Social media has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past decade. It’s no longer just another add-on -- it’s a powerful tool that helps you reach your target audience and grow your small business.
With everything this platform has to offer and is capable of, it only makes sense to make decisions based on data rather than a mere gut feeling.
Most social media platforms offer insights and in-depth reports on how your content is being received by the audience. The question is -- how many small businesses are using this goldmine of data to make informed decisions?
Not too many.
Let’s take a look at the five ways you can use social media analytics for your business.
Uncover customer insights
There’s more to social media data than likes, comments, and shares. The key lies in looking at the right metrics and using them to uncover customer insights.
For instance, one look at the Facebook Audience Insights or Twitter Analytics will tell you more about their demographics, interests, behavior, and connections among others. This information can be used to segment your audience and create marketing personas.
That’s not all, social media analytics also helps you understand what your audience is looking for, how they’re responding to your products, and get ideas for new product launches.
Identify top-performing channels
From Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest -- the list of social media channels is endless.
While you can be part of every channel, it might not be the best idea. What’s important is finding the right channel for your small business. It’s important to find where your audience and competitors are active and choose channels that you can focus your efforts on.
Social media analytics helps you understand your top-performing channels while developing a unique content strategy for each of them.
For example, let’s take the meditation and sleep app Calm -- they share company news and milestones on LinkedIn and use Instagram to post motivational quotes.
Create relevant content
The content you create needs to strike a chord with your social media audience and be of interest to them. Diving into social media analytics can help you develop a smarter content strategy that’s focussed and targeted to your audience.
Look into the kind of content your audience is engaging with or the topics they respond well to. Use this information to optimize your social media marketing plan and create content that resonates with them.
Apart from improving your social media content strategy, you can also implement these learnings while planning your blog calendar. For instance, if a social media post was received well, why not elaborate on it and create a blog post?
Keeping an eye on your competitors is essential for growth. You might have a robust social media strategy in place but it helps to know what your competitors are up to. Make a list of four to five competitors you want to track and use a social media analytics tool to obtain competitor data. Alternatively, you can also do a manual evaluation of their social media pages.
Understand which platforms they’re present on, the kind of content they’re posting, the engagement they’re receiving on their posts, and how they’re responding to comments.
If you’re doing this manually, it’s a good idea to use a data visualization tool to present the data accurately and use that data to improve your strategy.
Measure customer sentiment
Customer sentiment refers to what customers feel about your brand, product, or service. It involves monitoring conversations on social media platforms.
Measuring customer sentiment is important because it tells you what customers think about you. Doing a sentiment analysis helps you:
- Uncover what customers want and give it to them
- Uncover customer challenges or pain points and rectify them
- Prepare or prevent a potential crisis
Social media analytics for business: the takeaway
Creating a social media strategy based on guesswork and gut feeling is a waste of time and resources. In order to create engaging content and leverage your social media presence to grow your small business, you need to make data an integral part of the planning process.
If you’re on a budget, you can turn to low-cost or free social media analytics tools that will help you track performance and leverage analytics data effectively.
Author Bio: Simki Dutta is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. When she's not working, she can be found refreshing her Twitter feed and binge-watching Netflix shows. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.