Transforming what’s measured into what’s managed
The key to getting remarkable results from social media monitoring and analytics is not just gathering all the numbers, putting the various metrics into boxes or creating lists or rankings – in a word, measurement. Instead, success lies in knowing where to apply all this knowledge we get from measuring social channels – management. The level of data we have available today allows us to create a high-resolution context map for brands in the social sphere.
“One of the challenges in this space is that almost everything is measurable in some way, and it’s trying to find the right insights from that data. [...] for us, it’s really about looking at all of that data and then taking the context of who we are as a brand and our reach as a brand.”
- Sabrina Caluori, HBO’s head of social media marketing
Exploring all the data that surrounds your brand name, your competitors and the key terms for the market you’re in will allow you to understand your company’s needs and get a sense of what’s going on through metrics like reach, engagement or demographics. But in the end, what all these numbers really do is give meaning to raw data.
Since the questions you ask about this data eventually determine what it means, let’s go ahead and look at some examples of spot-on questions for each area of interest:
Q1: Do you know which social media tactics are working and which processes need to be changed? Has your latest campaign reached the right people?
This type of question can only be answered after a thorough look at the share of voice for the social platforms you’ve used to carry your message to your audience. If you’re investing too much on Facebook Ads, but analytics show that your core-target audience is hanging on Twitter, then you should reconsider your strategy. Be in the right place at the right time!
Another key metric, for example, is the overall reach, which represents the number of people who have been exposed to your updates. It’s strongly correlated to the online presence of your brand, and a higher reach level leads to better engagement among your brand’s community members and fans.
Q2: Are there any significant changes (spikes or sharp valleys in your data set) that can affect your reputation?
Unresolved customer issues can quickly escalate, becoming a nightmare for your brand’s credibility. Especially for big brands with tons of tweets, Facebook updates or blog posts, it’s nearly impossible to scroll through all the mentions every day. That’s why you need an intelligent tool that shows you when important changes have occurred.
For example, any increase in mentions on a particular platform, in a certain language or specific geography should be a clear indicator of changes happening in your business environment. Whether it’s a potential PR issue (like the recent accidental tweet from KitchenAid) or a popularity burst, it needs to be quickly addressed by someone in your communication team, so being able to receive a notice at the exact time of the spike is of extreme value for your company.
Q1: Have you positioned yourself as a thought leader in your industry?
When people recognize you as an authority, they come to you for advice and they’re far more likely to respect your opinion when they make a purchase. By offering content that is relevant to your organization and field of work, you’re not only able to nurture your existing communities with relevant ideas, but you’re also creating an opportunity for new audiences to subscribe to your feed and make you a knowledgeable resource for their daily life. Staying on top of everything that’s happening in your area of interest and sharing your opinion on the trending news with your public can be a huge help here.
Q2: Are you aware of the strategies and reputation channels your competition is using?
No matter the industry, you can’t develop a business plan without taking into account the actions of your competitors. So why should it be any different when it comes to social media? Carefully monitoring your main contenders in the social environment is mandatory for spotting global trends and understanding how certain events and actions can cause a sudden interest in your products. Sometimes, hidden opportunities might arise: paying attention to your competitor’s customers can help your team recognize a powerful sales lead.
Q1: Do you have a firm grip on the relationship with top influencers in your industry?
People who help make you popular are the strongest brand ambassadors you’ll ever need. They’re the ones who expose your brand to communities you might have had a hard time engaging on your own – or, ones you might not even know existed in the first place. To let them know how much you value their input, you first need to track them down, and there’s no easy way of doing it by manually going through streams of seemingly similar mentions. A smart influencer detection system that does all that for you will help make sure you never miss out on these opportunities.
Q2: Are you fully equipped to address emerging market trends in your industry?
Discovering the top words to listen to is really easy if you use a real-time tag cloud than instantly correlates your main search terms to the issues that affect your evolving market. By keeping an eye on these changes, your social listening team can also be quick to send alerts to the right department in your company so appropriate action can be taken: leads to sales, complaints to support, endorsements to PR, etc.
By asking the right questions in each of these areas, you can make sense of an otherwise-messy, complicated set of numbers and spend your already-stretched time taking action rather than wasting it by weeding through tons of data to analyze what the numbers mean. Then, get on with your day!