Too often B2B marketing professionals will design and implement a social strategy, put in a significant amount of work planning a calendar and publishing content on a variety of social platforms, only to let it sit there and “hope” it works. This is crazy! There are many powerful tools today that allow companies to analyze every bit of data on their social posts. These types of B2B social analytics will allow you to expand your social media campaign and maximize the benefits from all of your tweets, posts and shares.
However, while many companies recognize that social media websites offer an excellent platform for promoting their goods and services, few companies understand how to both monitor and interpret the data generated from these sites. How can social analytics help? In essence, B2B social analytics can offer your company valuable information regarding how your social media followers interact with your posts and content. Additionally, it can offer insight into how your particular brand is perceived online. All this information can, in turn, help determine where your company should invest its time and marketing dollars via social media.
While it may be relatively simple to digest how many “likes” a certain post receives and how many new followers your company gains, it is discernibly more difficult to glean more specific information from your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Thus, a good B2B social analytics program can help you to determine which social media marketing efforts are the most effective ones for your company’s bottom line.
Importance of Social Media Analytics
Simply installing a social analytics program is not enough. Sure it may provide some great data and numbers for your company, however, you need to know how to interpret the valuable information these programs can generate. For instance, you may wish to learn more about the individuals that interact with your social media content. In this way, you can better tailor your marketing to appeal to certain sets of demographics.
Data from B2B social analytics can also help to identify exactly what your social media followers are interested in. In turn, you will gain valuable information, and your business may be able to create new or improved products to cater directly to these customer needs. Additionally, as your company will gain specific information about your target market’s dislikes. This type of insight has the power to improve your company financially as you will no longer waste time creating products or services that do not accurately serve your client base.
However, while there clearly are benefits to social analytics, deciding what information and what content to monitor and analyze is often challenging for businesses. In fact, it is not uncommon for professionals to feel overwhelmed by the amount of data that is generated by B2B social media analytics programs. While the number of “likes” and the number of social media pieces your company generates is important, it may be more beneficial to measure factors such as conversion rates and “re-shares” or referrals.
Specifically, to get the most from your social media analytics program, it is advisable to measure the following:
How Followers Interact With Your Social Media Posts:
Your social analytics program can provide you with valuable insight with respect to whether your followers are sharing your posts, and if so, which types of content your audience typically shares. With this information, you can create posts that your followers will be interested in and share with their followers. In this way, you are extending the marketing reach of your company to a network of readers that may have never seen your posts directly.
How Influencers Interact With your Content:
Influencers are people or other businesses that have a significant social media following. More importantly perhaps is the fact that their followers value and trust their personal opinions. Thus, if an influencer were to re-share your content or recommend your company or product to their audience, there is a good change that some of these followers will become new customers of yours. It is extremely important to monitor the preferences of influencers with your B2B social analytics tools.
Your Company Mentions on Social Media Platforms:
By keeping track of how your company is discussed on social media, you can glean important information about how people actually think about your company and its associated goods and services. In this way, you can improve your product and/or customer service in order to better cater to your target market. In addition, as social media is an excellent forum to engage with customers, you can directly respond to complaints and offer solutions. In this way, your company’s reputation will remain intact and your entire audience (not just the affected party) will appreciate how you deal with customer complaints. That said, it is vital that your tone remain professional and sympathetic, or unfortunately this strategy can backfire.
For some more great tips on monitoring social media conversations specific to your brand, you might want to revisit this piece of advice from a blog post earlier this year:
Don’t underestimate the importance of social listening to identify industry trends, track competitors, connect with influencers, engage with prospects, and inspire new content. Listening is a critical driver of inbound marketing effectiveness, and as such, should be approached and developed strategically.
Your social listening strategy should be built from the ground up…For example, it should be able to “listen” to the particular social networks that mean most to your business and track keywords within them. In addition, it should have an engagement component that enables marketers to not only view posts, but also respond to, share, and like them.
Remember, listening must have an outcome.
What Your Competition Shares on Social Media:
As your competition’s social media accounts are public, it is an excellent idea to monitor what your competition is up to on these platforms. From this information, your company can determine exactly what is working and not working for them. It is always good to have an idea of what is happening with competition and the industry as a whole, and you can gain valuable insight into what type of content your own company should promote to your audience.
Overall, it is extremely important to monitor your social media campaigns with the proper B2B social analytic tools. That said, as social media can generate an enormous amount of data, it is essential to focus on monitoring actionable items that include (but not necessarily limited to) your content, your social media mentions, the preferences of your influencers, and your competition. In this way, you can create better and more effective social media campaigns that will benefit both your company and your target audience.