and vice versa.

You need both the data and the imagination for the future. Too many people rely solely on the reports to prop up their vanity metrics and don't spend the time on predicting and shaping the future. Likewise, don't be so romantic about how you make your money that you ignore what has actually happened in the past. By striking a balance of both, you will be able to propel your organization to better content, more compelling call to actions and more sales!

Are you interested in doing more with social media but aren't sure where to start? We've got answers! Tap the button below to receive a copy of our FREE guide on how to use social media to find new leads (you'll have to surrender your email address).

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Topics: Social Media Strategy, social media analytics

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