Social media analytics can be roughly defined as looking at online sources and using the information gathered to make informed business decisions. The first step in any social media analytics campaign is to define your business goals according to NetBase. Next comes deciding what your performance indicators will be, and the final phase is to gather your data from social media platforms and make conclusions from it.
There are many criteria for evaluating business success online. Perhaps your goal is to increase downloads of information about your product, or maybe you are trying to improve the overall perception of your brand online.
Once you define what your goals are, you can start looking at specific metrics. Engagement compares media that is owned, payed and earned, while sentiment examines how people commenting online feel about your brand. To see how your social media strategies are impacting your bottom line, look at conversion.
Analysis and Conclusions
Having determined what matters to you and why it matters, you can use a social media analytics tool to analyze the data and respond accordingly. The good news is that some of these tools are free, and others are inexpensive relative to the value of the information that can be gained using them.
Much useful information can be gleaned simply by using the built-in dashboards of most popular social media platforms. Facebook Insights allows you to examine your metrics for the past 28 days and also has a feature that allows you to compare them with those of your competitors. Twitter lets you see who is examining your tweets broken down by gender and interest, and YouTube creators can look at information on who is watching their videos including the devices they are using, time spent watching the videos and more.
Some social media platforms such as Tumblr, however, don’t offer any built-in analytics tools. Furthermore, if you’re examining your brands performance on multiple platforms, it can get frustrating and time-consuming to look at all of their tools. That’s why social media analytics can do the job for you.
The company Trendy offers software that gives you feedback on what people are writing about your brand online in the form of simple and readily understandable graphs and pie charts, and you can look back over months of data to see if your reputation is improving or declining. A traditional and effective tool is Google Alerts. These let you know in real time when your brand or your competitions’ brands are being mentioned online; in crisis situations where you need to do damage control fast, these alerts can be a lifesaver.
There are many other social media analytics tools on the market, and some are free; however, most only offer a look at a single dimension of the chatter about your brand online. A more comprehensive tool is offered by Netbase, a company that offers software designed to give you the big picture, often in real time, through a highly intuitive interface.