Look past Likes with Social Media Analytics

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There are so many metrics to measure and many other tools you can use for social analytics. It’s no wonder a lot of companies still rely on charting likes and follows and don’t dive further in to track engagement. It all can be very confusing and overwhelming but with the right social media tracking tool, some of the pain can go away.

The blog 13 Social Media Software Tools for Marketing Your Company or Clients does a great job of listing out a large amount of tools, giving the pros and cons of each. One of the tools on the list is Sprout Social and I am a user of this tool. I mostly use it for social analytics reporting but it has so many other features. Multiple profiles on most of the major social platforms can be tracked in this one tool. You can schedule posts. One of their highlights is the ability to find new customers and grow a brand’s social presence.

A lot of the tools listed I’d never heard of but many were free and sounded intriguing. EdgeRank is a tool I’d like to check out to see where the brand page I work on falls in edgerank on Facebook. I like that it can help a brand increase their exposure and fan engagement. Social Crawlytics is another interesting tool that will look at a brand’s competitors and see which users are engaging with competitors.

The blog Best social media analytics tools: 8 of the best to use also stressed the fact that most companies are only tracking the number of followers they have. There are so many other important metrics. I like to know which posts fair the best so I can adjust the social strategy. If there’s a type of content that isn’t performing well, then I want to know . Why keep going down a path that isn’t successful. Tweriod was also mentioned in this blog and it is a tool I’ve utilized. It takes all the guess work out of when the best time is to post to Twitter for a brand.

What a company may not realize if they aren’t tracking social media analytics is that “Social media is a window into the mind of their target market and a through that, it’s a window into the health of the brand,” said Niles Mork Ulnes in Beyond Social Media Analytics — Getting to Consumer Insights. It’s a way to understand what motivates a customer and track trends. You may think one thing of your brand and the consumer may think another. If you aren’t tracking that conversation on social media, you’ll be left in the dark.

I’m a big fan of Google Analytics and like that they incorporate social media into their free tool. The blog Using Google Analytics to track social media marketing does a great job of defining each of the areas and what the purpose is. I do want to clarify that Google Analytics doesn’t measure anything happening on your social media channels. The data they report ties back in to a brand’s website and what social channels are driving visitors back. It isn’t going to tell you how many likes a post got. You will see what social channels works best for driving web traffic and the type of content on your site that people share.

I encourage anyone who is just starting to dip their toes into social media analytics to check out this infographic. It gives actionable steps to start looking at social analytics. You shouldn’t just start looking at the data. First determine your goals for each social media platform. You won’t know what metric is the most important if there aren’t actionable goals to meet. The next step is to configure your analytics for those specific goals and get a tool that can help you accomplish what you are trying to measure.  A large part is educating yourself with the meaning of the metrics, as they are different for each social platform. The final step is to analyze the data and see if you’re meeting your goals. If you aren’t then how can you make changes to move in the right direction?

What metrics do you measure the most when it comes to social media?

Do you have a favorite social media analytics tool?